Tag Archives | contact management

Contact management advice from the experts

I was recently honoured to be asked by Brad Patterson to contribute to an article over at evercontact. Contact management can sound like a trivial issue but nowadays when people are juggling contacts in email, CRM systems, LinkedIn, social media and even (believe it or not) on paper leveraging the value of your contacts is critical. Even more so when you are in a customer-facing role.

At Evercontact we’re all about helping you improving your contact management by automating the data input process thus ensuring you always have the RIGHT contact info when you need it. From there, what you do with that data is an art in and of itself, and for that reason, I decided to reach out to some of our power-users and others in the community so that they could share their strategies, tips and hacks on how they optimize their interactions within their community.

Click –> here <– to read the full article.

Comments { 1 }

Using Evernote for contact management

card file

Before Evernote

Computer, tablet or smartphone users have many ways of storing their contacts. There’s usually a default contact manager, which can suck in contacts from your email system, social media, a CRM system, etc. You can search all of those systems independently to find the contacts that you need. But often storing and retrieving contact data is not a problem the real issue is entering that data in the first place, and the productivity hit that it causes.

The systems that I’ve described are great at capturing standardised data, such as the address from someone who emails you. But often the information that you receive isn’t in a standard format, it could be from a…

  • Web page, or online press release
  • Business card or other printed material
  • email sig
  • Conversation over the phone or at a networking event
  • LinkedIn profile
  • Other social media profiles such as Twitter or facebook

To use this freeform data you have to get it into a system, but manual entry is slow and painful; and we all know how busy sales and small business people are. Furthermore after you’ve taken the time to enter it into your system, will you ever need it again? This explains why many sales people detest using a CRM system, it turns them into data-entry clerks. I understand this well, over the years I’ve been obsessive about entering contacts into my database only to look at them now and wonder how I ever knew some of them.

This is where Evernote can be invaluable. Evernote provides multiple methods to quickly capture information and make it searchable. So let’s go through the examples above and consider how we get the contact data into our system. But firstly a bit of preparation is in order. I suggest you set up a “contacts” tag in Evernote, or even a “contacts” notebook to hold your contact data…

  • Web pages or online press releases. There are a couple of ways to capture contact data here:
    • Firstly using the Evernote web clipper. This is the browser add-in that lets you capture whole web pages, articles, a selection or just the url from within your browser of choice. The clip initially goes to your online Evernote account where it can be viewed immediately. If you’re using the Evernote app running on your Mac, PC or smartphone the data will be available there after your next sync.
    • The second way to capture data from a web page, or for that matter any document on screen, is using the Helper app that sits in the Taskbar on a Windows machine and the Menubar on a Mac. However this has an extra feature. It also lets you select a rectangle on screen and capture that as an image. This allows you to capture contact data when the web page is complex and trying to select the text is difficult. Although this is an image, Evernote’s optical character recognition (OCR) capability means that it is still searchable.
  • Business card and other printed or even handwritten material.
    • A scanner can be used to capture physical data. These vary from specialised business card scanners to desktop scanners or combined printer/scanners. Some scanners integrate directly with Evernote.
    • But by far the easiest way to do this is with your smartphone. Smartphones have great cameras nowadays and the ability to run an Evernote app. You can take a photo directly from the Evernote app on Android which will, of course, sync with your web and desktop apps.
  • email sig. Often someone’s email sig will contain all of their contact details such as job title, landline, mobile, Skype address, Twitter username, and even the name of their assistant. Fortunately we can send emails directly into Evernote using the custom email address that is provided for each user. So if you want to capture someone’s sig just forward the email into Evernote. If you don’t want all of the email text you can delete it just leaving the email address and sig when you forward it, or do it in Evernote. When forwarding it you can add #contacts or @contacts to the subject to either have Evernote automatically tag it with “contacts” or add it to your “contacts” notebook.
  • Conversation over the phone or face-to-face. What a low tech way to communicate! But still there are options…
    • Jot the contact details down on paper and later scan it into Evernote using your phone.
    • Create a new note using your smartphone Evernote app and type in the data.
    • The Evernote mobile apps on Android and iPhone let you record audio directly into a note. So you can dictate the contact details and listen later on phone or Mac/PC and transcribe the note.
  • LinkedIn profile. This is a web page so can be captured simply using the web clipper or Helper app. You may wish to clip all of their information (career history, education, industry bodies, etc) or just keep it short and sweet and clip only their contact details.
  • Other social media profiles such as Twitter or facebook. Well once again, these can be viewed as web pages so content including contact data can be clipped using the helper app or the web clipper. For instance the web clipper, when set to clip “article” will neatly capture someone’s Twitter profile.
Screenshot of LinkedIn data clipped to Evernote

Clipped from LinkedIn

So there you have it, a whole bunch of ways in which you can capture rich contact data into Evernote. Evernote’s powerful search capabilities mean that finding a contact is then easy, but how we organise those contacts and use them, for instance when prospecting, we’ll cover another day.

Comments { 7 }