Yesterday I was talking to a very successful career coach who said that he continues to recommend JibberJobber, but some of his clients say “oh, I’m already using Excel to track my job search…” He knows the value of JibberJobber over Excel, but he can’t force people to change from Excel to JibberJobber.
I’ve talked to plenty of people over the years who have the same concern. ”I’ve already started on Excel and I don’t want to transition over,” or something like that.
I realize this can be a hard mental transition (although quite easy to implement).
This reminds me a of a delightful book I just read titled Selling The Wheel. This is a really fast read, with a story about the guy who supposedly invented the wheel, and was anxious to get rich by selling it. Max, the inventor of the wheel, was sure that everyone who saw the wheel would want one (or more)… but when he went out to actually sell the wheel, he learned that he had some serious competition. His competition was what people where already using to move things: camels, elephants, slaves, sledges. Max didn’t realize that, even though his wheel had significant advantages to current ways of doing things, it would be hard for people to switch from the old, comfortable, familiar way, to some newfangled technology.
As I read this story, I totally thought about JibberJobber. There’s a better way, but some people would rather use old and comfortable.
In this post, I want to share why I was audacious enough to think that a web-based job search organizer (aka, JibberJobber) could really be better than old and comfortable (aka, your Excel job search spreadsheet).
Here are three reasons I think people love Excel so much to track a job search:
Excel is familiar and comfortable. Everyone has used Excel for something, at work, school or home. We all understand spreadsheets. I would argue that most people use 5% of the functionality of a spreadsheet… but that 5% is functional enough to track someone’s phone number and email, and when you talked to them last. That’s pretty easy to do.
With Excel, you can create anything you want – you have complete control over the columns and rows. Excel, as a blank slate, let’s you set up whatever you want: more sheets, more columns, more rows, and do whatever you want with them. This can be, though, a double edged sword. I have heard from coaches over the years that some of their job seeking clients can spend weeks – really, weeks! – tweaking their spreadsheet. On the surface level, it looks like you are being productive since you are setting up your tools. Go a little deeper and you’ll find that too often, people who spend days and weeks tweaking are really hiding from the job search. It’s a lot more comfortable tweaking a spreadsheet by yourself than picking up the phone and perhaps getting rejected.
Excel is a temporary solution, and you won’t need this information after you land your job. I believed that once I landed my job I could go back to my cozy place and not think about the job search, which included networking. I heard that I would transition every two to five years, but I didn’t want to think about it at all… I knew that my spreadsheet was going in the virtual garbage can. Even if I did pull it up two to five years later it was turning into such a disorganized rats nest I was sure I wouldn’t be able to make heads or tales of it after I landed my next gig.
Transitioning from comfortable/familiar (spreadsheet) to JibberJobber can just seem like it’s too much. But it isn’t too much, and here’s why:
The transition doesn’t mean you have to take all of your spreadsheet stuff and copy it into JibberJobber.
I’m guessing that you have a lot of data you’ve logged in your spreadsheet. Some of it is active, some of it is just a placeholder. Not everyone or everything you’ve logged is going to come up again in your networking or job search.
Personally, I would keep the spreadsheet, and refer to it if I had to, but going forward, from this minute on, I would start to use JibberJobber. Meet someone new? Put them in JibberJobber (not in the spreadsheet). Network into someone new at one of your target companies (where the target company is in your spreadsheet)? Quickly add you target company into JibberJobber (it takes all of 30 seconds, if that), and then put that new contact in. You don’t have to copy and paste, or transfer over from the spreadsheet… just stop using the spreadsheet and start using JibberJobber, and you’ll find that the main contacts you are networking and communicating with end up in your JibberJobber account. These are the ones that are on the top of your list, and need more of your attention….
Every once in a while, go back into your spreadsheet to see if there are people who have slipped through the cracks, and reach out to them. When you do, add them into JibberJobber and remove them from your spreadsheet. You’ll find that the names and information in your spreadsheet will be whittled away and your JibberJobber database will be rich with real, current information and relationships.
Bonus, this is a lot easier than you might think. With the Email2Log feature (which is premium, starting at $5/month and up to $9.95/month, depending on how many months you pay for at once), you can add contacts and companies simply by emailing your contacts (which you are already doing), or by forwarding emails to the JibberJobber server. While we have import tools, the Email2Log is the easiest way to get relevant information into JibberJobber quickly, and with virtually no effort.
