Rolodex

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rolodex.jpg I noticed this year that we were receiving a lot of requests from Quo Vadis customers for extra address books. We even got a few emails from people asking us to sell address inserts online.

I gave up my address book when I started using a Palm Pilot back in the late ’90s. It worked great–except when I tried to use it in a cold office (it didn’t work) and when I missed replacing the batteries in time. I lost 15 years worth of addresses because I hadn’t backed it up on my computer. (I admit, big mistake.)

After that horror show, I cooled to technology for awhile and went back to saving business cards, addresses written on scraps of paper, and address labels in a hanging file in my desk. After awhile the volume of paper was getting to be too much to shift through. I decided to go back to a staple of my work life years ago – the Rolodex.

The Rolodex was a prized possession. It was more than a network of contacts at your fingertips. It was a storehouse of relationships that spanned years; people you met, worked with, could call on for information, advice, support, referrals. The different pen and pencil colors on the cards measured the years as the numbers and titles changed.

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article on Rolodex affectionatos, most of whom also rely on BlackBerrys and other computer-based address books.

“More than 20 years after the digital revolution that forecasted the paperless office, the “rotary card file”–best known by the market-leading brand name, Rolodex–continues to turn. As millions of social network users display their connectedness on their Facebook pages, a surprising robust group of people maintain their networks on small white cards.”

One thought on “Rolodex

  1. Karen, I love this post but now it’s my turn (pun intended!)

    NOTE!
    Even in “paperless” environments, the business card is alive and well.

    COOL TOOLS!
    Often, business client ask, “So, what are your favorite organizing tools?” Without hesitation, I say the 2 things I couldn’t live without are my calendar (the Minister) and Rolodex. Surprisingly, in 6 years NO ONE has ever been shocked, surprised or disappointed to hear that I’m into paper. No one tries to “convert me.”

    SIT! STAY! GOOD!
    Instead, I’ve single-handedly converted dozens of people to the Rolodex. One of the best things about the Rolodex (especially for ADHD clients) is that it stays put; it can’t be tossed in their car or carried on planes. The result? It remains right there, next to their phone, where they left it. It can’t be lost or forgotten.

    CONNECT!
    Another advantage: a lot of people are *visual* which means when they get a business card they actually look at it, read it and make some sort of connection between the giver and the card.

    SPEED!
    The card can be slid into a sleeve or stapled to a white card. No high tech gymnastics: no scanning, no copying , no writing. Just put it away and if you can’t remember the person’s name, you’ll remember the business card the minute you see it. Try doing that in a PDA when you know 6 different “Kelly’s” but didn’t take the time to type in all necessary text.

    Simplicity at it’s finest; Rolodex, gotta love ’em.

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