16 January 2011

Names and Addresses?

I think we all store names and addresses in our Filofax organisers or may be a print out of them from your PC. But how often do you check them?

I have been in the process of updating all of my addresses to include the country and also the international dialling codes. Today whilst doing some painting, I had an idea that I should use a notes field to indicate who this person is, as well as Name, Address, Telephone Numbers  Why you might ask......

Recently my elderly mother has had to go in to a care home for her own safety and security, but she is in a great place, modern facilities etc etc. So anyway... I was handed the task being the only child to write and tell everyone about my mothers change of circumstances and her new address etc.

Well I didn't think it would be too big a task, that was until we found about ten different address books of various ages, but no clue as to which was the current one. And of course Mum can only remember some of the people in the address books.

Luckily with it being near to Christmas, we went through all of the cards and eventually I was able to track down most of the people across the address book 'heap' and then add the names and addresses to a new notebook (which in fact Laurie sent me.... thanks Laurie), I also added them to a spreadsheet so we could eventually do a mail merge. 

So a couple of things I am thinking of adding on my address pages. The first is to categorise each entry, what is their relationship to me (Friend, Business Contact, Relative, etc). I might also add a date on each sheet, so I know when the sheet was last checked for accuracy.

How do you manage your names and address lists?

14 comments:

  1. Being an eighteen year old with very few contacts, I have a grand total of TWO addresses in my filofax. And that's all I need!

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  2. similar to katie - i have a MINISCULE address book (seriously, it's about the size of a coaster) with addresses for family and a few friends abroad. phone numbers are in my mobile and backed up on the laptop.

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  3. Since I started using a slimline, thus not too much room, I wrote all my relevant Oz, UK, Misc addresses on a Filofax address page for each country, so now I only carry around 3 plus 1 spare page for all 'current' addresses. All older address are still safely in their place behind the index's in my retired Filofaxes. This way I have an idea of how old they are. Eg; my pocket classic I haven’t used for 3 years now has quite a few addresses that are no longer current but it gives me an idea of when they were. Mind you, if someone had to come in and clear my belongings out then they would be in the same boat as you Steve. I might file old year diaries in the retired Filofaxes to give an idea of their time in use now that you have pointed this potential problem out.

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  4. This is really good point. My Dad died in October and of course we had to support my Mom which included contacting everyone they knew to let them know and also details for the funeral. She has an address book, but of course some of it was out of date, or they were old friends that are no longer with us. If you support an older relative it is something to think about.

    My addresses are on outlook, which are synced with my iphone, so I haven't tended to use my filofax for this purpose. I recently discovered the joys of a dymo printer which can access all my addresses in outlook, or you can build your own address book in the dymo software. The best thing is that you can print out individual labels as and when you want them.

    However I have found when working I've had time when my phone is tucked away somewhere, my outlook or computer is playing silly whatsits and I can't easily access a quick number for a project I'm working on - or perhaps I just haven't got around to putting the number into my outlook. I wa thinking about adding an address sheet for each customer/project to note down this sort of info so it is always to hand.

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  5. Another great post Steve, and something that I am sure needs more attention than it gets.

    I try to update my Master list in my Desk Filo as soon as I know about it. Make a big X through the old address and completely put in a new entry. About every 5 years or so, I make out a completely new address book, and archive the old one with the past year.

    You have some good ideas as far as labeling the type of contact it is, and also to date it. I think I will rework my list and include that information.

    I don't carry an address book with me, having everything on my cell phone, it just seems a little redundant to me. Also, I haven't had a computerized address book either, tried it a few times over the years had a crash, and decided my hand written list would suffice just fine.

    This has given me food for thought. Friends are so valuable, I don't want to lose one of them.

    Thanks Steve

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  6. This is a really good point Steve. This happened to us when my mum died. There was only the one address book, but we did not know some of the people in it and how mum knew them. Soooo .... we probably sent funeral invites to washing machine repair people or similar!!!! I update my address book in my filofaxes, but haven't written in the people's relationship to me. A great point that Steve!!

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  7. Very valid points Steve. I had similar issues when my mother passed and I had to go through her address book. Which I still have.

    A lot of the info was outdated and incomplete and I had no idea who was who. One person I called to notify of her death had stopped speaking to her years ago, so that was a fun conversation.

