I asked her, “Where is your mom’s phone number?”

“In my phone.”

“And where is the email address for your top client?”

“In my email program.”

“So where is the phone number for your top client?” I asked.

She paused. “In my phone, I think.”

But it’s that pause that slows you down a dozen times a day!

Let’s make sure wherever you look, you have all the information about all your contacts!

Don’t Look for The One Perfect Tool

You can shop forever trying to find one tool that is perfect for all the information you want to gather AND getting data in AND getting information out AND integrating with other tools.

Perfect Diamond Over-shopping tools is a time leak!

First find the tool that’s most “comfortable” for you to use on a daily basis. Purposetivity gives you lots of insight on knowing your style and selecting a tool to fit YOU. Your primary tool should look appealing enough that you’ll use it and give you access to the information you need regularly. And it needs to “integrate.”

Integration is the keyword to have your computer do the work for you.

Sometimes tools call it “sync” or synchronization. This means you give the tool direct access to another account, and it moves your data back and forth (or just one way) on a regular basis.

Other times it shows up on the product description page as “integration.” This is a broader term that might include some sync capabilities, as well as some more manual set-up required by you, even into requiring a bridge tool like zapier to get it done. As long as it CAN be done, you or a team member can get it automated. That’s the key.

Note that integration or sync is different from “mobile” access. Generally mobile access on a product description means they also provide an app to view your data in a phone-friendly layout. Same data, same product, just a different window on it.

Hub-and-Spoke Integration

Whether you like the interface or not, Google and Apple (and to some degree Outlook) are the big players all the apps want to integrate with. So… use them for integration! Then choose an app you like to actually view your data.

This kind of setup allows you to make use of the big player as a crossroads integration hub, without tying you to their user interface. You get to reuse your own data across multiple tools with slightly different use cases.

  • For example, when you’re on your phone at the store and you just want to call a friend to find out what brand she bought, you want to see your contact’s phone number. That’s all you need in that moment. You don’t need your whole conversation history, or what she’s been up to on social media.
  • In another case, you want to gather everything you know about someone who gave you a business card at an event. FullContact allows you to take a phone photo of the card, hand-transcribes it, then collects social media information to enrich that contact’s information.
  • Want to start following up with your new contact? Enter them in Pipedrive and it will automatically pull in that enriched information and allow you to schedule when to email or call them back, as well as keep notes on your history with them. (I like Pipedrive because it is visual. Cloze is another great tool in this space!)

You can enter new contacts from the easy-to-use app – FullContact in this example – and they’ll show up in your other apps. You can save a new contact when someone calls or texts you, and it’ll get sync’d to all your other apps. One, thorough set of data available everywhere you use it.

Want a specific cookbook to set this up? You can download it right here:

Centralize Your Contacts

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