Let’s say your spouse or best friend decides to throw you a surprise party…
If they opened up your address book, would they find the current names and contact information for your friends and relatives? Or would you end up with a room full of long forgotten former neighbors and all your friends from Camp Wannamochachino? That’s what I thought. Which means that in an emergency, your spouse or best friend would have absolutely NO chance of locating the names of people they need to contact ASAP. So how about some quick tips on getting your address book in pristine shape quickly and painlessly?
Here are a few simple ways to get your address book organized, backed up, useable and accessible.
1. Hunting Down Those Scraps of Paper
Grab all of those slips of paper, you’ve been keeping, with your friend’s updated phone numbers and emails . And don’t forget the addresses you tore off the Christmas card envelopes & the notes at the bottom of your purse. Now go update your address book!
Do you have more entries than you have space? Then consider keeping only the basic information you need in your main book — like the land line and cell number plus one email address. Then relegate the rest of the numbers and information to one major address list on your computer. That way you have what you need at your fingertips without having to forage through every bit of information, just to find your aunt’s phone number.
2. Keeping It Up To Date
If your book has more cross outs and erasures that it does entries, it might be time to rethink the type of address book you use. Even though it’s a pain to have to change emails, addresses and phone numbers every time your friends or relatives move, one change doesn’t mean you have to toss out the whole book and start over.
Here’s a great solution that actually works. It’s called Circa Address Book from Levenger. In it, each person’s entry is actually a square, perforated information slip. So if someone messes up your book by getting a new phone number, all you have to do is tear out that entry and replace it with a new one, leaving the rest of your book intact. Brilliant!
3. Put That Book In Its Place!
Always keep your address book in the same place, and make sure the place makes sense, like a drawer in the desk where you pay your bills or work on your computer. An address book is no good to you if it’s hiding under your couch!
4. Don’t Keep The Location To Yourself
Once your book is updated, tell your spouse, roommate or if you live alone, mother or best friend, where you keep your address book, in case of emergency.
5. Talk Isn’t Always Cheap
Have a quick conversation with your spouse, best friend or parent about which people you would want them to notify, if you were seriously injured.
To be safe, you can also put a star like this ** or other special mark next to each of those names in your address book, along with a notation at the beginning of your address book, explaining the reason for the stars.
6. Now What Do I Do With It?
Copy or scan your address book once a year (or every six months if your friends move a lot). Save the copy in a different location than your book and a second copy in a secure file at work or in your safe deposit box.
Scanning is even better, so you’ll be able to save your address book to your computer. Save an additional copy onto a portable hard drive or flash drive and place it along with your other vital documents in a safe deposit box. That way you’ll be able to access your contacts in case your home is inaccessible in an emergency.
Want to download these instructions so you can come back to them later? Click Here to download the PDF version.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
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