Email2Log is the secret weapon to transitioning from your existing tracking system to JibberJobber.
You can import existing files, or sync your Gmail Contacts, but the people you are emailing today, and tomorrow, and this month, are the people who you need most in JibberJobber… at least today. You are probably already emailing them, so the next time you do, add the Email2Log address, and even their company, just by hitting send.
Some people like to import all of their contacts from LinkedIn, but this isn’t critical. Sure, it gives you the impression that you have a lot of “contacts,” but are you communicating with any of them? Or does having a big list of people who you think you should know just stress you out, since there is a huge list you are not quite ready to contact, but think you should?
Imagine if you started your job search over today. What would you do differently?
I ask myself this question with my own business (which is more like being in a job search than I would have guessed). Sometimes stopping what you have been doing and starting over new gives you a chance to make the changes that you should have made earlier, but just never got around to.
Sure, starting a new system can be a bit daunting. But getting started now doesn’t mean that what you’ve done for the last few months is all for naught. It was really Phase I of your job search and learning experience. Now it might be the right time for Phase II.
But what are the BENEFITS of switching to JibberJobber?
Okay, so transitioning isn’t really a big deal… but is it worth it? Here are some benefits of JibberJobber over an Excel or paper tracking system:
The more you get into it, JibberJobber will be as comfortable as Excel. I know at first it can be confusing. For many,this is the first time you’ve ever seen what a CRM (customer relationship management) system looks like, and for many, this is the first time you’re doing a very proactive strategic outbound networking campaign. This whole experience is overwhelming… but the more you do it, the comfortable it will get. Add a few Contacts and a few Log Entries and you’ll realize how easy and intuitive it really is. Especially with Email2Log.
JibberJobber won’t waste your time with design tweaks. Remember the guys tweaking their spreadsheets for weeks (which I call “hiding from your job search”)? You won’t feel like you need to do this. We designed JibberJobber for job seekers, and WE have been tweaking for the last 8+ years, so you don’t have to. Of course there is flexibility, withe Manage Columns on the List Panels, custom reports, user-defined fields, etc. But those are simple, easy changes you can make when you want to… this allows you to focus on what you need to do (call and meet with people!!), and not fiddle around with technology.
JibberJobber helps you network for many years to come. Let’s say you use it, then land your job, then in three years you are in a job search again. You can log into JibberJobber and find all of the information you put in, just as you left it. It will be easy to understand what you did, when you did it. Whereas my spreadsheet was turning into a confusing rats nest, JibberJobber will be a place that is easy to come back to. I remember an early user landed his dream job, then came back two years later when he was in transition, and said “Jason, it’s like coming home!” We’ve been around long enough to experience this many times with our users. We’ve been here every time they’ve been in transition.
Those three benefits address the three reasons people like Excel that I listed at the top of this blog post. Here are some other benefits:
JibberJobber is your long-term networking tool. Every job coach and resume writer will tell you to keep networking, even after you’ve landed your job. It’s a pain to do. Even if we got into a networking groove when in job search, starting a new job can be consuming. But we should network, even when we are not in transition. Even if we are introverts. Even if this is my dream job, and I’m not going anywhere. Networking is the new job security. And JibberJobber is the tool to help you do it.
JibberJobber is a follow-up, network nurturing, and relationship tool. Keith Ferrazzi says “if you want to be better than 95% of your competition, all you have to do is follow-up.” As I’ve traveled the United States, I’ve talked about the importance and power of NURTURING relationships. All of this follow-up, nurturing talk is really difficult, though, if you are relying on a stack of business cards, relying on your memory to remember who is who, and what, why and how to follow-up. Take a lesson from sales professionals and use a system (JibberJobber!) to help you follow-up and nurture relationships throughout the rest of your career!
JibberJobber continually improves and adds new career management features. We started out as a simple replacement to the job search spreadsheet… and over the years it made sense to add other functionality. Like the Job Journal, where you can record past accomplishments that become part of your stories, and the Interview Prep area, where you can wordsmith how you are going to respond to interview questions and networking situations. There is also a coaching interface, which brings more value to the relationship between you and your coach. As we hear about really cool best-practices in career management, we wonder “should this be built into JibberJobber?”
