If you've ever struggled to send out thank you cards or your seasonal greeting cards, you know the importance of an up-to-date address book. If you could count up all the minutes and hours you've spent over the years looking up addresses, you would probably find that it would add up to a sizable amount of time. Eliminate stress and wasted time from your life by taking the time to create a truly useful and up-to-date address book.
Organizing a Paper-Based Address Book
If you currently have a pile of papers, envelopes and sticky notes instead of an organized address book, it is time to take action. Start by purchasing a new address book, even if you already have one. These come in a variety of different styles, so take a close look at them in the store before purchasing one so that you are sure it meets your specific needs.
If you have an existing address book, go through it carefully, crossing out any irrelevant names or information that you no longer need. If some of the information is incorrect or outdated, take the time to look up the most recent information in the telephone book or online. Gather up any scraps of paper that you've scribbled names, addresses and phone number on, and verify this information as well.
Then, transcribe all this information into your new address book, taking care to enter it in a way that makes the most sense to you personally. For example, consider listing all of your babysitters under "B" instead of entering them individually by their last names. Some address books even have pages that are designed for jobs and functions instead of just last names, which can be quite handy.
Be sure to enter the names of businesses, schools or organizations that you contact frequently as well. If you have membership numbers, card numbers or other relevant information that you have trouble remembering, you can also enter this in your address book. Once you have transcribed every name and number, throw away your old address book along with your collection of paper scraps, shredding if necessary for the sake of personal security.
You'll immediately feel more organized. The next time you need to address an envelope or make a phone call, you'll be glad you took the time to create a functional address book. Of course, always remember to keep your address book in a secure location.
Organizing Your E-mail Address Book
It's equally important to organize your online e-mail address books, especially if you have multiple contact lists for multiple e-mail addresses. Look through e-mails that you have sent or received frequently, using "copy and paste" to enter the e-mail address and other contact information into your e-mail address book. If you’re not sure if some of the addresses are still current, send a short e-mail just to say hi. If your e-mail bounces back or if you don't get a reply, then call the person to obtain an updated address. Some e-mail programs have features that will allow you to import an address book from another program, which can save you a lot of time.
Photo By BLW Photography