When you’re working in a business built on contacts and relationships, there is no asset more valuable than your contact database. Not too long ago that list would have lived in a rolodex or physical address book. Now our lists are very fragmented with sections stored on phones, in email accounts, on social media friend lists and so on. How do you ensure it’s all safely backed up? How do you synch it across all your devices? And what tools can make your list management easier? Here are four suggestions:
Create a master list
For most of us details of our contacts are stored in numerous places: phone, multiple email accounts, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, loose business cards etc. Having your contacts spread out amongst a handful of services is a quick route to disorganisation and frustration. It’s time to pour all that data into one bucket. The preferred bucket right now is Google contacts. It can synch with iPhones and Android, it supports CSV files and exports easily, and a host of third-party apps work well with it.
Follow this simple, step-by-step guide for creating a single, comprehensive contact list.
Use the cloud
Though Google Contacts might serve as your contact management system, you don’t have to use it as your primary application, you can take your master contact list and export it anywhere you want. Whatever your application choice, it’s a good idea to save a version of your contact list in the cloud. Try Dropbox. It takes no time to set up and synching and sharing are easy.
Group your contacts by type
The more contacts you have, the more overwhelming it can feel trying to navigate through them. Simplify your life and group them by handy commonalities ie, Friends, Clients, Business Contacts etc.
Discover management tools
Make your contact list work harder for you with a contact management app. Here are three exciting options.
Nimble: Automatically adds photos from social media, tracks the complete history you have with a contact on every channel and offers ‘Stay In Touch’ reminders to help you follow up on leads.
Plaxo: Will unify your contacts in a single address book that’s accessible from anywhere, automatically deletes duplicate contacts and if you integrate with Facebook will populate your list with profile photos.
Tacts: Has an intuitive interface, allows grouping via a single tap, and will track your most utilised contacts to create a Top Contacts list. Also offers in-app services to boost capabilities.
Do you have any other tips for managing your contacts effectively?