How To Use a Blog To Track Correspondence
*This idea was born out of a need that was present in ministry, specifically youth ministry. It's effectiveness could be proven in other areas as well. If you're a business owner, a sales rep, a minister, or someone who likes to keep track of contacts then keep reading.
Keeping track of people you meet and interactions you have can be tough. You can try to keep track of business cards or add info to the notes section in your address book. It can become hard to keep up with the volume though and searching through this to find the info you need can be overwhelming.
This is where a blog comes in. I know what you're thinking, but stay with me. I originally set mine up on blogger but Wordpress, Posterous, and Tumblr would be viable options too. It's simply a matter of preference.
To start off, this blog should be private. This is where you record your personal interactions. All you do is simply make a new blog post for every interaction. These include phone calls, conversations, meetings, and concerns. Obviously, you probably want to keep this limited to the context. You probably won't keep a blog for people you meet at your cousin's birthday party (although I could think of some exceptions). The goal may be to keep up with who came to the meeting last week, who you talked on the phone with yesterday, or what that Facebook message said that you sent to so-and-so (in case anyone asks). It's smart to keep a record of these things in case any questions ever come up.
If a question does come up, you can refer to this blog to see what was said and when.
I tag each post with the relevant name. This provides organization to your records. You can tag names of people or use a "meeting" tag to make notes of meetings. This can be carried over into "phone calls", "face-to-face", etc. I recommend placing the links to your tags in the sidebar of your blog. From there you can click on a name and bring up the posts containing all the interactions you've had. For instance, you could pull up the initial contact and what was discussed. You'll be able to see the subsequent conversations and decisions that were made. It's all there in a nice looking timeline.
This may not work for everyone but I think it could. What do you use to keep track of interactions? If you try this method, let me know how it works for you!