Business cards a relatively straightforward to collect, but as the collection grows so does the challenge of easy access cataloging and storing. As any collection grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to remember actually what is in the collection. It becomes even more difficult when one starts trading or swapping.
There are at least three levels of electronic cataloging methods available.
The assumption is made that a manual cataloging system would not be chosen.
The simplest from of cataloging involves the use of a computer spreadsheet. The benefit of spreadsheets are that they can be cheap to acquire, have the flexibility of many columns of data, and have the ability to sort on any column. Microsoft excel is an excellent product, but free-ware spreadsheets are available from Open Office, Sun and Google – each with slightly different features. Choose what information you wish to record and simply enter the data, one row at a time. The challenge with spreadsheets is that eventually the collection may get too large for the spreadsheet to handle.
Another level of sophistication is achieved by using database programs like Microsoft access or its free-ware relatives. The benefits of these database products is that grater volumes of data can be stored, but generally less people know how to carry out basic programming tasks, like setting up the input form and creating the reports.
The third level of sophistication is to purchase a database program with all the features for collectors built in. The benefit of this approach is that there are generally no limits, except the physical storage capacity of your computer. These products are supplied by an ever changing list of suppliers. They can be found by searching the internet. (enter Software for Collectors into your search engine if you are unsure)
There is the challenge of determining what information is to be entered. The content could be quite different for each type of collection and the reason for the collection. Basic information could include, date business card acquired, name on business card, name of company on business card, when the business cards was printed (if known) from whom the business card was acquired. Other information could include a scanned image of the front and back of the business card, contact details on the card, to whom it was sold to or swapped with, etc. There is really no end, but it is important to enter the information for which you will later want to search for.
Grow the collection with pride and enjoy the stories that come with the cards!
Collectors of business cards often collect business card holders as well. For more information on business cards and business card holders go to http://groovyideas.googlepages.com and for quick access to the available products go to http://tinyurl.com/252y93