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  • Good System on Contacts Management?

    Is there a Contacts Management to organize our Contacts lists? Everyday we meet people and receive many information such as name, phone number ,email address and the like. However, we tend to forget the name of the people when we want to have a call to him, or manage to memorize someone's information only to find we never contact him, or stay away from one too long to feel comfortable to contact him and so on.

    How about a Contacts Management that tells us how to organize and review the list in a efficient and organized way, just as GTD system. BTW, I don't mean the system to tell us how to live, meet people ,make friends, be friendly these kinds of strategy, I just want a system to organize my contact list clean and clear, to provide strong base of high level make-friend action.

    Someone can provide a tip, an idea, a book , or even an already built system? Thanks!

  • #2
    Project: Maintain Relevance of my Contact List
    Next Action (@Computer): Add Review of Contact List to Weekly Review MindMap

    Comment


    • #3
      You can create a simple spreadsheet in Excel, with one line per contact and one column for each type of information (first name, last name, company, phone numbers, address components, etc.). There is also a commercial program called ACT! that keeps contact information and allows you to do certain tasks with your contacts, but I haven't used it in a long time.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by GTDinExcel View Post
        You can create a simple spreadsheet in Excel, with one line per contact and one column for each type of information (first name, last name, company, phone numbers, address components, etc.). There is also a commercial program called ACT! that keeps contact information and allows you to do certain tasks with your contacts, but I haven't used it in a long time.
        Thanks! But I don't have a palm-computer or a powerful phone. I'd rather take all this information in notebook. Wondering how to manage the list without software's help.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by GTDWorks View Post
          Project: Maintain Relevance of my Contact List
          Next Action (@Computer): Add Review of Contact List to Weekly Review MindMap
          What if the list contains several hundred line of information? Seems impossible to read through it at one time. If part of it at a time, what's the tactic, how to read it in efficiency and compatible with our real life? It is really very useful if we grasp a system on it, just as smart as the GTD system.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Kuntakimp View Post
            Wondering how to manage the list without software's help.
            Look at the notebooks with removable pages. Circa is one that is mentioned a lot but any removable page notebook will do. Add a set of alphabet guides and then set up the action to check say the A-G names one day, the H-N and so on or whatever grouping makes sense to you.

            Updates are easier if each person is on a separate page so you can delete, edit or move them as you see fit.

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            • #7
              Here is my newly built prime CM system, will be appreciated if you comment on it:

              1.Collect:

              Put 100% new contacts information out of your brain in a trusted system as same as in GTD, which including several buckets.

              2.Process:
              If the person is whom you will greet within next 2 months, his contact information will fall into Frequently Review Category(FRC); otherwise into Non-Frequently Review Category(NFRC). greeting means any kinds of contaction such as face-to-face greeting, online chating or blog reading and so on. FRC needs to be reviewed at frequency that enable you to pop up one's name in mind immediately if he suddenly appears in front of you.When reviewing you should additionally reassess whether one should be transfer to the other category because you realize from that on you will not meet him within next 2 months. NFRC still need to be reviewed, but with much lower frequency,in a degree that when some project(the same definition as in GTD) happens,you cab realize there is a relative man's contact information in NFRC while reviewing the frequently review category.

              Any line of contact information(one line one person) must contain the context of your meeting at two situations: 1.the contact information is at first time put into the trusted system; the contact information is transferred from FRC to NFRC,or vice versa. So when some one falls into NFRC and stays there long when he is to be transferred back to FRC, you know what the context of your last meeting is. It will give enough information to make a comfortable greeting with him next time, if it does happens.


              There is a third category:Project Relavence Category(PRC). In fact, this CMS is kinds of built into GTD system. There is a project list in GTD, when some serious project, ususally including people, such as discuss a plan of the building project, go group camping in Mountain X, or the like. Each project including many contacts information,even they overlap with the other two category, but I think we still need this category, so as to give a strutured contacts information, when it is more meaning ful, more compatible with real life, our consentation won't waste.

              3.Review
              Reviewing including memorizing and category trasffering.

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              • #8
                Kuntakimp,
                Have you thought of using index cards, the little ones or the bigger ones?

                You could use little boxes, or alphabetically sorted accordion folders, and when you wanted to memorize a few -- you could just grab a bunch and wrap them in a rubber band (or use a metal ring, or a big clip, to keep them together) and practice learning them the next time you're being idle some place.

                Now I know you don't like a software solution, but if your desktop still has a phone modem (most don't these days, but I'm sure you could find an old one), with Access and/or with some special software, you can make it so that anytime your phone rings (assuming your phone service gives you caller id), your computer automatically pops up a form with the name and the most current information regarding the person that's calling you.

                And also, the reverse could be done. To ensure that you don't forget toenter information on every person you speak to, you could stop dialing numbers from the phone itself, but instead click the button next to the name you have in your contact management database, and the software would not only be able to dial the number, but also record things like the duration of the call, number of times called, etc.

                - Chariot

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chariot View Post
                  Kuntakimp,
                  Have you thought of using index cards, the little ones or the bigger ones?
                  Love this idea!

                  I use a spreadsheet myself, but this index card idea strikes me as an excellent solution.

                  Comment

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