I keep running into this dilemma...I have a database setup for all my customers and dealers that I use to keep things updated and for taking notes. I have appointments blocked on my calendar for dealing with those two databases. This works great in that I look at the appointment and then open the database and begin following up on contacts by using a filter to find contacts I have flagged.
This doesn't work in that none of my sales data makes it into my GTD system. Occasionally, I will add an entry or two under calls/email in my GTD system (outlook/palm).
When I do have that odd window of time, I check my GTD lists. The problem is that I maybe have 5-6 customer calls I could also make at those times but they are listed in a database and not on my task list. I don't know how to integrate the two without having to make a double entry. Buying more software at this point is out of the question as we are focused on building inventory before the next several trade shows. What I have at the moment works, it's just not quite what I want. Any suggestions?
Can your customer database create and export a report of the contacts you've flagged? If so, you're set. Run that report as part of your weekly (or daily, as appropriate) review. Import it into Outlook, either as individual tasks or as a memo. Take notes directly in Outlook, which you can then copy and paste back into your database when you have time.
That's a good suggestion and one tha tI will try. I can export anything I want from my database (Smartlist to go) on either the palm or PC side so that would work for my next actions.
The other problem I run into a lot is this: I'm out on a demo somewhere and a customer calls. In order to 'get up to speed' on the situation I need to pull up their history notes quickly. With smartlist to go I can't always do that quickly if another database is open. I don't like that awkward silence while I navigate to the proper database and record in order to proceed with the conversation. I *think* it would be so much easier to navigate to a contact in my addressbook using the hardbuttons on my T3 and just pull up the notes there. My notes are not overly extensive and I think the note field would be adequate. I could pull up customer info without ever removing the stylus.
The downside to this is that I can't use the addressbook or outlook contacts to filter on certain criteria. I use a lot of checkbox and date fields ion my database to track when I have sent out promos or price packets to different people.
I can link smartlist records to the outlook contacts, but if I need to update a smartlist contact then I have to update outlook or palm addressbook and resync. I hate switching apps - it's kludgy at best.
Anyway, I have yet to find a solution that works on both the palm and the PC. Even Smartlist to Go has limitations on the PC side and some functions only work on the handheld side. I need BOTH to work equally.
I will consider the above suggestion and try to work it into my current setup. At least my GTD list will be completely in one app at that point.