Contacts Journal CRM is a powerful tool that will change the way you do business.
A couple of years ago when I was working for a nonprofit organization, I learned about the importance of CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, software. A good CRM will help you to manage not only your contacts, but also and more importantly, your interactions with those contacts. By managing your interactions, you can also segment your marketing tactics and maximize your customer service structure to best serve your clients and customers. At MacSources, we recently began searching for a CRM app that would work on Mac as well as iOS devices. We found a great solution in Contacts Journal CRM.
Contacts Journal is a powerful CRM that allows you to load contacts from your Contacts app on your Mac and then add notes, create follow-up meetings, and attach important documents to any of your contacts. Some of the key features of Contacts Journal include:
- Importing contacts directly from the Contacts app
- Creating Private Contacts and Private Groups to keep information separate from your personal contacts
- Attaching Documents to Contacts; over WiFi, through DropBox, or from other apps using “Open In”
- Defining and create your custom fields, and attach custom data for each contact
- Adding alerts in Notification Center for important follow-ups
- Adding appointments straight to the Calendar app
- Calling, SMS or emailing your contacts directly from the app
- Seeing all your contacts and notes on a single Map view
- Exporting your data for reporting by email, CSV, AirPrint or even to your Contact notes field
- Works offline!
- Uses DropBox to easily transfer data between iPhone and iPad
- Featuring automatic, seamless syncing with iCloud! (iOS6 and above)
There were a couple of things that I noticed about Contacts Journal right off the bat. First of all, the only way to import contacts is through the Apple native Contacts app. When you export though, you do have the option to export a csv file. Aside from mass importing, you can create individual contacts within Contacts Journal. Another thing I noticed quickly is that in order to keep contact information in separate groups you have to create a Private Contact within the app or create a Public Group, which is available in both the iOS and Mac versions. Both options sync directly with the Contact app with only one limitation – you can’t use “Private Contacts” within a Public Group.
Plus, when importing contacts, you have to select them as one large group or individually; you can’t just select one of your organized groups from the Contact app and move it over. This was a little disappointing to me because I like to have a clear division between personal and professional contacts and Contacts Journal doesn’t seem to give me an easy way to do that. All the contacts are co-mingled. Despite that bump in the programming, I found it very easy to find contacts and add information to them.
Once you have your contacts imported into Contacts Journal, the functions are fairly self explanatory. Each contact has five tabs – Logs, ToDos, Files, Fields, and Info. You have the ability to record notes from meetings, create and send ToDo items to contacts, add files under a specific contact and editing their contact information directly in the app. Those changes get immediately updated in your Contacts app, too.
One feature that I was particularly interested in was the syncing between the Mac app and the iOS version. Contacts Journal offers two different ways to sync. First is through iCloud and the other is by using Dropbox. I opted to sync through Dropbox and the process was very easy. You first have to allow both version of the app to access your Dropbox account. Then, you simply save your data to Dropbox and ‘fetch’ it from storage when you want to sync any changes between devices. It works very well and even though it’s not an automatic syncing process, it worked flawlessly.
In an effort to keep contacts organized and clients happy, you should give Contacts Journal CRM a try. It’s a great system of apps that will certainly improve your customer/client relations as time goes on. In order to have all the versions to work with – Mac, iPad and iPhone – you have to purchase separate licenses. It’s available in the Mac App Store for $49.99, for iPad for $19.99 and for iPhone for $9.99. That being said, most CRM software systems are only available through a subscription service that you have to keep paying and not the one-time fee for the app licenses. This is a big plus for Contacts Journal CRM. If you are unsure about whether or not Contacts Journal CRM will work for you, there is a Lite version for the iPhone and iPad that you can try out. It allows you to work with 10 logs, 10 To-Dos and 10 Documents.
Contacts Journal CRM is worth the cost. If used properly, it will help you make more money in the long run. I can highly recommend it as it’s already made our organization process at MacSources much easier.
For more information, visit www.contactsjournal.com.