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hen you feel like you're being overwhelmed by an avalanche of disorganized contacts, it leads to stress. Short-term stress is even good for our brains. But according to Ph.D. and author of the book «7 1/2 Lessons about the Brain» Lisa Feldman, chronic stress gradually destroys our brains. How do we get out from under the avalanche? Here's where David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) system comes in.
How would be GTD principles to help with managing contacts
You probably already know and use the GTD system for time management, or at least you've heard of this methodology. The book of the same name was first published in 2001 and sold over 1,6 million copies in 20+ years. Since then, David Allen has been the constant guru of personal effectiveness for thousands of people.
Let us briefly remind you of the five essential GTD principles:
- keep your head empty and free;
- do not complicate the systematization and recording of tasks;
- do not create problems from the jobs, think about their solutions;
- say no to multitasking;
- make a list of steps.
These principles work excellent not only for task management, but also for organizing contacts.
Five steps on how to get rid of the contacts mess with GTD
Putting all your connections in a stack and storing them in folders or notebooks without any organization is not a solution. In due time, you'll get mixed up about who gave you their business card, phone number, email address, and why. There is a risk of missing out on some important contact forever. With the 5 steps of the GTD system, you won't just become efficient or more structured; you'll be able to get your address book straight without unnecessary stress.
5 steps for organizing GTD contacts:
- Capture: Write down the new contact right away. So, you don't have to keep it in your mind and free your head from this information. There is such a thing as a mind like water. With the Capture step, you let go of the data instead of thinking about it continuously.
- Clarify: Process the received info to isolate the most critical points from the data flow.
- Organize: Put everything into place, add relevant details about the person, their hobbies, and anything else that may be helpful for effective communication later on.
- Review: From time to time, revise your contact list, update outdated content or add updated information to your connections.
- Engage: Connect with people to keep in close touch. In this case, you can even set reminders to greet the individual at an important event, find out about a promotion at work, or other milestone changes in life.
What tools do GTD supporters use to organize their contacts?
So, we've got the principles, and the steps to success figured out. How do you choose the best tool to manage your contacts according to the Getting Things Done system? Devotees of the David Allen book and philosophy use a few things for this purpose. Like a notepad and some software.
The creator of the GTD methodology himself recommends using the way of organization that is most convenient for you. An address book is undoubtedly a familiar and handy tool. However, people with a vast contact base find it challenging to interact effectively with notepads. For this reason, they use specific programs.
The most frequently used solutions for contact management:
- Excel or Google Sheets;
- Airtable CRM.
In these software and services, you can store any number of contacts, sort them into categories, and add any relevant notes. It's a kind of your address book but in an electronic format.
Excel or Google Sheets. Pros and cons
Tables are an uncomplicated tool for managing contacts. Here, you can add unlimited properties, specify particular dates, put notes, etc. At the same time, you can make extra tabs in the spreadsheets, sorting them by category.
- easy sorting;
- alphabetical order and tabs;
- many properties.
- a lot of manual filling in;
- always have to keep the table open;
- inconvenient to use on mobile;
- no synchronization with the calendar;
- inconvenient to keep long lists.
Notion. Pros and cons
The Notion app is a sophisticated ecosystem for users to organize their connections. Here you have flexible settings and a set of tools that let you develop your own space with the desired properties. In Notion, you can set up a table and link to contacts, relink pages, and merge connections with current work tasks.
- flexible customization;
- user-friendly ecosystem;
- ability to combine work and manage contacts;
- there's an app;
- action history.
- it's necessary to have a good understanding of functionality;
- no synchronization with the calendar;
- inconvenient to use on mobile;
- many data that have to be entered manually.
Airtable. Pros and cons
This CRM is a convenient online service that you can customize. Here the user space is called the base, and you can modify it any way you want. For some, Airtable looks like a hybrid of Notion, Google Sheets, Figma, and a few other applications. Thus, the CRM allows people to set up their contact sorting space quickly.
- numerous settings;
- it is possible to leave comments on the pictures;
- bright and stylish design;
- easy to work;
- ability to manage contacts and work tasks;
- you can make custom interfaces.
- need to learn Airtable terminology;
- countless settings at the start of the work;
- long time to manually fill in data;
- inconvenient to use on mobile.
Some people also optimize apps like Trello, Evernote, or Todoist to sort and store their connections. These are not wrong solutions, but just using the programs mentioned above always leaves the feeling of something missing. Some individuals want to find even better software to get things done.
Is there a better tool than the typical contact management solutions?
Yes, there is a personal CRM that will help you keep your connections safely and smartly in one place. Nection fits perfectly into the GTD methodology by David Allen. That's why you can manage your contacts stress-free and without unnecessary effort.
What advantages Nection provides for your connections management:
- Capture: Storing contacts in a single database. There is no need to enter each name manually; you can synchronize details from different channels.
- Clarify: Set reminders to identify the frequency of interactions with the individual, and not keep information about all contacts in memory. You can use reminders to prioritize communication with others.
- Organize: In the application, you can view the timeline of the connection and interact with them in any of the convenient channels. In Nection, you can also send personalized messages to several persons at once.
- Review: This CRM allows you to check the frequency of interactions with a human or timeline and other helpful information. Here you have access to weather forecasts for the location of your peer and can see a news roundup.
- Engage: In Nection, you can keep track of your interactions, set reminders of major events for your contacts, and add notes to their profiles. So, you won't forget about what's going on in the other person's daily life and can send the right messages at the right time. The features of this CRM allow you to smartly organize your communications and help you free the mind from extra info.
If you are close to the GTD system by David Allen, then you will surely like Nection. This application is not a basic CRM but holds a whole philosophy of personal efficiency and proper contacts organization in the palm of your hand. Also, this app is highly secure and keeps your data protected.
Do you know what else is cool? If you have up to 100 contacts, you can try this app for free. And if you have more than 100 connections, you can experience the features of this personal CRM with a 1-month free trial. Don't miss your chance and try Nection today!