5 WAYS OF HOW TO KEEP TRACK OF NETWORK
With a good system, you can have at your fingertips contact names and information that your might otherwise forget. You can now maximize your network’s effectiveness if you organise your list of contacts.
That way you can keep a track of whom you’ve contacted and when.
You may have handled a fair number of business cards by now, since they are an essential tool of networking.
- At the most rudimentary level, you could simply alphabetize the cards you collect and wrap a rubber band around them.
- The next step might be file box especially made for business cards.
- Next, you can buy a Rolodex-type file for business cards.
- You can also buy a business card binder, if you like to organize your cards that way. It fits nicely into a purse.
A Rolodex or rotary file is the preferred method of many networkers, given that you won’t always obtain a business card from every contact.
- Information about each person can be written or typed onto the cards.
- For those contacts who do give you their business cards, you can staple the cards to the Rolodex cards.
If you desire a system that is as low-tech as a business card or Rolodex system but that has more space to record information about each contact, you might use file cards.
- File cards typically come in 3-X-5-inch, 4-X-6-inch & 5-X-8-inch sizes, ruled or unruled and in many colours.
- File boxes are also available for the cards.
Those who prefer a more high-tech system may want to organize their contacts in a spreadsheet program.
- Lotus1-2-3 or Microsoft Excel could have columns for each contact’s name, address, phone numbers, where you met the contact or who referred you, the date you met, your follow up communications & comments.
You might instead also prefer a database program such as Microsoft Access, Paradox, FileMaker Pro or Visual ForPro, which enables you to sort your contacts based on any field of information and to address envelopes or labels if you want to send your mailings to a large number of contacts.
No matter how you choose to record your contacts, you may choose to organize them alphabetically, by the date you met them, by the date of last contact, by city or geographical region, by industry or job type, or by degree of importance.
- Many types of indexes are available for both binder and card systems.
You can also check our blog on 15 Contacts Who Can Give You Access To Your Closest Opportunity for more networking tips.