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Organize + Energize: Organize Your Business Cards

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


You accumulate them from networking events, expos, and wherever you meet a contact. They end up in a pile on your desk, shoved in a drawer or scattered all over your office. The cards multiple at records rates. You cringe at the thought of going through and organizing them. 

I’m not going to give you a specific system because everybody functions differently. In this article, I will give you a push in the right direction and get you thinking a little about how you function with them. 

Here are 8 questions to ask:

1.    How often do you grab a business card that you need?
2.    How long does it take you to search for it?
3.    Would it be easier to use LinkedIn or other software? 
4.    Do you prefer an old fashioned rolodex, a binder, divided card holder, or scanning system?
5.    Do you have a vision for how you want to function, but can’t seem to get there?
6.    Do you feel guilty throwing them away?
7.    Do certain contacts fall into specific categories?
8.    Do you really need them? 

Create your systems

Now that you’ve figured out how you use these cards, you can create a system. Think about how you function with the ones you need on a regular basis and then think about the system you want to use. People immediately say they want to scan them because they think it will solve all their problems, but sometimes that creates more work. Do you really want to have another task to accomplish during the day? 

Another system would be to connect with them on LinkedIn and then once connected, throw away the business card. If you choose to hold onto business cards, you could use a rolodex, divided card holder or binder. Categorize your cards as to how you grab them. If you don’t want to alphabetize them, you could file them by profession or by frequency of use. 

One more tip

Don’t spend a ton of money on fancy business cards or ones with a heavy thickness. Don’t waste your money. I’m in offices all the time and I can tell you that it doesn’t matter how much you spend. Most never get looked at again and a majority get thrown away, so if you think you’re standing out from the rest, think again. Use that extra money towards something that will make a difference.

Remember that you are the one that has to function with this system, so create the system around how you function with your business cards. It’s a process and once you create the system, make it a habit to use it and tweak it if somethings not working. The main point is to just get started. Business cards are a headache for so many people, but if you just take a moment and evaluate how you want to function, your headache will soon be gone. 

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. Kristin's CD, Organizing Basics, is a 1-hour guide for the person who wants to get organized but doesn't know where to begin. She is also available for organizing workshops.


Related Slideshow: 5 Organizing Blunders

Avoid these mistakes and your project will take less time than you expected. You won’t be as stressed or as overwhelmed as you anticipated. You will be amazed at what you have accomplished. You will be motivated and energized to tackle another project.

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Not planning ahead

Getting organized is a process and you have to have a plan on how to conquer your project. You can’t tear apart an entire room all at once. You need to break the project down into small pieces. Plan to tackle your project in 3-hour increments. If you work longer than 3 hours at a time, you are setting yourself up for burnout. Plan ahead to try to avoid distractions and stay focused.

Click here for more tips on how to avoid distractions.

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Purchasing the incorrect supplies

I know you are excited to get organized, but don’t rush out to the store and purchase products just because you like the way they look. Get organized first. Figure out what you need to contain, and then purchase your container to match the items you need it to hold.

Click here for more on choosing the right container.

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Not letting others know about your system

Once you set up the organized system, you have to get everybody in your home on board. Show them the systems and how you are going to function with this system going forward. Label everything if you must, so everybody gets in the habit of putting items away. Remember, the simpler the system, the easier it’s going to be to maintain.

Need help creating those systems? Go here.

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Not maximizing your space

Use every inch of space and use it well. Take everything out of the area you are organizing. You can’t get a clear visual of the space if it is filled with clutter. Shifting items around is not going to work.

Here are more tips on maximizing your space.

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Repeatedly clearing spaces

You are creating more work for yourself if you continue to clear spaces once a month. Create a system and allow everything in your home to have its own place, and you will never have to clear a space again.

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Kristin Carcieri-MacRae

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, the founder and owner of Organizing in RI, has always enjoyed finding creative ways to streamline the environment around her. She has appeared on air on Patricia Raskin's Positive Business Radio and her articles have been published in the Rhode Island Small Business Journal and New England Home Life. Kristin's CD, Organizing Basics, is a 1-hour guide for the person who wants to get organized but doesn't know where to start. She is also available for organizing workshops. Tune into her weekly radio show, Organize, Energize! on Mondays at 8:30am on www.talkstreamradio.com.


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