JibberJobber is the hub for your career and networking information, regardless of any networks that tend to come and go. Find a contact name and email on a job posting? Or meet someone on LinkedIn, or Facebook, or Twitter? Did you read about them on a press release? Did someone make a face-to-face introduction to someone you want to follow-up with? No matter where you get your information from, JibberJobber sits comfortably in the middle, as the hub and information gatherer. Social networks come and go in popularity (refer to MySpace), but that shouldn’t impact whether your relationships come and go, too. Have one single hub (JibberJobber!) to store information from disparate sources of information.
We’re constantly thinking of how to make things easier for you. As web users, we continually find coolness on other websites and think “we should do this on JibberJobber!” Even though we are ancient in Internet years, we are continually trying to improve the value we bring you, and your user experience. I promise your Excel spreadsheet is not thinking about you the way we are
We’re constantly working on getting data in. Getting data into any system can be a pain. Sometimes there is no alternative to just typing a name and number in. But we are continually thinking “how can we take this from 7 clicks to 4 clicks,” or “could we import this data?” Some of our tweaks have been big (the Gmail synchronization) while some have been small and almost unnoticeable (changing the order of fields on the Add Contact page, so that the first three fields are the main three fields you should have on every Contact). We’re also thinking of the next phase of Email2Log, and some amazing functionality that we could do with emails you send to the system.
We’re constantly thinking of how to get data out. This is not just a repository of data, but it’s a tool to help you with the right information, at the right time. This might mean getting Action Item alerts via email or SMS (a premium feature), or showing you what you have going on this week every time you log in, or showing you how many open Action Items you have this week and next week from any page you are on. Perhaps it is the custom reporting tools and the export functionality that is at your fingertips… whatever it is, we want you to (a) feel like this is YOUR DATA, and it’s not trapped in some system that you don’t own, and (b) can get your data out in a way that is meaningful to you.
The interface with your daily email system and processes makes this a very easy system to use. Email2Log is the “killer app” in JibberJobber. The idea that you can send emails all day long, and have that create Log Entries, Action Items, Companies, Contacts, and more, is simply awesome.
We want to give you peace of mind. Recently I got an email from someone who had just started using JibberJobber. He said “I actually slept all through the last night now that I am feeling organized.” This struck a chord with me and reminded me of the feelings of anxiety you have as a job seeker. There are so many unknowns, and so many things that are out of your control. Let us help you get the organizational thing under control, and empower you so that you can have your own peace of mind in this very tumultuous time.
JibberJobber is as inexpensive as you want it to be. About two years ago we moved most of the features to the free side. We simply just gave away what others had paid for in the past. You can upgrade for $9.95 a month, or if you upgrade for a year you get 50% off (so it comes out to $5/month)… and most people do that for the Email2Log (and extra storage). But if you don’t have any money, then enjoy almost every feature of JibberJobber, including our customer support that we pride ourselves on, at no cost.
JibberJobber makes you a smarter, and more valuable, professional. A few years ago I was talking to a recruiter who said “If I was hiring someone who needed CRM experience, I would totally want to interview JibberJobber users.” Did you realize that using JibberJobber was on-the-job training? You are kind of reprogramming your brain to think about relationships, both with people and with data, differently. Using JibberJobber helps you understand different thinking, different software, different interfaces, and how to think about these complexities differently. You didn’t know using JibberJobber is actually something you could add to your resume, did you?
There are more benefits, but I should stop before this post becomes so long it should have been a book. I hope this has been helpful to you, if you have been wondering about transitioning from your spreadsheet to JibberJobber.
When I see stuff like this it reminds me of when I first learned about it, when I was a job seeker, thinking how unfair it was that I had my stupid Excel spreadsheet to track my job search, and the people I was sending my resume to and interviewing with had sophisticated software. No more! Now the playing field is leveled, since you can use JibberJobber…. !
Want to see what an ATS is/does/looks like? I found this company while poking around the internet and started digging around. I went to the Tour link and saw this 1:30 video. If you are wondering what HR and recruiters might be using to figure out if you are worthy of an interview. Here’s the video:
Remember, this does not apply to every company you apply to. Some will use an ATS, some will not (even if they have it). My recommendation is still to network into the company before you play the “resume black hole” game. That’s not a fun game.
Many of you know I was “the first” to write a LinkedIn book (now in the fourth edition). In fact, one person wrote his before me, so I was “the second.” I’m cool with that.
