How to Remember Every Detail of Your Sales Life

Do you have a lot on your plate right now? You know you can’t remember it all, but would you like a way to save and recall details in life that aren’t tied to contacts or calendar dates?

Paper planners aren’t the solution, because you replace them every 12 months. And filing cabinets? Maybe 15 years ago they were the answer.

A few months back, I wanted to solve this problem.

You may have read that Sandy, which I dubbed as the future of contact management, has retired. So much for the “future of” prediction. Her creator sold out to Twitter.

After trying several other options, ranging from Info Angel, GemX, Microsoft’s OneNote and Ginkgo Biloba, I stumbled upon the latest version of Evernote to serve as my outsourced brain. I’m hooked. Here’s a quick look at what you can do with this software:

  • You can store information into the database by 1) typing it in; 2) sending an email to it; 3) sending photos taken from your iPhone or other smartphone; 4) adding voice notes directly from your iPhone; or 5) clipping content (text and/or images) from a Web page.
  • Photos you take that include words and numbers are understood by the software and indexed, so they can then be searched.
  • You can categorize individual notes into “notebooks,” and each note can also be tagged with additional keywords for quick reference.
  • The software optionally syncs your notes between the desktop and the online service automatically, quietly, and quickly across all platforms. (This is free unless you need more than 40MB of data per month — that’s 20,000 notes or 400 mobile snapshots.)
  • You can also attach files to notes, including PDFs, MP3s, and, for premium accounts, just about any Office-related file (DOCs, XLSs, etc.)

The applications for sales professionals are endless: Imagine a separate notebook for each client you interact with, with unlimited notes with the details of those businesses. It could be like the Mackay 66 for each of your closest clients, on steroids. Tags could serve as the separators between customers, prospects, and suspects. (Worried about finding stuff? Searching a 2,000-note database takes me less than a second — it searches as you type.)

I’d like to be less gushing, but Evernote is just plain amazing. There are only a few kinks in it — you can’t directly link from one note to another, for instance. And there are a handful of related options — Microsoft OneNote is very similar, UberNote is a little more web-based, to name a couple, But Evernote is a terrific, free or $45-per-year way to remember every detail of your life.

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