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Contacts, Agendas or Next Actions

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  • Contacts, Agendas or Next Actions

    I am a manager in a medium sized IT consulting firm. I have to manage and maintain contact with dozens of clients, 6 direct reports, 80+ employees as well as half dozen peers and office support folks.

    Using the @agenda context to store NA's works for some but not for others. How are others managing this number of contacts. For some I want to have regular follow up or contact with. I could see where these could be "ticklers" or reminders on my calendar. Others may be less regular but I want to make sure nothing is slipping through the cracks.

    I know ACT! is a more powerful contact manager but I would prefer to keep it all in Outlook and Palm.

    Dave

  • #2
    Re: Contacts, Agendas or Next Actions

    Originally posted by ddewees

    Using the @agenda context to store NA's works for some but not for others. How are others managing this number of contacts. For some I want to have regular follow up or contact with. I could see where these could be "ticklers" or reminders on my calendar. Others may be less regular but I want to make sure nothing is slipping through the cracks.
    Hello...

    I think I would approach this as: What do I need to see, when, and how? All the ideas are great here, the only addition I would make is that whatever you use to collect and organize the “Things to talk about,” be processed sooner than later. Because of the life that some people lead, it's imperative that they consciously decide where they're going to collect "potential" work.

    Clients I have worked with carry 3X5 note cards in their pockets, a note pad in their purse, one even uses an "auto-dial" on her phone to "leave a voice mail at the office" when she's out on client visits. Remember, capturing what to tell someone, and then actually having that to tell then when you see them is the beauty of this system.

    For many years, I have looked at my @agendas list more as a concept, more than a place. Things land there that I may, or may not, have to do something about. The separation of idea to action comes when I ask the question about every piece of paper, voice mail, idea, or meeting agenda:

    "What's my next action?"

    I did work with a senior investment banker in London who had 20+ direct reports. He had a paper based system, and he had 20+ tabs in his binder. Each tab was an employee. Essentially, any tie he wanted to add something to their list, he flipped to their “page.” He said this was great because not only did he have the current items to discuss, he had an entire archive of EVERYthing they’d talked about that quarter.

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    • #3
      The way I manage regular contact with specific people is to set up repeating to-dos in Life Balance (the frequency of the repeat is of course tunable -- I do have one daily reminder, and a couple of six-month reminders) telling me "Call so-and-so". It's not terribly complicated, and I'm not managing the number of people you've got, but it gets my job done, and perhaps you can build on that.

      I've used @Agendas in the past, but mine is empty right now. I'm more likely to put the item into an immediate call or email message than to store it for later. Also, the ease of the Find command in Life Balance makes it easy for me to find a particular person's name wherever it may occur in all of my next action & project lists, so I rely on that as well.

      Hope that helps,

      Ambar
      http://ambarconsulting.com/

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