What you might not know is that I’m a nerd for communicating on our Profiles. While I have a bit of “cobbler’s kids” syndrome (that is, he made shoes but his kids were barefoot), I do love picking apart other people’s Profiles and seeing where there is opportunity for improvement.
I focus on (1) being found, which is usually about the search engine and showing up on the front page, and (2) being readable in an engaging, interesting way. What I didn’t say in the newsletter: I also focus on giving you actionable advice…. stuff you can actually do.
I loathe jargon and cliche, and I love helping you stand out in a way that not many do.
If this sounds interesting to you, you can pay at the link below and then send me your profile information. I’ll do a recording of my critique, which might be from 12 minutes to 20+ minutes (depending on how much you have to critique, usually), and then I send you a video file you can watch as often as you want.
I have done this for executives, professionals, entry-level, solopreneurs, career coaches, resume writers, branding specialists, outplacement pros (and their candidates (actually, for outplacement firms I offer a higher level, one-on-one service for their candidates))… it’s been a fun opportunity to help so many people.
A few months ago I did a critique for Tom, who I’ve known for years as someone who is very strategic about his career management, networking and branding. He already had a very good profile. After he watched the critique, these are some of the things he wrote to me:
“WOW! You’ve provided a great deal of excellent advise.”
“Fortunately I’m not in transition but I want to be ready for my next move no matter who’s choice it is…”
“EXCELLENT point about the professional headline. I definitely need to add …”
“Yet more excellent feedback about my volunteer work for… “
“You have provided a wealth of information and I thank you for that. It certainly is hard to be objective about myself so you’ve really helped me see many areas that I can improve my profile to help recruiters get to know me not just my skills and experience.”
I don’t normally get depth of feedback from people, but like I said, Tom is purposeful, and there is a reason he has weathered career transitions so well.
I want my JibberJobber users to have short, less painful transitions. Building our brands and nurturing our network is a big part of that. Shall we do this together? Click on the link above and I’ll do my part…
The short answer is, yes, definitely use one JibberJobber account to track both of these endeavors.
Technically, I would use tags to help you keep the two separated. So, when you add a new contact, tag them as job_search or business. Or, you can tag them as both job_search and business.
I’ve found, over the years, that many of my personal and professional relationships are not constrained to just one bucket. For example, this last week I reached out to two long-term friends to ask for professional, business-related introductions.
Also, I did not tag either of these friends as friends, personal, business, referral, or anything like that. Perhaps I should, but for now I simply have just created a Log Entry for each of the requests, and their responses.
When their contacts reach out to me, I simply use the Referred By field to keep track of who introduced me to who… that has proved to be invaluable over the years.
In addition to that scenario, I track personal things in JibberJobber, such as who I call when I need an appliance fixed, or when my garage door breaks. I don’t like having to track those types of people, but I do like having one place to store names and numbers, and even track when they service my stuff, and how much I pay them.
JibberJobber has become my central information hub… it started out as a job search tool, and for me very quickly evolved to a small business CRM and a personal business tracker.
My team is very proud of the breadth and depth of what they have developed!
Let me share a bit more of what we do.
The article says:
2. Use JibberJobber to Keep Track of Information You Collect During Your Job Search.
This is a great observation, even though it’s something I don’t talk about enough. But here’s how it works. If you find information about a target company, contact, job opportunity, etc., and it might come in handy later, while you network or interview, you should collect the information. Store it in JibberJobber, obviously.
Here are the other two from the list of ten:
8. Use Insightly to Manage and Organize Business Cards You Collect.
This function is usually referred to as “customer relationship management” (or, CRM). This is what I normally talk about… and how most people describe JibberJobber: as a CRM! So, I don’t want to talk anything away from Insightly, but I will suggest that JibberJobber is a great CRM designed especially for job seekers. The job search process, networking into target companies, etc. is what we are all about. Our free version is highly functional and quite awesome. For a small optional fee you could have everything we have to offer. (quick note on Insightly: their free version has 2,500 records, which is NOT the same as 2,500 contacts and/or companies. Every note, email, etc. (stuff we would call Log Entries) counts as a record… which will add up). I’m sure they have an awesome system, but my point is, we now hit two of the ten points of the Time article.
