. After years working in product management at Google and Twitter, my network of colleagues and friends has grown exponentially.
I've come to understand the importance of building tighter relationships with loose ties. I've also come to value the way that those relationships are organized. Too often, forgetfulness keeps us from rekindling relationships. And, tech tools like Google Suite have no way to remind us about reconnecting.
My solution is a personal contact relationship manager (CRM) within Coda that automates reminders about who to connect with, and when.
Problem #1: Forgetfulness.
We've all lost touch with someone we wish we hadn't. Recently, I caught up with someone I managed at Twitter six years ago. Our last interaction was a while ago, and I wish that wasn't the case—for both personal and business reasons. This person was job hunting, and perhaps I could have helped if I had known earlier in his process.
After a busy day juggling family and work, it’s easy to forget about reconnecting with people. A little love goes a long way; small gestures such as a well-timed text message help people feel valued and remembered. But, it’s always easier said than done. Even our contact lists and social media can’t help us.
Problem #2: Our traditional communication tools fail us.
Most of my professional work happens within the Google Workspace. I send emails via Gmail and book meetings via Google Calendar. However, Google doesn’t make it easy to know who I should proactively reach out to. Remembering the last time I interacted with someone requires searching through email, text threads, or Google calendar invites. It’s a cumbersome, time-consuming process that carries significant cognitive load as you search person-by-person.
is a perfect illustration of this challenge—we can only juggle relationships with 150 people. Even if you know you want to do a better job of keeping up with contacts, there's groundwork to be done.
Solution: An automated people tracker.
Until I found Coda, I always reverted back to simple tools like spreadsheets and email reminders. Since implementing this CRM, I’ve started to build meaningful habits—rituals that remind me how important it is to reconnect.
Now, when I meet important people, I add them to my contact list. Then, I decide how often I want to interact with that person.
Once you figure that out, the doc does the rest—automatically tracking when you exchange emails or have meetings. The doc even notifies you when the time is right to reconnect with a follow-up email at the click of a button.
Ready to get started? The rest of this page is a template of my personal CRM. I’m sharing it with you so you can copy and track your own important relationships. Copy this doc, then get set up in three easy steps.
Copy this doc
Step 1: Connect your Google account.
After you copy the doc, the first step is to connect your Google accounts to this doc. You should have been prompted to connect to Google when you first copied the doc. If you missed it, you can also manually connect to Google by clicking Insert → Packs → Google Contacts and adding your email as a Shared account. Repeat for Gmail and Google Calendar.
You’ll know you successfully connected with Google Contacts when you see your own contacts in the table below. If you need help with this step, the Coda team can help. Just click the question mark at the bottom right of the screen.
Google Contacts (synced)
Step 2: List your people.
The next step is to create a list of people you care about staying in touch with. Simply clear the sample contacts then add important e-mail addresses to the
Finally, this doc will automatically count your email and calendar touch points with each person. If you haven’t had contact with them within your frequency target, they’ll show up in the table below. The last step is to create a draft email, then customize (if needed) and send it from your
Every hour, this doc will automatically search your Gmail and calendar and count how many times you’ve had an interaction with each contact. You can see this automation by clicking ⚙️ Settings in the top right of the doc.
You can also manually re-count your touch points at any time by clicking the button below.