A DIY CRM can be a helpful and affordable way of keeping track of contacts made. There are many options available for purchase, at many price points. Because most pre-made organizers and similar products don’t work so well for me, I tend to make my own. Others want a DIY CRM for other reasons. No matter what business you’re in, you should be contacting people on a regular basis, keeping in touch with them, seeing what they need, and connecting them with others. This will help so many people (including you) in so many ways.
When I started my campaign of contacting people intentionally on a daily basis, I knew that I needed some way to track those contacts, what was said, and what my next steps should be. I also knew that the systems I had seen included so much that I didn’t need. So I set up a very simple spreadsheet to help me do what I needed to do. It’s helped me greatly and cost me nothing but a few minutes to make it.
It has fields for things like the date you contacted the person, the person’s name, what happened, and next steps. Several people have used it as well and tell me that it helps them, too.
How to use it
Just have the spreadsheet open on your desktop throughout the day, and whenever you contact someone (or they contact you), make note of it. If divided attention is something you’re good at, you can type into the sheet at the same time that you’re talking to the person. (This is a skill trained by the PACE program; parents, teachers, and people with ADHD are often skilled at this, too.) If not, just do it right after the conversation ends. You don’t have to write an essay in there. Just jot down enough information to help you know what to do next and to jog your memory regarding this interaction when you next contact them.
Add columns if you’d like. Color code things if it helps. You can go to Data, then Sort, and sort everything by the date, or by which entries have the word “call” in them, or anything else that’s in there. It helps me know what to do next, and when.
Here it is. Just click the link to download it: Contacts Made Sheet for download The first page has an example just to give you an idea of how to use the sheet. Delete it and jump right in.
I’d love to hear how it works for you, what you’ve added, and what cool things you’re doing with it.