I’m on a quest to find a Social CRM to help me keep my people information at my fingertips.
Here’s how I currently try to track everything:
Address Book (2,000+ entries)
My address book is an extension of my brian. I’ve been using it for keeping track of people I’ve met for years now. It’s currently a Microsoft Exchange address book that I access from Apple Address Book, BlackBerry, and sometimes Outlook. For every person I add, I go into “digital stalker” mode and dig for information about them from their online accounts, contact info, family, pets, twitter accounts, blogs, etc. I also add notes on where I met them — because I know I’ll ultimately forget.
Evernote (8,000+ notes)
I take notes. Notes on meetings, phone calls, ideas, etc. I’ve accumulated over 8,000 notes over the years that I track in Evernote. I even email voicemails into my Evernote to archive.
It’s a great platform and I love that my notes sync to their servers — there’ve been a few times now where laptop failures have required me to rebuild my system. Each time I’ve only had to install Evernote, log in to my account, and it automatically downloaded all my notes. Well worth the small monthly subscription.
GMail (5+ GB work, 5+ GB personal)
I’m a bit of digital communications packrat, GMail has become a close friend over the years. I archive all my mail there (since 2004). I can quickly search to find emails by topic or person. You’d be amazed how much it comes in handy.
In my ideal solution, I’d no longer have to go to multiple sources to find my data. I can’t exactly pull out my laptop, connect to wifi, and lookup notes from all these sources when I encounter someone I know at an event. I want to be able to do the following from my computer, and preferably my BlackBerry (sorry, no iPhone, AT&T’s network doesn’t cover where I live), in order of priority:
- Immediate and easy access to my contact information and core information about each
- Quick access to their most recent contributions online, making a distinction between things they publish and those they just shared/liked/favorited
- Quick access to my communication history with each contact, across all mediums like email, twitter, phone call notes, FaceBook, LinkedIn, etc.
- The ability to quickly tag when I’ve seen people (esp. at an event) and add notes about our conversation
- Mine my data to find more connections *among* the people I know
- Distinguish between my “work”, “personal projects”, “friends/family” connections — assuming some may overlap.
- Be able to share contacts/groups of contacts with others in my account.
- Possibly share a subset of my information with a work CRM like SalesForce.
I am one person managing my connections, but some are work professional, some are personal professional, and some are just good friends. Having to switch systems for each category kills the productivity. At some point I may want to share some of this data with others – or maybe a CRM like SalesForce, but I’m looking for something that will help me to really manage my personal/professional connections, for me. Isn’t the social web, in part, all about the blending of personal/professional?
Is my dream social CRM already out there just waiting to ask me to to the Sadie Hawkins dance?