A PR pro’s guide to organizing contacts

Five easy steps to make sure you never lose another email address or phone number.

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You go to a conference or a networking event, collect a hundred business cards, and then do absolutely nothing with them.

Or you’re organizing an event or looking for a job reference, but you’re not quite sure where that person’s email address went. Wait, you did delete that one email—you can get it back right? Not likely, unless you like digging through the trash.

My advice is to start organizing and managing your contacts today. Here are some helpful tools and tips for doing:

Create your database

There are a number of different programs—including pencil and paper—for creating a database. I prefer Gmail, which has a fantastic messaging and contact management system. To access it, simply click on the “Gmail” text with an arrow down, and you’ll open a little menu I bet you never even knew was there. Click on “Contacts” to open up a list of everyone you’ve email.

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