Sunday, November 1, 2009

Forget the Address Book: Use an Address BOX

address box

Organizers are always learning from their clients, and one of mine introduced me to the idea of using an address box. Hers was a simple file card box, which works just fine. But if you'd like, you can also buy an address box. This one comes from Assembly of Text.


address box

And this address box is sold by Dibor. The box is made from reclaimed wood.


address card file box

Over on Etsy, you can get one of the address card files made by rfrantzdesign.


address file box

And if you want something really different, there are the address boxes from UglyKitty. The address file cards are made from those annoying magazine subscription cards, and other found paper. As the creator says, these boxes are made with "lots and lots of recycled papers."

Related Post:
Not Your Normal Roladex

19 comments:

Claire Josefine said...

Thanks, Jeri! I've kept my phone numbers/addresses in a simple file box for years, but had no idea that people made special, attractive boxes for just this purpose. Using a box was a solution I'd come up with for myself -- it's so easy to plop a business card or scrap of paper into the right spot, along with all the index cards I write up. A very simple system to use and maintain.

Jeff said...

Have you ever heard of a thing called a computer? It is 1,000 x more efficient and reliable than address cards/rolodex cards.

SueBK said...

Jeff, I use a 'puter and keep it sync'ed to my phone so I always have EVERYONE's addresses with me everywhere. BUT, I live with a Luddite. If it's not hard copy he hasn't got a chance. I have two choices, have some sort of printed system or play secretary at home (not my idea of fun).

We used a card system for years because it was very easy to update individual entries; and as Claire says adding business cards and odd bits of paper isn't a problem. I now just print out my address book from the computer. But I'm thinking maybe individual cards would still be a good idea.

Jeri Dansky said...

Jeff, I use a computer for my addresses. It works great for me. But it's just not the right tool for everyone.

If people try to force themselves to use the computer, when it doesn't match their preferred way of organizing this information, you'll just wind up with a bunch of cards and scribbled notes, in no order at all, awaiting that magic day when data entry will somehow take place.

Nancy said...

I also love and am addicted to using the computer for everything including phone numbers and addresses. The problem however is that it takes a couple of minutes to boot up my computer when going through the box would only take a few seconds - what a great idea!

Cynthia Friedlob said...

I'm one of those people with "a bunch of scribbled cards and notes...awaiting that magic day when data entry will somehow take place."

Boxes are so much more attractive than a rolodex and an index card gives much more space to write information. Claire is right about how handy it is to drop in a business card or note.

In fact, I'm going to switch to an address box!

Jeri Dansky said...

Nancy and Cynthia, I'm so glad you like the idea. It was one of those things that seemed so obvious - AFTER someone showed it to me!

And Claire, how nice to know there's another address box fan out there!

Claire said...

For me the problem with a box and paper is that I forget where I filed a certain card. I forget the person's name, or company, or the reason I have the card at all. Electronic filing can be searched more easily, but frankly, I haven't found a good solution to managing people's business cards. Sorry to say, they just stack up till I throw them away.

Cynthia Friedlob said...

A possible solution to the business card dilemma:

If I don't think I'll remember the name of the person or the company, I file them under a category, like plumber or gardener. I have my rolodex (soon to be replaced by a box) set up that way so when I want to call the electrician, I don't have to remember the company name.

I have many more contacts in my online address book, but a "Luddite" solution is often handier -- especially if you don't rely on your cell phone to call everyone. But then, cell phones are another story, aren't they?

Claire said...

Cynthia,
I'm thinking more of cards I get from people socially or networking, people I don't want to forget, but who don't fit neatly into a category. Maybe the category is "Hmmm, could be interesting."

Mtndew22 said...

I use an address box to keep track of all those stupid passwords you need for every single website. File them under the name of the website and it's easy to retrieve your passwords!

Cynthia Friedlob said...

I like the "Hmmm, could be interesting" category, Claire!

Jeri Dansky said...

In her book Conquering Chronic Disorganization, Judith Kolberg mentions file names such as "This May Come Back to Haunt Me" and "Things Clients Bug Me For" and "Why Can't I Find This When I Need It" - all based on what someone muttered when picking up a piece of paper.

Ever since, I've been a fan of unusual file names - if they have meaning to you. There's no reason not to have an address box section called "Hmmm, could be interesting."

lissanne said...

Flashback! I used an address box for years back in the 80's. Nice reminder! Cheers Jeri!

Janet Barclay said...

This is way more practical than an address book - no more erasing or scratching old information, or trying to squeeze one more name on the already full "S" page. Not as portable, but how many people carry their address book around anyway?

rfrantz said...

Thank you for featuring my box in your blog. I get that some people don't think they need paper anymore. I created address files because #1 computers and Blackberry's crash at times. #2 I am an organizer and the products are stylish and functional. I can add any category people need. Best of all, I make different sizes in different stains.

Jeri Dansky said...

Lissanne, what do you do now?

Janet, I carry my "address book" on my iPhone - it's one of the reasons I bought it. But I understand that going digital isn't the right answer for everyone, including many of my clients. And I totally agree with you about the advantages of the box over the book.

Rfrantz, thank you for making such nice products! My iPhone and my Mac don't tend to crash - and I have backups on two external hard drives, just in case. But again - going digital isn't for everyone, so I'm delighted to see such nice paper-based options!

Jenny said...

Nice info. I also keep my names and addresses on paper file. Not all on the computer. I find it quicker to check my address book which I also take with me on holidays. I do not have a lap top and wouldn't take it with me on holiday if I did. I must admit the address boxes look good. I am going to check them out. Jenny.

Jeri Dansky said...

Jenny, an address box would be awkward to take with you on holidays, wouldn't it?