The Business Card Party was one of the first events we held for Ladies Room Chicago as part of our Where Business Gets Done series. (Ladies Room…where “business” gets done – see what we did there?)
The Business Card Party and part two of the series, Clean Up Your LinkedIn, reflect our deeply held belief that activities that us busy business ladies put off doing are easier a) if you have help; b) if you’re surrounded by fun people and c) there’s wine.
It’s a recipe for success, trust us on this one.
Business Card Party mission: Organize the giant stack of cards you’ve been collecting at networking events.
Tools needed: A game plan, fun people, wine (or non-alcoholic beverages) and snacks.
Game Plan for Business Card Organization
Step 1: Cull your current card collection.
Recycle or shred cards that are from:
- People whose names you don’t recognize – if you can’t remember how you met them, toss it.
- Businesses that no longer exist
- People who have switched companies
- Services you know are no longer available
Step 2: Set aside cards with sentimental value.
It’s OK to keep the cards for a friend who’s passed away or for a favorite neighborhood haunt that closed. Just come up with a good way to store them so they don’t take up too much space (see more below).
Step 3: Make a pile of cards for people you can connect with on LinkedIn (so you can toss their cards).
It’s up to you to decide who goes on this list, but people at our party generally included leads, current customers, prospects, sources or colleagues. The important part is to actually follow up by connecting.
Step 4: Digitize the rest.
There are a buncha good options for digitizing business cards. Some folks swear by Evernote’s card-snapping camera feature, while others trust Google photos. Several of us are happy with CamCard, just be aware that you’ll have to manually enter some information from cards that are dark or have intricate backgrounds.
Step 5: Find a physical storage system you like.
Maybe you want to kick it old school with a Rolodex. Or a Trapper Keeper-esque binder with plastic sleeves and card-sized pockets. Or you just need another excuse to visit the Container Store. You do you.
Step 6: Rise and repeat.
If you’re a networking machine like some of us ladies, you’re constantly adding to your card collection, so organizing isn’t a one-and-done activity. That’s where apps come in handy, and some of us now snap photos with CamCard instead of taking people’s physical cards at events.
Now, go forth and party with a purpose!