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E-Life: How To Organize Business Contacts

May 29, 2014 by Blair Stover

Social media has invaded every part of our lives, and some are calling the extent to which people use the computer “e-life.”  As the web takes over more and more aspects of life, how much Internet interaction is too much?

For businesses, the question is not how much of your contact is online but how you have organized your e-contacts to best utilize your connection with them.  Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your web contacts.

  • Organize e-contacts into a useable and searchable format.  Depending on the size of your business, you do not have to go crazy with organizational paradigms; in fact, you may be able to utilize the tools on your social media or email platforms.  However, for larger businesses, it makes sense to invest some time and money into a system that is not only accessible for everyone in your organization but which can morph from one platform to another.  A database of e-contacts is not optional if you want to keep your lists clean and organized.
  • Add and purge regularly.  Just as you should not let paper filing pile up on your desk, you should regularly sort your e-contact list.  If your inbox has 5,438 emails in it, it is time to do something.  It may take some time but organizing your contact lists will benefit you greatly in the end.  You should not be afraid to purge contacts as well, particularly if you have not used them in two years or more.  Email addresses change so frequently that two years is probably the outside limit you can hope for an address to be valid after no contact.
  • Trust your passwords to no one, except someone.  That may sound silly, but storing all your passwords in your head is a very bad idea.  If something happens and someone needs access to your email or database, one other person should be able to get in.  You know who that person is:  the same one you would trust with your banking PIN.  Send all your logins and passwords to this person so he or she could access everything in case of an emergency.

With a little attention to detail, you can organize your e-life with the same care that you organize the rest of your life.  Your business will thank you with more efficiency, better communication and ultimately better profits!

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