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Using Google Docs to track contacts?

Posted by Ilise Benun on

Recently, I asked if a simple contact management system exists, and Cynthia Sterling, a member of my Advanced Marketing Group, gave a glowing recommendation of Bento.

In response to this post, Michelle Bisson, from POPcliQ, shared how she manages her contacts. She created this system because it was simple, easy to share, and free.

Michelle says, “My simple system is probably very common.  But before one evaluates more complex systems, they might find that this system will meet their need just fine.”

Michelle tells how she set up her Google Documents spreadsheet:

The first column is for the "Next Contact Date," second column for the "Last Contact Date." Then some columns for Contact Info (as many as needed) and one column for "Comments."  

In this column I attach a Google Comment that you see as a pop up box when you mouse over a cell…

In this attached "Google Comment" I keep all of my previous comments in order of latest comments first with the date always at the beginning of the comment. That way the history of my comments is kept in order by latest date first.

There is no word limit (or at least I have never met the limit) in these Google comments that stay hidden until I mouse over the cell that contains the Google comments.

When I move the mouse away from the cell that has a "Google" Comment, the popup disappears and all you see is the latest brief comment.  This keeps my rows from ballooning as the previous comments are hidden till I mouse over.  There is an orange triangle on a cell that has a comment.

Different columns can be used to store additional info.  Also, if I have additional phone numbers or email addresses, I put them as "Google" comments that can be viewed when mouse over the appropriate cell.

I can quickly reorder the table by reordering the first column, putting the ones to contact first at the top of the table.

I have been using this system for 2 years and it works great, simple to use with no feeling that the system is inadequate.  One can color code cells.  Hot leads I put a background of florescent green and those who are "dead" leads I put red as the background.  One can do searches quickly.  Plus whenever Google updates their spreadsheets with new functionality, I do not need to update the software as Google does this automatically.  So I always get Google Spreadsheets latest tools.  

In addition, I chose Google Docs Spreadsheets because I needed to share this document with an employee as he needed editing privileges. We can both edit the same document (just not the same cell) at the same time on different computers/locations.  Otherwise, I could of used any spreadsheet software that is freely available or installed on my computer to set up the same system.

Do you use a simple spreadsheet to track your contacts?

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