I used to know almost fifteen phone numbers off the top of my head – my work, home, cell, parents, sibling, boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, agent,  and my closest girlfriends – both work and home.  Now?  I know five numbers – my home, cell, husband’s cell, parents, and best friend’s home number.  With a smart phone keeping track of all that information for me, why do I need to waste precious brain space on that kind of stuff?  All I have to do is tap and scroll and my call is made.  I could also ask Siri to do it for me, but I get sick of her screwing it up or telling me she doesn’t understand.  She’s like the Amelia Bedelia of technology.

So why, you may wonder, do I still keep a rolodex on my desk that looks like this:

before rolodex

What can I say?  I’m kinda old school when it comes to keeping business cards.  But seriously?  I can’t remember the last time I looked in my rolodex for a number.  I do still carry a physical day planner, and I keep my most used business cards in that – agents, professional contacts, doctors, hairdresser, vet/pet services, accountant, mortgage broker, tailor, and my insurance agent.  But those cards all make sense and get used on a regular basis.

But who were the residents of my rolodex?  I decided to take a closer look.  Here is what I found:

  • I could not put a face to about 50% of the names, nor where I had met them, or why I had their card in the first place
  • Several of the cards, while they did belong to people I actually know, were from businesses that had closed or that individual no longer worked for, or were for service providers I no longer use
  • Some of the cards belonged to people I remembered meeting, but we haven’t stayed in touch, and I would be hard pressed to think of why I might ever need to call them

So I did a purge.  If a card fell into one of the three categories mentioned above, it got tossed.

toss cards

My toss pile. The card on top? From my commercial agency, when they were under a previous name/ownership, probably close to eight years ago. The name on the card is from someone who worked there that I have no recollection of ever meeting. Good thing I saved it, huh?

There are probably close to fifty cards in that pile.  All for people I’ve probably never called.  Now my rolodex looks like this:

final rolodex

As I was going through this process, it did occur to me that if I really wanted to  find lagom in this area, I should probably just toss all the cards AND the rolodex and load everything into my very smart iPhone.  And I still might do that.  However, it does make me a little nervous – what if I lose my phone?

Do you keep business cards, and if so, how do you house them?  If you do it all electronically, do you have it backed up in some way to protect you if your device is broken or stolen?