Where do you store you contact data?

Where do you keep your important phone numbers and addresses? Are they all in one spot? Or, do you have a combination of paper, business cards, your email reader, an old address book and your phone?

Paper Address Book

Let’s say that you need to schedule a tune-up for your car. Do you search Google for your favorite car repair place? Do you have to rummage through a stack of business cards? Sticky-notes on your monitor? Imagine instead having one place where every bit of contact data that you use regularly is stored together. Need to make an appointment with your tax accountant? It’s right there. Do you have a niece who keeps moving, and you have to continually update her address? Bingo.

So, what is the best place to keep them? Well, one of my favorite organizing rules applies here; try to store it where you use it the most. If you sit by your computer when you make phone calls, or if you use your computer to track addresses and maybe print labels, then your computer is your best storage place. If you need your contact data when you’re out-and-about, then your smart phone will be your best friend. This is something you will need to determine for yourself, I won’t say that there is one good solution for everyone. If you use both devices, then you will want to sync your data between the two, but I am not a tech expert, so I won’t be advising you on how to do that. I will say, however, that spending the time to enter your information will be worth the trouble in the long run.

I will admit that I still have an old-fashioned paper address book. But, I am in the process of getting rid of it. I started by tossing all of the loose papers that I did not need. Yesterday, I spent about an hour entering a bunch of data into my contacts database. If you’re curious, I will say that I use Access, mostly because I already have it on my computer, but that doesn’t mean it’s best for everyone.

Naturally, this is a project that is hard to move to the top of your priority list. Partly because information is not bulky clutter; it’s easy to put your scraps and address book into a desk drawer with the intention of doing it later. Perhaps this will motivate you to at least start the process by purging what you don’t need. Another day, you can work on entering the information – small steps, as I always say.

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