9. Use Contactually to Create an Automatic Follow-up System
Ah, the brilliance of a follow-up system! I remember the phone call when I was talking to a user and he said “JibberJobber is my follow-up system!” Ever since then I’ve thought about that… he didn’t refer to it as his organizational system, or tracking system, or CRM… but a follow-up system. BRILLIANT.
I had been talking about the power of follow-up in my presentations, but never referred to JibberJobber as a follow-up system. But I do now. Keith Ferrazzi said “if you want to be more successful than 95% of your competition, all you need to do is follow-up.” I didn’t match that concept with JibberJobber until my user said it was his follow-up system. That is why we have introduced some of the features we have recently: to help you follow-up. Time recommends Contactually, which is actually another CRM… it has some special tools to help you reconnect with people, or prompt you to reconnect with people. JibberJobber will move into that realm, but the reason why my dev team said we do this is because of our “Recurring Action Items,” which is basically scheduling an Action Item to recur multiple times (like, “email Jason once a quarter.”) We’ll have more functionality like what Contactually does down the road. (you’ll find that all CRM systems leap-frog each other with features… one day you are ahead, the next day you are behind… )
As a job seeker, you won’t want to get THREE CRM tools. Pick one. More importantly, USE IT! Picking “the best” CRM, but not using it is really a waste of time and energy.
Get it? USE JibberJobber! Don’t just sign up, but actually use it. Your entire career could depend on it.
For a few years the new buzz word in training for resume writers is how to write a resume to get through the ATS system.
ATS is “applicant tracking system,” which is kind of like JibberJobber for the recruiter. They aren’t tracking a relationship with YOU as much as they are tracking specific job openings, who applies, and who gets to have an interview with a human.
I guess that is tracking you, kind of. But only as far as that specific opportunity goes. There is no relationship nurturing going on… it’s all about filling open jobs, and weeding out the high percentage of people who shouldn’t have applied in the first place.
You can imagine how resume writers want to write a resume that will get through the ATS, and eventually get to the live person. I haven’t completely wrapped my brain around the technology, but I’ve understood that most jobs people are hired for are with companies that are smaller, and might not even know what ATS means. I’ve focused my advice more on networking into a job than on monkeying around with your resume to get it better (which I call “hiding from your job search,” since you can do that for days and weeks and not really get any closer to getting an interview).
But I keep my ears open to what the experts are saying, and am always looking for any information I can share with you. When I saw this article on LinkedIn from Louise Kursmark, I knew it would have important information. I think this is a super-important perspective because she is a well-known resume writer who has trained hundreds, maybe thousands, of resume writers. Louise gave me permission to repost her article here (original post)… I hope this helps you with your job search strategy today!
ATS: I Couldn’t Care Less
ATS – Applicant Tracking Systems – cause a lot of twitter and chatter among job seekers and resume writers. I might even call it an obsession about finding the keywords, mimicking the job posting, and designing the document to get through the automated screener.
Personally, I think that obsession is a distraction from the real work of job search.
Even if your resume is a perfect match for the job posting, you have a very small chance of being chosen for an interview. That’s because your resume is one of dozens or even hundreds competing for just a handful of top slots. It’s likely at least a few other candidates will have qualifications that are slightly stronger or a background that’s just a bit closer to the ideal specified by the recruiter or employer.
So it’s easy to spend a lot of fruitless time trying to rise to the top of a very large pool. And when you don’t, you feel frustrated, discouraged, maybe even depressed and angry.
My advice: Have a keyword-rich, simply formatted resume that stands a reasonable chance of making it through the ATS. Then, spend less time applying to posted openings and more time getting referrals into the companies you’re interested in.
Use your network to find a connection, ask for an introduction, and start a dialogue. Rather than applying for a job, have a conversation about the company’s needs and how someone with your background might be able to help. Become a real person rather than a piece of paper or collection of keywords.
Chances are very good that you’ll be able to parlay many of those conversations into actual interviews for real jobs. Even if you don’t, you’ve built another strand in your web of connections that will ultimately lead you to your next job.
And isn’t it more satisfying to have a colleague-to-colleague business discussion than to be judged (and rejected) based on a mysterious set of keyword qualifications?
Thank you, Louise, for a real perspective and great advice! There really is no way around doing some of the hard work in the job search!
