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How to Organize Contacts to Maximize Productivity

Use your desktop address book to store your contacts now and forever.

By
Stever Robbins,
Episode #406

Use Your Contacts Book to Record Interests

Again, the Notes field comes to the rescue. Add interests to the notes field of each contact, so you can find things to do when you travel, too. Now it’s easy to find everyone whose interests line up. Bowling, Movies, Sustainability, Kinbaku. You can list it all, and make sure you don’t end up doing the wrong thing with the wrong people. Grandma Cuddles wouldn’t approve.

On his last trip, Asheen met a set of triplets at The Abbey, doing penance for their past sins. He noted that their interests are knitting exciting underwear (why do you think they needed to be penance?), making Oreo ice cream, and listening to Rock and Roll. This trip, he looks them up and immediately has three ideas for things to do. He’s feeling wholesome, so he chooses Oreo ice cream cake as the evening’s activity. Obviously. 

Since he’s up for a group activity, he does a quick Contacts search for Oreo ice cream cake and quickly discovers several other Silicon Valley friends who share his passion, including … his second grade teacher! So tonight he’ll get to have his cake and freeze it, too.

Keep Your Contacts on Paper

You should also make a paper copy of your local address book. It’s well established that during any form of apocalypse—Nuclear, Zombie, or Vampire—the power grid gets fairly unstable. With a paper contacts list, you’ll still be able to call your Bruce-Willis-esque friend to come rescue you from your Julia Roberts-esque emergency. Assuming, of course, that the phones still work.

A physical copy also provides an instantly accessible backup in case a device runs out of power, breaks, or gets lost. When Asheen’s phone dies in the middle of dinner with his old teacher, it might spell doom for his plans for a late night cookie binge with the triplets. Fortunately, though, he planned for the worst, and kept a paper contacts list in his coat pocket. It’s a simple enough matter to borrow the teacher’s phone after the show, look up the triplets’ numbers, and quickly pin down those details.

Don’t trust the Cloud with your most precious data! Own your own community! Download copies of all your contacts on a regular basis. Import them into your address book and use the notes field to code people’s locations and interests. Socializing becomes a snap, and with a paper backup copy, you’re good to go even if the power isn’t. You a local contact address book, and beat cloud extortionists at their own game! 

This is Stever Robbins. Follow GetItDoneGuy on Twitter and Facebook. I run webinars and other programs to help people be Extraordinarily Productive, and build extraordinary careers. If you want to know more, visit SteverRobbins.com.

Work Less, Do More, and Have a Great Life!

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT. 

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