A Personal CRM for maintaining communication

I remembered as a kid growing up my folks had a light brown A3 notebook that they kept near the home telephone. And, as I vaguely recall my memory I remembered skimming through the pages to find a whole host of names with their telephone numbers beside it. When I questioned my folks, they stated that it was a contact list of their friends and people they liked to stay in touch with. Fast forward, I found myself in a similar position of fabricating a cloud-based CRM (contact relationship management), a method of maintaining communication with my network of friends and acquaintances.

Why do I want to design a Personal CRM?

While thinking about this, I reflected on whether using social media as an alternative. But, I wasn’t convinced since Facebook, to which I have been disconnected with for the longest time didn’t provide any meaningful value. Instagram doesn’t build on any real connections. Twitter, I am still trying to figure out, but it doesn’t fulfil what I truly want to achieve with the Personal CRM.

Hence, the purpose of the Personal CRM was to focus on the following three things:

  1. To grab a cup of coffee with any of the potential contacts that are visiting the city. 
  2. Staying connected with people I share similar interests – to build a better rapport. 
  3. Keeping track of the people I meet.

Coming across the following articles written by Khe Ry and Nat Eliason, provided the groundwork on how to establish a CRM system. Taking into account, the methods these guys proposed – I decided to use Notion to create a cloud-based CRM system that I can update as I went along. Now, an excellent thing about Notion – it has a default template on a ‘Personal CRM’. The template eluded on a few attributes that I have included in the revised version as highlighted in Figure 2.

Figure 1: Default Notion template

So, while updating the fields, I included the following:

  • How I met that person for the first time? This eliminates the initial awkward question ‘do you remember that time how we met?’
  • Interest – to narrow down the contacts with their particular interests. The reason for this in the possibility of catching up – it would be in my control to organise something that we both could enjoy.
  • Location – if the contact is in the same town and city – it allows me to meet with that person.
  • Personal Contact – I included this field for family and close friends. It’s an excellent way to keep in touch with those distant cousins.
Figure 2: Personal CRM

By positioning myself to build my own ‘digital book of contacts’ and having a visible status that would automate a reminder whenever I need to reach out – I can make the necessary effort and not rely on a chance meeting. Overall, this is an initial draft template that would see a whole lot of changes as ‘my contact list’ expands. If you guys decide to pursue your personal CRM, I recommend checking out the posts from Khe Hy and Nat Eliason.

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I am a writer and a graduate engineer working in Leicester, UK.

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