- Area codes: This is especially important now that we’re required to use the 415 area code even when we’re calling from within it.
- Where/when you met: It happens to me all the time. I meet someone at an event, take their card, enter their info, but a year later, I can’t remember where I met them. Include these details while you still can.
- Partner’s name/referral name: Win friends with this little tip. Knowing a partner’s name or knowing whom to thank for the new client is a powerful thing.
- What they do/what’s relevant to you about them: Is this a great plumber you heard about or a friend of a friend? Why would you want to reach out to this person? Enter this info right away.
- Account numbers, etc: I enter all kinds of useful info in the notes field. Directions to a friend’s house, frequent flier numbers, account numbers, or anything else that might help me when accessing this contact.
- No duplicates: This is going to happen, but when you see a duplicate, immediately merge them or delete one. Duplicates are clutter, and clutter grows.
- Last names: If at all possible, include last names. One day you may know more than one Juan, and you’ll wonder who’s who.
- User friendliness: There may be a time when someone else needs to make sense of your address book (in case of an emergency). Make it easy for them.
- Using “company” and “name” fields appropriately: I will confess, I haven’t always done this, and it makes a mess in my address book. Business names with more than one word become first and last names, sorted by the “last name” or second word. I’m still correcting my old errors.
I hope some of these tips are obvious to you, and if they're not, I hope you'll be inspired to do your future self a favor and embrace all these ideas. Be sure your address book includes these things:
Amy is an entrepreneur, and has been a successful designer and business owner since 1996. With an architect father and interior designer mother, she's been thinking about how to make a home work all her life. As a child, she loved organizing her closet and found designing her dollhouse more appealing than playing with dolls. She went on to graduate from Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in industrial design. Due to the breadth of her design education, she’s able to assess a room as a whole and instinctively know how to make it work better. Evaluating the contents and functionality of a space is second nature to her.