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Your Address Book or the constant struggle managing your network


Your Address Book or the constant struggle managing your network

Keeping your contacts up-to-date has been a constant struggle. Starting with paper based address books that one went through every year with a new paper calendar book, later adding contacts in my trusted Palm Pilot (remember those “apps” … and then people talk about Apple having invented that market), then into the Treo handset, then Outlook and Blackberry, managing contacts has never been a pain free experience.

This particularly struck me when I started my own company moving away from a managed environment surrounding Outlook and my Blackberry. The Apple address book was then an option, while a rather dull affair and not that great. The Google Address Book also helped to at least sync things from time to time.

I then looked into various options that would also allow me to integrate some CRM elements into it. Evaluating options like Salesforce and smaller scale options showed certain complexities that were too much. I then stumbled upon Highrise, which I thought nailed the element of simplicity with functionality paired with CRM. But this was a bit too pricey at the time.

There is ongoing struggle between a working contact management and further functionality in a CRM environment.

Then along came Cobook. A wonderful app on top of the Apple Address Book that allowed me to integrate my Google Address Book with the one from Apple, syncing flawlessly with my iPhone. It even allowed the social media integration with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the likes. It looked great (still does) and worked great (not so much anymore), but then it was bought by FullContact. While a great step for the founders, it left customers hanging. At the time they just had launched their new version with a new pricing, but this seemed ok as it was a great app.

This was January 2014. The app continued to work fine and simply was sufficient for me to keep my many contacts updated and essentially use it as a great repository of contacts and my network. Now the LinkedIn integration is broken and there are no news on how one will be able to continue using it or move to the solution offered by FullContact. I have thought about accepting the fact of paying $99.99 for the annual plan, but I am not that sure, particularly as I have not heard from the support team at Cobook/ FullContact.

So the dilemma is this: you find a great app and solution, you use it and work nicely with it … all of a sudden it is bought or disappears and one feels stranded, particularly as there is no reply from the support team at Cobook/ FullContact. Integration not well done.

So here is the challenge, I need a solution that provides me:

  1. Usable, simple and clean design address book with social media integration – preferably as app on computer AND iPhone/ Android
  2. Social media integration: LinkedIn, Twitter … Facebook (?)
  3. Flexibility towards using it as or in connection with a CRM/ Sales platform

Originally published on LinkedIn in November 2014.

FullContact very much looks like it, but what do I do with my Cobook set-up/ database? Maybe the folks at FullContact can convince me to move over/ stay part of their solution?

What do you use and see the best fit?


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