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Kinda OT: CRM Ideas? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Anyone have any creative and simple CRM ideas? Track potential customers, follow ups, current customers that need contacting etc.

I tried to do this as a GTD thing but it doesn't really work as far as I can see - basically you can do projects that would be something like "Continue Negotiations" "Make Initial Contacts" "Follow up With Existing Customers" which sort of works, and would integrate well with phone and email contexts. But tracking past events by a company name - that would be tough.

So while OF would be great for integrating the actual tasks in prospecting and servicing customers, it doesn't really solve the overall piece. I've looked at a few of the Mac CRM's and they are fairly inconsistent and not slick feeling. Things don't always quite work right and I don't trust em.

Anyone out there have any creative and/or interesting ideas? I'd love to do it with OF or maybe Outliner (not pro) but can't quite get my head around a simple way to do it.

Now, back to our regular programming.
Hi there!

Interesting, I'd been struggling with the same idea for the past few days; I actually have a project in OF now entitled "Figure out networking system."

I've been looking at CRM4Mac, which is at a discount for the time being, but I can't bring myself to pay for it. I like the fact that it keeps the data where it belongs (iCal,Address Book, etc), but it's not what I'm looking for.

At this point, I don't have a solution, but I think the system would have to provide this functionality:

1. Create structure:
This could be done with groups/ smart groups in AddressBook with the people you should keep in touch with weekly / monthly / every 3 months/ every 6 months etc.

2. Capture interactions:
This is the real problem - capturing all interactions; it's easy to capture emails, but what about chats? what about phonecalls? what about meetings?
- use Mailboxer to create smart folders of emails from the 'keep in touch' groups in AddressBook; review regularly and input into AddressBook notes
- capture phone call notes in Journler, create smart folder, review every week to input data into AddressBook notes
- during weekly review, go over completed tasks in "Calls" contexts, input completed phone calls into AddressBook notes
- In any of these scenarios, I can't avoid the use of heavy discipline and stern hourly / daily / weekly reviews to go though that list of people and input notes about recent contacts.
- I remember reading some posts - possibly on - suggesting to simply put a '.' in the notes section of the AddressBook card.

3. Review and assign actions

- using AB smart folders to surface cards that haven't been updated in the desired period of time
- simple review of the groups / lists / etc

In the end, I would think my ideal system would take data from AddressBook, iCal (for events),, optionally even Adium / Skype, and the note-taking application of choice, and give me a simple, clean update of who are the people I haven't contacted in a while, allowing me to quickly add emails and phone calls to my OF inbox.

Maybe this could be a future project for OmniGroup?

Bonus would be:
- integration with Stikkit
- integration with LinkedIn
I have gone with which offers a ton of features, an entire application environment and they have some apps that hook into Apple mail, iCal etc.

It SAAS but that is a good thing.

Good thoughts all - I looked at Salesforce and it's overkill right now for me - esp. at $65/month.

I tried out Contactizer's original version (still available for 60 bux) and as I recall it had some very weird behavior.

CRM4Mac is interesting because it isn't proprietary for the most part. It's sort of a front end to, Address Book and iCal, so if it goes away your contacts, todo's and email all remain. I also think that capturing all (or most) data is a big deal but being able to strike a balance between too complex and just right is tough.

BTW - CRM4Mac does allow for phone calls (I'm looking at it as well -$25 is pretty cheap) by highlighting the name and clicking the phone button. Then start, take notes, hit stop. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. BUT it's REALLY iffy on imports. Missed a bunch of my email, then it showed up, but only some, etc etc. However - I do think it does pretty much everything that SMEW wants - the phone, mail and datebook obviously, then dropping notes or documents onto a contact attaches them - so a chat log or text file are easily associated.

Now I'm onto installing the open source version of Sugar on one of my servers as well as (probably) here on a local Mac. Looks pretty powerful and complex but I haven't finished installing (need to re-compile php with MB Strings).

I also found Highrise which has a great pricing structure (starting at FREE) but requires extra steps to capture some stuff as all online solutions will. Last one I'm looking at is Heap but have only glanced at it.

Still wish I could simply take my groups in Address book and magically assign OF tasks to them. Or something.

I have been looking into DevonThink just a bit recently to the stuff you are talking about. Still not convinced and play with it. anyone got some experience with this?

Originally Posted by

I have been looking into DevonThink just a bit recently to the stuff you are talking about. Still not convinced and play with it. anyone got some experience with this?

Devon is great - but not for CRM. I look at is as the place to put all my documents and data for either current projects or someday/maybe in a GTD setting. It has great search and classification functionality - if you know Yojimbo or that Circus Ponies program it's in that class with some more potent functionality. It does NOT however have tagging, which makes me unhappy. The work around is to use metadata and search comment fields.

I got it as part of the crazy macheist deal a few months ago and am pretty happy with it.

I also have KIT which is the same sort of thing but it HAS tagging. You might want to check it out.
Originally Posted by gofast
I also found Highrise which has a great pricing structure (starting at FREE) but requires extra steps to capture some stuff as all online solutions will. Last one I'm looking at is Heap but have only glanced at it.
Just a quick note, I think you may have misunderstood the pricing structure for Heap and Highrise. While Highrise does have a free plan, it is extremely limited. And to actually use Highrise, in the way you can use Heap (or at least the things that highrise is capable of doing), you have to pay $50 a month. Heap on the other hand is entirely priced based on the user count and there is no limitations on any of the features, as a result in real world use, heap is about one fifth the cost.

Ya, I'm a user of Heap so I might be biased, but I personally think it kicks Highrise around the playground. I started using it in December to manage my classroom activities, PTC and stuff.
I did understand the pricing - I know that Highrise starts at free and goes up, as I mentioned. It's all in what you need - I actually need different things that HR provides even at the most expensive level, so believe it or not if I'm going to use it the free is fine for me.

I'll look at Heap more though, thanks for the endorsement.

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