    As for me, I keep no addresses in my Filo. I keep them all electronically and reference them on my phone. That way I can update them instantly, from anywhere and avoid the dreaded scribbling or white out in my book :)

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  8. Contact info is the one category of info which I *don't* store in my Filo - I use Outlook linked to my BlackBerry for that. If I want to access somoene's details to call them, the BlackBerry's functionality is unbeatable in that area (unlike calendar and task lists), and I *know* I can get what I want *and* make the call in about three or four keystrokes maximum.

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  9. I think adresses is the one thing I don´t want to keep in my Filofax. Address is pure data - i.e. you need to acccess it fast and easy, keeping it current and input with a minimum of effort.
    I use Addressbook on the mac and iPod Touch (which I use for music, adresses and mail-checking here and there). I found it works perfectly as many of my contacts only have an email-address and a name - writing email-addresses in a filofax just seeems silly to me.
    Once a year or so, I go through my contacts and delete contacts and don´t need anymore (business etc.) and put in little notes if I want to keep someone in there ( "?? - friend through" etc.).

    Works wonders for me.

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  10. I keep all contacts and addresses in my A5 that stays at home. I keep local contacts, addresses and phone numbers that I might need while traveling in my personal size Filofax.

    I don't write my own address in my Filofax at all, even on the Personal Information page just in case someboy else gets ahold of it. I just write my email address and phone number.

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  11. Like others have mentioned, I too keep my addresses on Outlook and sync to a phone, in my case a Blackberry.

    In thinking about this today, I realized that my husband and I have used this method for 11 years - prior to the smartphones (he uses iPhone these days), we used to sync to Palm pilots. Also, I checked the count and I've got about 1280 while he has 1750.

    The categorization is a great idea! I don't know what I'd do without that - the addresses are categorized by Business, Household (for repair vendors), Family, Hotels, Restaurants, etc.

    Also, the notes or reference information is good. Funny thing is, despite the smartphone, or previously palm pilots, I've always collected notes on people, places, relationships, etc. and written them down on random pieces of paper or post-its. These were written down during trips with family, reunions or other family events. Then later I would enter that information into the computer. It's weird but I feel like I can jot/write down a note faster than type into these devices. (Some of the notes I keep are kids' names, directions to homes, how we know them, birthdays of family members, job history, etc.)

    Now, with my new Filofax, I'm writing these types of notes in there for later entry into my computer. Since my home computer is separate from my business computer, it is very handy to have my Filofax to write down notes as I have it with me all the time and it is always "charged".

    I do have a category I use called "Emergency" for the most crucial phone numbers (about 20 or so). I just got my new hole punches in the mail (A5 and personal) so will now print these out, hole punch them and also add to my Filofax.

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  12. I keep all my contacts in my iPhone (synced to my Macbook). This gets synched regularly and reviewed around once a year (editing as required). I do have a printed version from my electronic address book just incase my computer does crash...!

    I keep a few essential numbers (hubbies mobile, children nursery etc) in my Filofax just incase my phone is dead or stolen and that way I can still call my nearest and dearest (as I don't remember any of their numbers). When I am travelling I always wrote down the airline and hotel numbers in my Filofax. Too many situations where I have been stranded (like in Portugal in December) when I can't charge my phone and need to access data.

    This balance between paper and electronics works for me...

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  13. Like Laurie, I keep my full address book in my A5 Filo which stays home. I have phone numbers of certain people in my personal Filo (only those people I might need to call while at work or away from home). I also have phone numbers in my cell phone but since I don't like to rely completely and solely on technology (because the battery will die just when I need that number), I keep a written list as well.

    As for updating the information - my full address book is typed and printed and punched and put into the A5. Whenever there's a change, I make a note of it in pen and then once a year or so, I'll print new sheets and add any new contacts. I do like the idea of adding the relationship of the person as well. If my husband ever needed to know who was who in my life, he would have no clue, aside from close friends and family.

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  14. Just like Karensa, my address book is in Outlook and sync'd to my Blackberry. Funny that it would sync with the Palm Pilot in the 'old' days. I do additionally keep some personal contacts, mostly my family and my best and oldest friends in my Filofax. As I prefer to write them in pencil it is no problem to update them from time to time. This helped a lot on my last trip to Germany to visit my family and to contact some friends by phone. I did not want to use my cellphone abroad, afraid of horrendous fees etc., so I did not even turn the Blackberry on.

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