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Personal CRM Guide: Best Tools & How To Choose | Coda

Best Personal CRM Tools Compared

Keep in touch with friends and former colleagues

This doc makes it easy for you to stay in touch with your important contacts.

It can be hard to stay in touch with all the people you want to - friends who live nearby are easily remembered, and sadly, those you've known for years but live far away are harder to remain in contact with. But first, let’s start with a definition.

What is a personal CRM?
A personal CRM (personal relationship manager), is a management tool that can be used to document personal relationships. It is a digital address book with the functionality of a calendar reminder tool. Personal CRM software help record the personal information of friends and family, including names, phone numbers, emails, and birthdays.

CRMs can be simple address book-like solutions that are great for salespeople, small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs or detailed all-in-one customizable management systems that even include full-fledged email marketing or Salesforce or Pipedrive-like features, based on needs.

Benefits of using a personal CRM
In a world that is becoming more technology driven, it only makes sense to leverage technology to keep track of personal and professional relationships. Here are some benefits of implementing a personal CRM system.

Organize personal contact information
I don't know about you, but the pandemic has made me appreciate the value of phone calls more than I used to (Zoom fatigue, anyone?). It's really helpful to have a running address book, where emails, phone numbers, and social media info (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) are documented for instant reference. A personal customer relationship manager streamlines the entire process of keeping up with various contracts and it can be used as a source of truth for all your contact management needs.

Set reminders for important events
Some people are naturally thoughtful and have machine-like memories for personal life events like birthdays, children's birthdays, anniversaries, bar mitzvahs, you name it and they are all over it. Well, most people could use a little bit of technology help. Syncing your personal CRM to your calendar or a reminder app is like building a personal life workflow so you don't forget any important dates ever again! The bonus? You'll be a better friend thanks to this.

Document notes to enhance relationships
Have you ever been to an event, made a really strong connection with somebody, and exchanged contact information fully intending to follow up? Then, life happens and you forget. But then, you meet them again but it's been a while and your memory is fuzzy. With a personal CRM tool, you can add reminder notes right as you exchange information to jog your memory the next time you meet the same person. This is a very simple step to enhance any relationship, even your co-workers and other people in your professional network.

The best personal CRM tools compared
Now, there are a lot of tools and solutions out there for personal CRMs. Here are some tools that are established in the space.

Coda - for those who want a custom solution
While this seems like a no-brainer, the best personal CRM tool is the one that is designed by you and for you. Coda’s personal CRM doc (more on this below) helps users control the entire experience of their own CRM and iterate based on their needs.

Alternatives: Google Sheets, Notion, Airtable

ZohoCRM - for those who want an enterprise system
ZohoCRM is for users who want more of an enterprise feel to their personal CRM. ZohoCRM enables single users to manage communications across different platforms, such as social media, email, phone, live chat, and web conferences. It also includes lead scoring abilities as well as sales and marketing automation.

Alternatives: Freshworks CRM, Active Campaign, Cloze, Hubspot CRM

Streak - for those who want Gmail workflows
Streak is a CRM that is geared towards people who communicate primarily using Gmail. It integrates with Gmail and enables users to complete workflows like batch emailing, tracking engagement, and even some light segmentation directly in Gmail.

Alternatives: NextHunt

How to build your own free personal CRM

We’re biased, but we think that the best personal CRM solutions are built, not bought.

This doc helps remind you to connect with all the relevant people in your life, with Views which filter people into the contact bucket by time periods, depending on the contact's category. That way you never forget to ping a friend on their birthday, or let months elapse before you have a 1:1 with a colleague.

We’ve designed it to be 'build as you go', meaning there is no one-time import of all your contacts. We did this because we found most people, while they may have thousands of contacts in Google, really only need to connect regularly with dozens up to a few hundred.
Here's how you can use it:

1️⃣ Get rid of the template data by clicking these buttons 👉
Nuke People Data
Nuke Interaction Data

2️⃣ Add your contacts to the table.

3️⃣ Update tags in the section. Update how often you want to be in touch with people from different tags - this will automatically surface them for contact later.

4️⃣ You'll use to log new interactions, and check in with those folks who you haven't been in touch with in a while - the 'frequency' column of the Personal Tags drives when they surface in this View. (Or if it's their birthday.) And you can even create a draft email to each person just by clicking a button.

5️⃣ Customize it! You can add anniversaries, children's birthdays, and any other attributes to the People Table to surface new and helpful views.

Personal CRM FAQs
Is there a CRM for personal use?
Yes, there are many CRM tools that can be adapted for personal use with the functionality of an address book, calendar, and reminder app in one. They enable users to jot down important details about their personal and professional connections.

What are the best personal CRMs?
The best personal CRM depends on the user’s requirements, from simple documentation of personal information to running reports and automating communications. This is why we are advocates for building your own personal CRM app using Coda.

Are there any free CRM tools?
Yes, Coda docs are free for anyone to use and experiment with. Other free single-user CRM tools include, Hubspot, Zoho, Freshworks, and Streak. However, these tools have varying feature availability for their free plans.

Does Google have a CRM product?
No, Google does not offer a CRM product. However, many CRM tools are able to integrate with Google products, specifically to track communications and conversions that are done through Gmail.

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