Some people just don’t know what to do with a visiting card after someone else gives it to them. Thus, it usually gets tossed somewhere and is then promptly forgotten about. The card is left lying around until the time you need it most, but it is lost in all the clutter by then.
If you wish to avoid the above situation, you need to find a place to keep all your cards. Having a good place to store the visiting cards you receive makes it easy for you to find them later on. Here are six means of effective visiting card storage, with the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Placing someone else’s visiting card in your wallet is only a temporary solution. A visiting card holder works better and makes sure all your cards are in one place.
Visiting card holders are for people with a limited number of contacts. It’s also easily portable so you can bring along the holder to meetings, workshops, and conferences. It also takes the least time to do of the six means. People in a hurry will usually follow this method. Startups should try this.
As the cards increase, this system gets more difficult. You have to empty out the entire stack just to find one card. You probably have to buy another holder for the remaining cards or at that point, things just get too chaotic. You might want to toss out the unwanted cards every once in a while to keep the thing from overflowing. Eventually, you’ll want something more suited, like a Rolodex.
The Rolodex era may be ending, but they are still a great tool for storing a visiting card. It is easy to use, makes cards simpler to find, and you can add and remove cards to the Rolodex with ease. You can also store much more cards on a Rolodex than on a cardholder.
One main disadvantage of Rolodexes is that they will remain at your desk and are a bit harder to carry around than a holder. You still need to flip through the Rolodex a bit to find your card, although it’s not as difficult as with the holder. If you want to be even more organised, try a visiting card book or binder.
Books or binders are also a popular option for storing other people’s visiting card. Get a clear type so you can view the cards from both sides without having to take them out. Some books even have alphabetized tabs on them to make it very easy to find cards.
Organising the cards in alphabetical order takes a while, but once you’ve done that, the management is rather simple. You can also bring the book with you to meetings. Be sure to throw out the old cards and duplicates. Also, some letters have more first name options than others. Ensure adequate space for such letters.
Those were the physical options. Of course, we cannot ignore the electronic means of visiting card storage. Some people have actually digitised their entire cards and we have actually written an article on that. You can read that if interested.
One simple thing you can do is type the details from the visiting card and enter them on your computer. Programs like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets work very well for this and help keep everything documented. Just create separate columns for name, company, address, phone number, email, etc. By adding filters, you can easily sort alphabetically by name or company. This also makes contact details easy to find.
One problem with this is that it strips the aesthetics of the card, plus you need to actually type the details. Although entering information from one card takes less than two minutes, the process can get tedious if the cards pile up and it will be time-consuming. You also have to save the details in Excel, but Sheets automatically does this.
Another problem is that the list will keep growing larger and larger, making things harder to find at a glance. Certain mistakes or old details will continue to remain and this may cause confusion later. What was easier to find at first could get tougher moving forward.
Much like card holders, this strategy works great at first but becomes difficult to manage as time wears on. You should also make sure that content isn’t accidentally deleted. Try to have a backup in case this happens.
Another option is to scan the visiting card and save or upload the pictures to your computer. The scanned images can be renamed and organised on your computer through the creation of folders.
You now have a digital contact list of cards that you can upload to your CRM. You can also use the pictures in emails. Having a copy of cards online always helps should something happen to the physical ones. Better yet, store them directly on the Cloud for access at any time.
However, you need a visiting card scanner for this, and it wouldn’t make sense to purchase a scanner unless you have a large volume of cards to scan. It also takes longer to scan a visiting card with two sides instead of one. Twice the sides, double the time. You can read our blog post on the single vs. double-sided card debate for more.
Smartphones and tablets have apps for just about anything nowadays. This will work much better than taking a picture of your visiting card and saving it to your phone. Digitising your business cards will make them easy to sort and find. Evernote and CamCard are two such apps.
The Evernote app lets you scan your card and enter all the details about it. You can even add notes and to-do lists. Some apps allow you to link to your Facebook or Linkedin account to draw more details about the company from those websites. You can also sync updates so the card will appear the same everywhere.
You must realise that neither Cloud nor physical storage is the best solution. As such, don’t immediately throw out the cards once you have saved them online. It is best to have a physical and electronic version of your important contacts. Make sure you stay organised and up to date. ‘A place for everything and everything in its place’, as the saying goes.
Visiting Card from PrintStop
Now for the other side of the story, the card itself! PrintStop can help you create a majestic visiting card for your business. We want to create a card that people will not forget about. They have all types of visiting cards which you can view here. Start browsing and craft a valuable visiting card today!
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