Courtesy of modern technology, I’m writing this from 30,000 feet (give or take) in the sky. I’m flying to Phoenix for the Special Libraries Association (SLA) 2017 conference. It’s my first conference (not counting the ones I tagged along on as a child), and thanks in part to saying “yes,” I’ll also be co-presenting a paper.
Earlier this week, I attended my first “mixer,” or drinks-and-appetizer-networking-event, held by my local SLA chapter. I attended because I knew I should, but it turned out to be a lot more fun than I expected. Everyone there was wonderfully welcoming, helpful, and encouraging, and it gave me a confidence boost heading into the conference weekend.
I also exchanged my first business cards! (There’s a lot of firsts this week.) A couple of months ago, I watched a recorded webinar from AIIP. Shelly Azar of Insight Researchers presented “Having a Business AND a Life,” but I would probably title it “I’m the Most Organized Person You’ve Ever Met. Here are My Tips.”
One of her organizational tools is a giant spreadsheet that tracks every business card she’s gotten. Azar saves the cards in boxes (I’m not sure I’ll do that because: space). Each card’s information goes in the spreadsheet, as well as details about the person, how and when they met, and a category for the contact (like potential client, vendor, referral source, or even uncertain and unrelated).
As I embark upon this newest adventure, I thought I would share this strategy with you all. I’ve created a Sheet in Google Drive rather than Excel so that I can access and update it on-the-fly (pun definitely intended) via the app on my phone. I don’t anticipate using the app to enter information most of the time, but it might be nice to have mobile access to the data.
Do you have a business card tracking system? Please share the details in the comments! I’d love to hear what other strategies work.