Giveaway: NEAT and Highrise Help You Organize Your Business Cards
Every time I go to a business event, I gather business cards. It's a great way of remembering all of the fabulous people I come into contact with. The only downside is when I a) forget to take notes on them and b) leave them sitting in a pile on my desk so that by the time I get around to going through them, I have no idea who is who and works for what account. Can you relate?
Gratefully, we no longer live in the Rolodex era, but business card overwhelm exists nonetheless.
To overcome this, I follow a simple process that has made all the difference for my business.
3 Steps to Organizing Your Business Card Information
If you're like me and could use a little organizational help in this area, check out these tips for getting the most out of your business cards. And note, if you still have trouble, hire someone! Depending on the amount of business cards you have, you're probably talking no more than 10 hours to get your data entered and your database up to date.
1. Buy the NEATDesk. I've tried other scanning systems, but NEAT is the best. It comes in both a desktop version and a mobile version for both MAC and PC. Even though I travel a lot and think the mobile version would come in handy, I like NEATDesk the best, because it allows you to scan receipts, full-sized documents, including contracts, as well as business cards. Benefits? It scans, takes a picture of both sides of the business card at once, and uploads the image to an online file while at the same time extracting the information on the card into categories such as: Company, Name, Title, Phone Number, Website, and more. You can immediately toss the business cards, relying on the online storage now available to you in seconds.
Note: This organizational tool will save your life. Instead of having to enter every character by hand into a spreadsheet, it scans it for you. However, I highly suggest you double check all entries to ensure it entered the data in the right places and caught all of the copy (some people get very clever with their cards, making it difficult for scanners to accurately read the data).
2. Save your business cards from each event to a separate file. This year I attended the evo Conference. There, I collected lots of business cards. After the event, I scanned the cards and put them into a file named "evo Conference." Later, I attended the BlogHer conference and did the same, creating a file called "BlogHer." Having clearly named files helps me quickly refer to business cards I got from different events.
3. Subscribe to a customer management system. We like to use HighRise and are thrilled that NEAT and HighRise work well together. Once we have exported our cards to a CSV file, we import them into HighRise, where they go directly into our contacts. We double check against the spreadsheet to ensure that everything made it over in the categories we had identified and have found that we've had to do little clean up on the back end, which is nice. The benefits of a system like HighRise? Once you have your contact list created, you can:
- Access contacts on your smart phone.
- Keep track of all of your important communication with them. My favorite part is that it assigns a unique email address tied to your account for each case you create. When you send important emails, you can BCC your unique email address and the email will be sent to your case and archived in your HighRise account. That way, when you research cases or contacts, you'll easily see your communication thread for them.
- Access the information from any computer with your account information.
- Tag contacts to easily search for them and find them according to the criteria you set. For example, say you want to research your blogging friends in St. Louis? You can tag your contacts with "St. Louis Bloggers." Then, all you have to do is perform a search using that tag and you'll quickly pull up a list with everyone's name.
- Assign contacts to tasks, cases, proposals, and deals.
- Get or send task reminders via SMS.
Giveaway Prize and Entry Requirements
Because this process has made all the difference in helping me to be better organized in my business, I asked the fine folks at NEAT if they would consider giving away a NEATDesk to you! They were thrilled and upon meeting the requirements listed below, one lucky winner will receive a NEATDesk (ARV: $399.95):
- RT @MomItForward Organize your business cards w/ @NEATCompany. Enter 4 a chance 2 win a #NEATDesk (ARV: $399.95) http://bit.ly/qv2PI6 PLS RT
The Fine Print
Winners will be selected randomly through http://random.org. No purchase necessary to enter. Giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. ET Wednesday, October 12. See all terms and conditions here. This giveaway is available to U.S. residents only.