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Handling Business Card Overload

Have you ever attended a trade show or networking event and brought home a fistful of business cards, only to find that weeks later they were still in a pile on your desk?

When you attend events where you regularly meet new contacts whose names you may want to keep handy, do you find that you don't know what to do with all of them? They seem to just keep multiplying with amazing speed, and how do you find someone's card when you need it again? And what if you can't remember the name of the business or the person you met? In this age of Relationship Marketing, business card overload is a very common challenge for many business people.

Whether your card file is large or small, keep the cards categorized in a card file or a three-ring binder with card sleeves, indexed first by occupation, then alphabetically. Which means, Accountants are in the front of the book and Zookeepers are in the back. This system mirrors the brain. When you need to find a contact that you met only once, several months ago, if you don't remember the person's name, your brain thinks "printer", "web designer", or whatever their business is. Since your filing system is mapped on how you think, all you need to do is turn to the section of your book marked 'Printers' (under 'P' of course) and you've found the card you want. The key to managing any information is to set up a system and use it consistently. Once you take the time to set up this business card filing system, it will serve you well for years to come.

Monica Ricci is the founder of Catalyst Organizing Solutions in Atlanta, GA. She speaks to groups and companies about the benefits of choosing a simpler life and how to cut the chaos. She is president of the GA Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers. Contact Monica at: 770-416-6613 or