I, just as you, am trying to navigate this new and exciting world of young professionals and recent grads. I work on my skills and talents, read about productivity and maintaining work/life balance, and think about what kind of career I’d like to build for myself. And time after time it all comes back to reading about building and maintaining strong relationships, both in personal and professional lives, as the cornerstone of it all. I feel like I should be whispering when I say that “network” seems to be the secret code word that ultimately opens all the necessary doors.
So I make an effort to go out and meet new people, go to conferences and events, do my homework after events, and try and mix keeping up with older friends and contacts as well. But that’s a lot of work!
I kept searching for a system that would somehow bring all the information I’ve collected and ‘nudge’ me to keep up those oh-so-important relationships. Traditional CRM systems are built for managing customer rather than contact relationships, address books lack any reminders, calendars miss the important background information. I wanted something that a job seeker or a just starting professional could use to stay on top of all their networking efforts and newly-built professional relationships.
That’s how I came across BatchBook.
Then you organize it…
BatchBook, in short, is an online contact management system that makes use of the web’s social features. It lets you enter your contacts’ information (or export contacts for example from your email address book) and then searches the web for available social networks profiles. That way, I can associate a LinkedIn profile or a Twitter stream with any of my contacts, making it easy to gain a wider picture about the person I’d like to be in touch with.
BatchBook is great for students and young professionals because it:
- is free for up to 200 contacts – if you’re just starting out, this will very likely be sufficient (and there are paid plans available if your network is larger)
- let’s you attach files or write notes about your contacts, making it easy to keep up with how or where you met them
- let’s you log any activity – forward your email conversations to your BatchBook account or quickly summarize that last phone call
- let’s you add tasks and reminders to specific contacts – now you can schedule a follow-up call or simply remind yourself to check in with someone every 2 or 3 months
- gives you a quick overview of the person’s recent activity – either through their Twitter stream or other social networks profiles, all within the interface
- and the interface is actually visually appealing and easy to navigate
BatchBook has been really useful so far and a great tool to keep track of people I’d like to stay in touch with.
What system do you use to keep up with your network? Do you have any tips on how to stay on top of your professional relationships?
Anna is a Social Media Marketing Assistant at Pepsmedia, based in Cambridge, UK. Having graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2010 with a degree in Social and Political Sciences, she joined the small team straight out of university and is now helping businesses engage with customers online and build communities. She is passionate about the use of social media both in business and for individuals. To find out more, read her Life With Social Media blog, or connect with her on Twitter @annamanasova and LinkedIn.