During and after the conference: Make notes on your business cards

With conference season about to begin (it’s a long one… lasts about 10 months, so get ready!) many business people come home from business trips with a messy collection of business cards. In the past, I would dump the cards into a container and toss them on my desk, waiting to, someday, be organized. However, past experience showed that I usually tossed those cards a few months later because I didn’t remember one connection from another.

how to organize business cards

Last year, I attempted to organize my cards during the conferences. I made two major changes to my routine. Rather than thanking people for their cards and shoving them in my pocket or bag, to be lost and forgotten, I came up with a system:

  1. I carried 3 different colored Sharpies  in my bag and labeled the cards;
  2. Next, rather than shoving the cards into the bottom of my bag, I added them to a plastic baggie for safe storage.

The Sharpie Business Card System

Prior to the conference, I purchased three different color Sharpies, each color representing a category:

  • Pink – Blogger to connect with later
  • Turquoise – Marketing representative
  • Green – Other, such as company representative, social media guru, etc.

If the business card stated everything I needed to know, I’d simply draw a dot in the proper color on the card and place the card in my bag. However, many ageny cards do not list the brand a marketer works with (something I learned the hard way at Mom 2.0, when I collected dozens of cards from the same agency, without noting who they represented). On those cards I wrote, in turquoise, relevant information such as the brand, a very brief reminder of our conversation, or our plans to follow up.

Pink and green categories follow similar suit. There were some bloggers who I met that I wanted to connect with later for whatever reason. On those cards, in pink, I noted the reason. Other bloggers or contacts I felt would be perfect for future Splash Creative Media campaigns, so I jotted a note to remind me.

With all the cards protected in the same baggie, they traveled home with me safe, not lost, torn, or wrinkled.

Upon returning from the conference, I divided the cards by color category and filed them with the notes attached.

This system allows me to instantly remember the important connections I made with the hundreds of people I meet.

Other conference-goers use other means to collect business cards. Here’s my old business card organization system, which may work for you, and another blogger’s very creative organization system.

Of course, not everyone is as organized as you and I. So help them along by creating a business cards at Tiny Prints that includes all of your relevant information. (Check out the cards that allow for images. Including your picture helps others to remember your conversation.) Thanks to Tiny Prints for sponsoring this post.

mom of 3 and wife living in the Philadelphia suburbs, Julie is a former elementary school teacher and a Public Relations manager. She is the owner/editor of Julieverse, a merchandiser with Chloe + Isabel (jewelryverse.com) and founder VlogMom and Splash Creative Media. A marketing strategist and freelance education and parenting writer by trade, Julie attempts to carve out time to enjoy playing with her kids, PTO, cooking and exercise.

© 2012, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.

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