Even in our hyper-connected world, business cards are an important networking tool. They’re convenient, they’re efficient, and they maintain the proper social distance (how weird would it be to whip out your cell phone at a conference and ask that VP of Marketing to input her email and phone number?).
Once you receive a card, what you do with it (and the important information it holds) is critical. When I receive a card from a new contact, I generally stow it in a dedicated holder in my purse until the next time I’m at my computer. Then I either record the contact’s info into my Google Contacts or write a “thank you, nice to meet you” email, in which case his or her email will automatically be saved in my history and I’ll get additional contact info via email signature when he or she responds. After that? I dump the card in the trash.
It’s not a perfect system, but as of yet I haven’t been able to find a better, tech-optimized one. For a time, I tried out LinkedIn’s CardMunch app, but I found it useless to have to utilize two separate contact apps—my iPhone’s native Contacts and an app just for people from whom I had collected a business card. CardMunch was recently shuttered, anyhow.
In its place? A digital solution that may just be the business card pay dirt I’ve been looking for (maybe literally—you never know when and how a new contact could pay dividends!).