Ask a manager has a recent post up regarding business cards, and the discussion reminded me of my own business cards.
I have always received business cards in giant packs of 500 or so. And I've been known to use that many cards. I treat them just like I treat headache pills
and feminine products: you never know when they'll come in handy, and
they're easy to add, so I have a few tucked into my field bag, my purse,
my laptop bag, the center console in my car...
I use business cards for everything. Meet a new subcontractor manager, regulator, or other stakeholder in the field? Hand them a card. Have a site visitor? Giving them a card is a good way to prompt them to hand over theirs, so you have their contact info. Start a new logbook? Tape in a business card in case it's lost (or you forgot your fax number and someone important wants to know). Need to coordinate/get something from a local resident, business, or municipal office? Drop off a card. Meet someone at a conference? Exchange cards. Have a brilliant idea for a blog post or remember some critical task to add to the to-do list and don't have something to write on? Instant, back pocket-sized scratch paper.
Two things I don't have on my business cards: a photo of me, and my cell phone number. The first is just not used in the environmental biz, and the second is only given out (scribbled on the back of the card) to people who may actually need it to contact me in the field. Vendors, miscellaneous people who want to know what I'm doing, and random conference attendees just get the business card sans cell phone.
Now all I need are cards that stay looking nice after they've spent an extended period in the bottom of my bag or been dropped in a puddle, or have been shuffled through with my grubby hands prior to handing them off...