When I graduated from college in 1984 with a degree in Journalism/Public Relations, I was hungry to take any job where I could do some PR. I had to find something quickly because my husband Tod still had one year left before he graduated. (Yes, I did marry in college and it was amazing how my grades shot up my senior year once I wasn't staying up until midnight every night talking to my boyfriend.)
So when I heard about a job working for a land developer I wasn't too picky about the details. They wanted someone who could do the PR stuff (newsletters, press released, special events) but also answer the phones and do some secretarial stuff until they grew large enough to hire a receptionist.
I was just happy to be doing PR. Pretty soon I learned it was hard to be creative when answering the phone and getting coffee, but that's another story.
Since I wasn't trained as a secretary, I had a lot to learn fast. And one thing I learned was to save every phone number I was asked to track down. When my boss asked me to contact a city councilman, I tucked that phone number away for future reference. When I didn't save the number, she inevitably would ask for it again six months later, and then I went on another treck to find it. Talk about wasted time!
I eventually left that position and got one in full-time public relations, but carried that practice with me.
For years I was reluctant to save every phone number at home because I didn't want to put in my "good" address book. Then I bought a cheap address book for numbers I didn't think I'd need forever - like a coach's cell phone number. But it bothered me how messy it got when I'd erase numbers.
Then I discovered Rolodex. This company has been around for years, and is definitely not trendy. But this little office accessory is my best friend! For years I had a small one, but it didn't hold business cards very well. I just upgraded earlier this year to one with slits in the bottom of the inserts to hold business cards.
This wasn't available at Target or Walmart, so I had to go to an office store to find it. Plus, it wasn't cheap. Mine cost around $30, but it holds around 500 cards.
I don't worry about erasing phone numbers, I just throw the card away. I have a great place to save business cards, plus I use it for low-level security user names and passwords.
Capturing phone numbers eliminates little pieces of paper spread around the office or house, so it's a great clutter-free tip. Plus it increases my productivy and is a great time-management tool.