13 September 2013

Free For All Friday No. 252

In my search for a job I'm collecting a lot of business cards and contacts information. I don't have a smartphone and am trying to figure out a way to store and access these cards and information easily.

Of course my first idea is to use one of my Filofaxes specifically to hold business cards, filed alphabetically in the A-Z tabs. But then I wonder, how should I file them? By name? By company? By sector? Then I wonder if this is one of those instances where it's best to combine Filofax with technology.

How do you keep track of business cards and professional contacts?

And as always on Fridays, please feel free to discuss anything ring-binder related!

23 comments:

  1. So, now I have a barley pen and a Mini...anyone know why they're called barley pens? And: are there any good Mini hacks I should be aware of? Thank you!

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    1. The pattern on the barrel of the pen looks like the way grains are arranged on a head of barley.

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    2. Oh~! I see it now. Was hoping "barley" had something to do with beer.

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  2. Laurie, I do a lot of business networking and I too collect a lot of cards which need to be 'processed' into a system. I don't retain the cards, but I *do* add them to Google contacts, which then syncs them to my smartphone. In Google contacts addresses can be added to user-defined groups, so they can exist in more than one group at a time, and on the phone they can be found quickly and easily.

    Sorry to upset any FF purists, but I think contact management is the one area where the smartphone trumps the paper-based system every time.

    If you want to chat more about the precise mechanics of doing this (or using Outlook) drop me a line - you know my email adddress!

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    1. Thanks David! I can definitely see the benefit of having contacts all digital, and backed up on multiple devices. I don't use Google contacts at the moment, but may en up having to take the plunge. Even without a smartphone I can see the advantage of having the information on my computer and searchable.

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    2. I'm like David & use Google contacts & normally have my iPod touch with me as it's my calendar as well. I do sometimes have business cards in my filo, but I then pop the details into contacts & most of the cards themselves are recycled.

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    3. As David knows, I manage my contacts on paper. They are all in the Filo in alpha order by last name. I also maintain two large rolodexes, one at work and one on my hallway telephone table, which are organized alphabetically by name and by classification, so the name of my exterminator is listed both under his last name and under E. It is work to setup but then easy to maintain and add to. Business cards get stapled onto a rolodex card so I don't need to write out the info more than one additional time.

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    4. Related, business cards are something I like to hang onto. I appreciate their design. I have hundreds from colleagues, family, and friends from all over the world. I only store new ones in my filo, the rest are in the rolodex or in a card wallet I have on my bookcase

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    5. Another way of archiving business cards or planner pages is to photograph them and then store them on Evernote, Evernote OCR's them and allows you to search them

      This video by Carrie shows how it's all done. http://youtu.be/_RHAMHvvmAQ

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    6. Thanks Steve! I've heard of Evernote but don't know much about it or how it works. I'll check this out!

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    7. Hi Laurie.

      You can also do a "digital Rolodex" on Evernote.
      Every time you get a biz card, take a pic, and upload it to your biz-card notebook in Evernote. The automatic OCR of Evernote grants that, when you search Evernote, you always find it.

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    8. I'm not sure if anyone has heard of Neat dot com. Their NeatDesk Desktop is an electronic device that scans business cards, receipts etc and from there to your computer. The NeatReceipts is the mobile digital filing scanner. www dot neat dot com tryneat dot com slash site slash tryneat slash home dot html

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  3. Answering the questions of yesterday's competition to win a Charleston, made me think about how Filofax products are named: Who names them? What does the naming process look like? I remember older Filofaxes being named after London districts or streets, such as the Pimlico or the Portobello. I don't think that applies anymore to newer models. Did the name giving change when there were new (American based)owners? Just wondering...

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    1. Good question I've wondered the same myself. I have a Hampshire (county) and a Finsbury (London district). My hubby has a Kent (county). While some names can obviously be linked to their individual design (eg: Jack Vintage), I have no idea how they came up with names such as 'Domino' 'Springboard' and 'Apex'. Would love to know!

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  4. As Steve said, I archive anything and everything I can in Evernote. That way, even if I don't do a stellar job at tagging each business card or document, Evernote's OCR makes every bit of print I upload completely searchable anyway.

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  5. scored a copy of the old chestnut "Advanced Day Planner User's Guide" by Hyrum Smith of Franklin Covey...very savvy little book. "As we approach the apex of the Productivity Pyramid, we experience increased inner peace." Ah, *that* is why everybody messes with their planner. Keep approaching that apex, people!

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  6. I know we were discussing the issues with Filofax USA, but I just got an email from them concerning a sale and the Aqua Maldens announcing "the wait is over" except when I click on it, the Personals are already unavailable. Did they have only 2? I think the USA division seems very understaffed and lacking resources. It saddens and frustrates us North American users.

    I do notice that I am using Evernote less now that I have my planner when I use to live off my Evernote. More useful since Evernote seems to be blocked by my current work's firewall.

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    1. Blame me... my little web finds app alerted me to the change on the USA site yesterday afternoon and I shared the link to the Aqua Maldens on the main Facebook group (>1500 members!) and people were dashing off to order them

      The Filofax USA website is the next one to get the big make over like the Filofax UK one which updated about 10 days ago. No date has been set yet for the change over. But I think we might be talking weeks not months!

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    2. Hi Steve,

      Are you an employee of Filofax now?

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    3. Oh darn :( I only check the group on the weekend, and now who knows when I'll get the chance for an Aqua Personal. Oh well, it wasn't mean to be maybe.

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    4. Yes, I also got that email and I then emailed Filofax about it and they apologized and said they'd sold out. I was a wee bit upset. Why send out the email if it isn't a 'fair fight?'

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    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. Today as I was browsing the extremely cluttered stationery aisle at Tuesday Morning, I spotted the word Filofax! It was a magenta A5 Flex. I hunted around some and found more buried under blank journals and note cards. They had A5 ($14.99), Slim ($11.99), and Pocket ($9.99). They say "First Edition Cover" and are magenta, black, and slate. As a US reader, I've been slightly envious of readers in other countries who find Filofaxes at discount stores like TJMaxx. Maybe I'll find a ring-bound version some day. (I also checked Marshalls -- no Flexes.)

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