Today’s topic – managing your network. I just came back from the SRCD conference in Austin, TX. And it.was.AWESOME. Not only was the weather in Austin absolutely incredible, the people who attended and content covered at the conference was just fantastic. I didn’t have anything to present this time around, so I just focused my efforts on networking, taking with people, and just taking it all in. I’m about a year out from graduating, so there’s a lot that I need to accomplish, and networking is what I focused on last weekend!
Here’s where it starts. I’m generally a type-A organized person, and I find myself wondering how on earth to organize this growing network of contacts that I have. Every time I meet someone new who has my dream job, or just someone who I think might be nice to remember for future reference, I end up just scribbling their name and email on any old piece of paper that’s buried in my purse or just throwing their business card in my wallet. I quickly realized that this is not sustainable and I had to find another way. After searching the interwebs, I think I may have found it! Enter, Evernote.
I first heard of Evernote back in the beginning of graduate school as a way to keep track of notes from class, and have them sync to your phone or tablet through their corresponding apps. But after a while, I realized I didn’t really use it for that purpose, and deleted it from my computer and phone. Now, I have a whole new appreciation for Evernote and have to admit, some of the new features are really awesome.
Here’s how it works. Evernote is basically a blank canvas where you can create notes and organize them into any notebook filing system that you want. And, once you download the app on your phone, you can access them there as well. So, here’s how I use it to manage contacts. I opened an account, started a new notebook and labeled it “network contacts”, and then started my first note. In the top subject line goes the name of the individual, and below it on the notes section is all the information you may want to keep track about them. For most of mine the information in this section includes their email address, where they work, their former job if that’s relevant, and any tidbits of information about our last correspondence. I even put my email draft in there for the next time I want to email them. This website actually has a very detailed video that helps illustrate this!
Here’s an example from my own:
You can set yourself reminders to email the person too! By clicking that alarm clock with the check mark in it on the upper left corner, you can set yourself reminders and Evernote will email you directly!
To further organize your own database, you can use tags to mark where people work or any kind of similarity there might be among individuals. For example, I have a tag labeled “Government” where I tag all individuals who work for the government. You can see this in the example above.
To make this EVEN MORE impressive and easy, you can install the web clipper for chrome and start attaching/linking job sites, university websites, nonprofit organization websites, and even emails directly to your Evernote notebooks. I started a new notebook called “network websites” to attach websites and emails related to networking.
Here’s what it looks like to clip a website to your Evernote notebook:
While there may be many other websites that do a similar kind of thing, I have found Evernote to be easy to use and set up, and it’s the most versatile.
That’s it for now! Hope you enjoy.
Bored? Listen to this! I finished it on the plane ride to and from Austin.