Years ago I kept folders of business cards that I'd occasionally flick through to find someone's contact details.
Now the convenience of smartphones, Outlook and LinkedIn makes the process easier - especially with an associated app called CardMunch.
Simply put, CardMunch digests the information on any business card and puts it into an electronic form.
The key step is using CardMunch to photograph new business cards as you receive them (or any you've got lying around).
Then you submit the card in the app for transcription.
This is an amazingly accurate service and carried out by real people at no cost to you. It's conceivable however that LinkedIn who provide the app may charge for transcription in the future.
Each scanned card serves two purposes - firstly you can electronically search for cards inside the app. Secondly you can add the person as a contact in LinkedIn - something I recommend you do with all your business contacts. Once information is inside LinkedIn it's possible to enable access to it via Outlook or your smartphone.
Just let me warn you - CardMunch is only available for the iPhone and other Apple iOS devices. If you're using another mobile platform you'll find other card scanning apps but probably none that are quite as cool as this one.