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Integrating company CRM with paper based system

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  • Integrating company CRM with paper based system

    I am trying to work out what systems would be appropriate for using with GTD in my work place and would value some input from people that have run up against similar issues. Here is my situation:

    Currently I use a paper GTD based system that I have developed for myself over the years, which is based around a concertina based file what I carry round. The file has 12 spaces which I have organised as follows:

    • In (for all incoming bits of paper)
    • Out (for all outgoing bits of paper)
    • Projects list
    • Next actions (work general) – next actions lists based on contexts at work (but not people based)
    • Next actions (work people) – next actions lists based on specific people at work
    • Next actions personal – next actions based on personal contexts
    • Waiting for
    • Recurring – to remind me of recurring items when I do my reviews
    • Days – 31 bits of paper which get cycled round and actions written on when they need to happen on the specific date
    • Months – 12 bits of paper which get cycled round and actions written on when they need to happen in a specific month
    • Someday maybe – split by context
    • Project support – any bits of paper which are needed for very current projects

    One of the reasons that this works so well is that I can take this with me wherever I go and I have most things with me. If I am walking round the building or at lunch or at home – I have easy access to the lists.

    I am trying to use the system at work, but at work we have a CRM system which includes something called ‘ToDos’ which are the same as Next Actions. It is current company policy to keep a track of all ToDos on the CRM system, which has the obvious benefits of allowing all company members access to ToDos, as often they will be client based and it is important to have visibility of these across several people (e.g. in case of illness).

    I know that I can modify the system so that I can put all of my next actions in the system, and can then create various filters by context / waiting for etc. However my dilemma is that if I do this then my ToDos are on the central system and I will lose the benefit of having everything portable – it all becomes based around my computer.

    The CRMS system is quite old and doesn’t have any facilities to synch with an iPhone or anything portable. We may be replacing the CRM system but it’ll take at least 12-24 months to do and I’m looking for a solution to use with the system that we have.
    I’d be very interested to hear from anyone that has faced a similar situation and what kind of solutions you came up with.

    I do realise that GTD is not about recommending a particular system, and it is about working out how to apply the tools best for the situation, and this is exactly what I’m attempting to do now, so I would really value anyone’s input / advice / experience.