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What To Do With Contacts in the Inbox?

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  • What To Do With Contacts in the Inbox?

    I am often getting phone numbers for work, friends, and sometimes family in my inbox. What do I do with these? I know most people would say, well just put them in your cellphone. There's one problem with that: I don't have a cellphone. So how can I do this paper-based where I can have all my contacts with me at all times? Should I keep a list of them in my Hipster PDA or should I go out and buy a planner/calendar with a place for such contacts?

    Your thoughts, please?


  • #2
    If you don't have a cell phone, do you really need your contact list with you at all times?

    If not, then you have a lot of choices... buy one of those cool little pocket phone books that they sell at office supply stores; create a folder in your filing system called "Contacts" and throw your index cards in there; type the contact info into a text document on your computer, print it out if you really want to store it physically; write it out on loose-leaf paper; whatever...

    If it were completely up to me, and the requirements were:
    (1) I don't need to carry EVERY contact with me
    (2) I sometimes need to carry a contact or two
    (3) The contact list MUST be on paper
    (4) I need to be able to change addresses/phone numbers without being messy
    (5) The system had be cheap, cheap, cheap

    then I would do the following: Buy a small index card box ($2 at Staples). Write contact info on index cards, one card per contact. Store the cards in the box. When I think I need to carry a contact with me, then I would pull the card out of the box and attach it to the back of my hPDA.

    Somebody will probably yell at me for suggesting this (you should really get a good handle on the mechanisms of GTD before you introduce new toys), but if you really need to carry ALL of your contacts, and if you can come up with about $100, you might consider getting an electronic PDA. If you celebrate Christmas, maybe Santa could bring you one?

    I've tried to go "paper" in the past, but the convenience of being able to carry all of my contacts, my entire calendar for the next year (actually, the calendar goes out well over 100 years, but who plans that far in advance?!), all of my projects, next actions, someday/maybes, waiting fors, and a good quantity of reference materials all in one tiny package has spoiled me.
    Last edited by jknecht; 11-30-2007, 10:55 AM. Reason: clarification


    • #3
      use Palm Desk Top

      I believe it is still a free download and you don't need to use it with a Palm handheld. Just fill the address book with your contacts and then print a copy or two out every now and then.


      • #4
        dropdeaddustin uses paper-based system.

        Originally posted by Jamie Elis View Post
        I believe it is still a free download and you don't need to use it with a Palm handheld. Just fill the address book with your contacts and then print a copy or two out every now and then.
        But you have to use computer - dropdeaddustin uses paper-based system.


        • #5
          Do you use email? Why not maintain the adress book of your email program? And print it out ones a while...


          • #6
            Agreed with others.

            I don't think you need those numbers with you everywhere, since you don't have a cellphone with which to call people anywhere. So, you can keep a simple notebook for contact information at home.

            If you do want to keep contacts with you at all times, I recommend adding them to your Hipster PDA. A card with names and phone numbers should be sufficient.


            • #7
              A few thoughts:

              o Most traditional planners (DayTimer, etc.) have an address book section. This gives me a one-stop-shop for my GTD system: Calendar, lists (tabbed sections), and addresses. Plus a capture pad in the back!

              o Write down only those you think you'll need. This can be a pain when you're wrong. It also involves duplication.

              o Using your email's contact section is the simplest software-based solution to start with.

              o If you want a simple electronic organizer that syncs with Outlook, they can be had for $20 or $30. Search Amazon for Sharp YOP20H 1MB Electronic Organizer, for example.

              The most important habits, though are 1) carry the important ones with you (like you said), and 2) store every new piece of information every time it arrives. I've found this is very important. Need to call someone? Send something? You have to have it, and search through old messages is too slow/difficult.


              • #8
                Some users suggested that Dustin doesn't need to carry his contacts with him just because he has no cell phone. I want to remind that (at least her in Europe) public phones exist. Maybe Dustin wants to call someone from his parents home or from work.

                To the main question. I suggest keeping the contacts electronically (word file, Palm Desktop ...) and printing them every now and then. So its easy to duplicate the list and renew ist if it gets unhandsome. I used to it this way before using my Palm.



                • #9
                  I was going to suggest the Palm Desktop, too. It is a free download even without a Palm. I used a computer calendar, address book for YEARS before I had a Palm OR a cell phone.

                  If you don't need to take all of the addresses with you, then just print out the CATEGORY that you do need. You could even print it small and tape it to one of your hipster PDA cards that you already carry.


                  • #10
                    Personally, I keep most of my contacts in Stikkit ( One contact per stikkit and they're searchable, tag-ready, all that stuff. And you can export them as a big address book file and plug them into just about any PIM you like if you decide to use something different.

                    Oh, and you can email all the contact info to stikkit and it will create the contact for you - very slick!

                    Good luck