Is It OK To....Put Contacts In A Spreadsheet?

What's the best system to organize your contacts?

Is It OK To....Put Contacts In A Spreadsheet?

Hi Kelly:

Do you have a good way of organizing your contacts so that you can also add notes on how you met them and what you talked about. Something like an excel spreadsheet that allows you to see all the information at a glance instead of scrolling through different fields?


Seeking Organizational Calm

Dear Seeking -

Excellent question. And no, I personally don't have a system that I can hand over with full assurance that it will work (perfectly) for you. Here's the thing, you may want to add notes on when you met and what you talked about...and someone else may prioritize birthdays or kids' names or the number of interesting touch points are endless.

However, have no fear, I have suggestions in finding an organizational method that works for YOU:

You mentioned Excel. If you are an Excel person, terrific! create your contact organization system on Excel.

I am not an Excel person - so it is not an organizational tool I would choose or default to (that's the point, you need a tool YOU will use). It's fine for me to toss out a "just use this to solve your problems" answer, but if you hate the "this" I recommend, it will sit there languishing like a gym membership in February.

On tools, one friend loves Notion and sets up Notion boards for all of their projects - including contacts for professional growth and business development. Another friend created Uphabit (a personal CRM for business) and has done the work of setting up fields along with a reminder system for you. Another connection is a dedicated, as in all-in on LinkedIn user (yes, the platform has features beyond posting, joining groups and sending inMail).

So starting point, consider what tool you will use routinely (how, when and where) as that is the important thing. It is great to drop info on a connection into a spreadsheet (or whatever) but that's a blackhole unless you carve out time to routine review, investigate, follow-up and yes, update it (and consider what device you will be using to access the info...).

Figure out how much time you will spend nurturing and maintaining the contacts you've assembled into your contact organization tool. Will you spend 15 minutes a day or an hour every weekend or schedule a monthly time slot? The choice is yours. But whatever tool you select, be sure to make a date in your calendar for your contacts, then keep it.



p.s. I answer networking questions (for free) here - and you can ask me any networking questions you like, by booking a networking power hour with me.

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