Technology is constantly changing the way attorneys run their practices. Products like the ScanSnap and Dropbox have allowed firms to ditch paper and run paperless law offices. Smartphones allow attorneys to operate mobile law offices.

One thing that has not changed is business cards—there is no electronic substitute. If you find yourself with a stack of business cards, use your scanner to keep track of them.

Scanning means less mess

I’m sure there are still attorneys who use a Rolodex to keep track of business cards. I am also guessing those people still feel that dictation is good use of time and money.

One of the best things about maintaining a paperless office is the reduced clutter. No stacks of files, no file cabinets, etc. Same thing with business cards. Sticking them in a drawer is relatively useless. Chances are, three months from now you will grab a stack and just throw them away.

If you scan business cards, there is no clutter. There is no panic when you need to find that one guy’s card—that guy you met at the thing that one time. Creating a digital copy makes it easier to track your contacts.

Use a system that works for you

One of the easiest ways to track and remember references is to write on the back of cards—when you met them, how you know them, etc.

If you scan them, you can even organize your contacts into different folders. For example, if you practice family law, create a folder for family law attorneys.

Maybe you want to create a folder for people you want to have lunch with in the near future. Or even create a folder for people you would prefer to not have lunch with.

Either way, create a system that works for you. Business cards are an integral part of networking, be sure to do more than stick them in a drawer.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/matthew_solle/3774586500)