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Is it possible to effectively use Evernote as a contact manager?

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I'm looking for some centralized way to organize and manage my contacts which area all over the place: On the phone, on Google, Skype, Facebook, etc.


The app Hello certainly isn't what I'm looking for. Apart from not being a very good app, it's centered around meetings and business cards. Business card contacts acount for maybe 10% of my total contacts, whereas I'm interested in managing all of them.


Please feel free to say Evernote is not suited for this and recommend an alternative app. In fact, I strongly suspect Evernote isn't cut out for this anyway.


Thanks in advance.

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  • Level 5*

"Contact management" spans a huge range of options from keeping a detailed history of interactions with each contact,  to managing mailshots,  social media and scheduling campaigns and followups.  Evernote sits firmly at the detailed history end of things.  If you need more,  then you'll need to do some due diligence to work out which product best suits your needs...

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An interesting question!


A lot depends on what you want to do with a contact manager.


If you have a lot of companies and contacts then the answer if probably no. I have 15,000 customers in Maximizer. I store all the company details along with emails, quotes, telephone conversations.


However, I have found that I can use Evernote to detail enquiries by keeping a daily diary. 


Here is something I put together to explain how I run my diary. I guess you could call this very loosely a contact manager as all email and quotation information is kept in the Note:



In my set up of Evernote I have a 'Diary 2014' Notebook and a 'Diary 2014 Completed' Notebook.
Any emails or enquiries get sent to my 'Diary 2014' Notebook. I do this by either clicking on the 'Evernote' icon in Microsoft Outlook I then add a date code to the start of the title followed by the name of the company and name of the individual, leaving their title which will often have a reference number.  So by way of example lets say I get an email with the following title:
Quotation Required - Reference Stonehenge Water Treatment Works
This will be forwarded and the new title will be:
140525 - South West Water - Joe Bloggs - Reference Stonehenge Water Treatment Works
With tasks now in various Notes I begin to work on them.
Any communication from a customer is highlighted in Green
Any communication from a supplier is highlighted in Purple
Any communication from me is highlighted in Red
This allows easy viewing of notes within a Note. 
All emails to and from customers and suppliers are copied into the Note, with the newest information shown at the top. The original opening part of the Note and any relevant details such as pricing information always stays at the top along with the Tick Box at the bottom of that section and a line.
Once the task is completed the 'Tick Box' will be ticked meaning the Note has been completed. The Note is then moved to the 'Diary - 2014 - Completed' Notebook.
It becomes an easy way of dealing with tasks as I go through my day and I can easily see how many 'tasks' I have to complete by the quantity of 'Notes' in the Diary 'Notebook.
What this method does for me is keep all of my tasks in one location and by keeping the date code (thanks again for the suggestion GrumpyMonkey) the Notes are in date order.


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In my set up of Evernote I have  . . . . .


C6REW . . . . That is just AWESOME. You should post that in its own thread. I find this VERY helpful in seeing how people actually use their Evernote and already considering changes to mine . . . 

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In my set up of Evernote I have  . . . . .


C6REW . . . . That is just AWESOME. You should post that in its own thread. I find this VERY helpful in seeing how people actually use their Evernote and already considering changes to mine . . . 



Hi John,


You are most welcome and glad you found it useful.


I have published on the forum a few times.


Best regards



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This is how I do mine (I'm an entertainer so that's our basic business) You will see there is some similarity to C6REW


Basically my contacts are broken down into two categories (which are tagged as such)  I have Clients (tag) and I have Prospects (tag)



My Contact Template looks like this (Templates are found with the tag "Template") I don't use Notebooks at all except for a selecting what notes I want downloaded to my cell phones  - Clients are perminantely on my cell phone so they are in a Notebook called Clients (only for download to phone not to find)



The Template is devided into 3 main sections

  1. Contact information
  2. Booking or job history
  3. contact log of email/phone


[start template]


[Note name]   Prospect - Template
[Note Tags] Prospects, Template
When I get a new Propect I will copy the template and change the Note to . . . .


[Note name]   Prospect - River City Community Fest
[Note Tags]   Prospects, Fest/Fair, Jan, IA 
                   [The "Fest/Fair"  is the type of Gig work category I want to track , "Jan" is the month I need to call them. So I can do a  search for Tag:Prospects Tag:Jan  to find all my sales call for that month. I also add what state the show which is also helpful in searches, maybe a tag by zipcode could be helpful -- first 3 digets maybe]
[body of note]
Web site -
Email - 
Google Map -  Need to change  [Hyper link to google Map]
miles, hh mm       ($mileage + $show  = $total )
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/Bid_Sheet_Fees_Perdeium_Mileage'>https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/Bid_Sheet_Fees_Perdeium_Mileage  [This is a link to a Google Spreadsheet that helps me estimate a Bid for a show or shows that I can plug in Mileage, travel per deim when I talk to them ]

Events they do
2014  correspondence

[End of template]



Lets say I book a gig from one of my Prospects this is how it would change




[start example]


[Note name]   Client - River City Community Fest

The "Prospect" gets changed to "Client" in the title

[Note Tags] Prospects, Fest/Fair, Jan, IA, Client
The "Prospect" tag will stay as they will become a prospect for next year and I want them in the sales call search for next January . . , I also add the tag "Client"
[body of note]
River City Community Fest 
Robert Preston
1234 Poolhall Lane
River City, IA
phone - 555-123-4567
Web site - TroupleWithACapitleT.com
Email -  MrTrouple@TroupleWithACapitleT.com
200 miles, 4 hr 36 mm       ($300 Miles + $1,000  = $1,300.00 total )

Marching band Fest -- late September
They are thinking of doing a summer fest -- they haven't decided yet as of 7/28/14
BOOKING HISTORY [these are llinks to Evernote booking sheet Notes or a job work order note, they will have a link back to the contact page, current and future jobs are put into a notebook saved to phone called Bookings. After the job is completed eventually I will move the booking sheet out of the Saved to Cel Phone Notebook]
2014  correspondence [Time stamps enterned with Ctrl + ; or Shft + Alt + D from desktop or just typed on phone]
[i forward mail to everynote this gives me the header information of when they emailed and which email account they sent it from, Instead of colors like C6REW does, which I might start doing, I indent the body of the conversation to pop-out the contact info, Later when I clean up notes for the day I will copy that stuff over to the contact info. It's a little more labor intensive than I would like but OMG I have it all right here and I can look back through the years if it goes back that far
From: JohnDMe <Myemail@mywebsite.com> 
Date: Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 11:09 AM
Subject: Fwd:  JDM entertaiment for RiverCity Fest
To: Robert Prestont <MrTrouple@TroupleWithACapitleT.com>
Hey Robert, Got your signed contract back we are all set . . . .
From: Robert Prestont <MrTrouple@TroupleWithACapitleT.com>
Date: Tue, Jul 21, 2014 at 11:09 AM
Subject: Fwd: JDM entertaiment for RiverCity Fest
To: JohnDMe <Myemail@mywebsite.com>
Hey John, attached is the contract .  . ..
7/12/2014 9:52 AM
            John called Robert, asked how far the pool  hall was from the town square and would I have time for a game. He said yes

6/14/2014 2:00 AM

Robert called JohnDm. He seemed desperate needed music sheets quickly. I said Jeeeez Robert, it's 2 O'clock in the morning, I gave him a source for music sheets. I asked him what's the rush? He said he just had a meeting with the Town Libarian and she has him off his game



[End Example]



So all the related notes to this clinet will have a link back to this Contact Note and or the Booking or Job note -- some of the notes I might have might be


Client - River City Community Fest    [this is the main note or parent note if you want to think in terms of folders which I do not use -- horrible idea use tags instead]


Trip - River City Fest - Sun 9-25-11   [Note with hotel reservations, airline tickets etc etc this is tagged Trip, Sep, 2011  this will have a link inside the body of the note, at the top back to a "Trip Table of Contrents"  for 2011 and a link to  Booking - River City Fest - Sun 9-25-11 - 2:00 pm - $1,200.00  This is why I prefer tags to Notebooks - This note is a child note to BOTH  the Trip Index Note and the Booking Job Sheet Note
Basically once I find at least one of the notes from Client - River City Community Fest I can move with links back and forth from  parent note to other child notes by links alone, I don't have to search for them
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  • 6 months later...

I don't have all that many contacts (a few hundred, maybe?), so I have a "Contacts" stack. Within the stack are notebooks containing contexts in which I know these people. I run several websites, so each website has a notebook. I also work with brands in various categories, so I have several "Brands - Widgets" type notebooks. In this setup, the only tags I use are company names to group together the notes within.

Into these notebooks, I forward emails, websites, whatever. Since I don't use Evernote for task management, just reference, I don't generally distinguish notes according to whether I'm working on them right now or not. If I do, I just put something at the start of the title, like "Fol" (meaning I need to follow up with them about something) and sort by title to find them.

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  • 11 months later...


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