This post is to document the power and importance of the “Log End Line” when using the Email2Log. You don’t *have to* use the Log End Line, but a few scenarios came up recently where I really understood how (1) powerful it is and how (2) important it is.
This blog post is kind of long, but it’s a lot of pictures, and it’s meant to be comprehensive coverage of the Log End Line.
Note that the Log End Line is optional (you don’t have to use it), but I hope that after you go through this post you’ll know why you should use it (at least sometimes).
What is the Log End Line and Where do I set it up?
The Log End Line is one of the three fields you fill out in order to activate the Email2Log feature (remember, this is a premium feature). Mouse over Logs, then click on Email2Log:
Then, you’ll see the form, where the third field is for the Log End Line:
You can put anything you want as the Log End Line. I do not recommend putting anything that any normal human being might put in an email, like —————–, ____________________, ==================, *****************, or other such characters. Those might be normal separators that anyone could type in, and it would effectively mess up what you are trying to do with the Email2Log.
Our example (see the red dotted line in the image above) is a series of characters that most people aren’t ever going to type… it’s kind of hard to type that string. That’s what I’ve been using for years. You can simply copy and paste that into the Log End Line textbox, if you want.
How and when do I use the Log End Line?
I include my Log End Line in every email that I send. My email signature looks like this:
Every email client I know of allows you to create an email signature. This way you don’t have to retype it every time you send an email. (As a side-note, I’m really big on signatures and think they are powerful personal branding tools!)
I never delete this, as it simply looks like a natural line separator between the body (which goes above) and the rest of the email signature. So it doesn’t detract or distract.
The main idea behind, and most common use of, the Log End Line is that anything after the Log End Line IS NOT included in a Log Entry created when you use Email2Log. To say it in a more technical way, the Log Entry created will be truncated after the Log End Line. More on that in the next section.
Tip: some advanced users will put the Log End Line under their email signature, and then change the font to white, so it isn’t seen by email recipients. I don’t do that, but I think it’s kind of clever
What does the Log End Line do? (Part 1: Power)
The power of the Log End Line is that it truncates your email so you aren’t creating long Log Entries with a bunch of unwanted text. Use the Log End Line to smartly cut the Log Entry so that you only have what you want, and not all the superfluous stuff. For example, in this image you can see I have NOT edited my Log End Line, which means that ONLY my reply will be in the Log Entry created by Email2Log.
However, the original message is really something I want to include in my Log Entry (it gives my reply context, and it includes a phone number and location for this contact – that’s good stuff). Therefore, with this email I would actually delete two characters (I do two simply because it keeps the Log End Line symmetric… I could delete just one and it would have the same effect). Here’s what the new one looks like, less two characters.. note that this ENTIRE email is going to go into the Log Entry:
Is it hard to see the difference between the two? That subtlety is exactly what I want … I don’t want you to think “oh, something is different… WHY?”
Tip: If I want to include some stuff below my email signature, but not EVERYTHING below my email signature, I will copy the entire Log End Line and paste it where I want to truncate (for example, after your name or your email signature, in the case that there is stuff your email signature (like a disclosure, or more of the email thread), and then I will go to my original Log End Line, above my signature, and then delete two characters.
This ability to truncate your Log Entry, simply by putting a string of characters (aka, the Log End Line) in your email, is POWERFUL!
What does the Log End Line do? (Part 2: Importance)
Did you know you could put some special lines into your email and multiple the power of your Email2Log Log Entry? For example, with a few lines in the email I could make the Log Entry an Action Item, and I could associate it to other Contacts, Companies and Jobs. This is really cool. My email might include these special lines:
Some important information about each of these lines (which are all optional):
This creates an Action Item. You can put in a date, like 12/12/2014 or you can put in something like + 1 week or + 3 months, etc. Sometimes you’ll know the date for the Action Items, sometimes the date doesn’t matter (“ah, remind me in a few months”).
contacts: (or, contact:)
You need to have at least one email address. You can have more, separated by commas. If you put in either of the examples below, it will (a) associate this Log Entry to an existing Contact with the same email address, or if it can’t find that email address on any of your Contacts, it will create a new Contact record. The key is that it is looking for and matching based on an email address, not on a name. Examples of what this line might look like:
contacts:email@example.com <– no FirstName or LastName required – I’m assuming this is an existing Contact in my system, and it’s only going to associate the Log Entry, not create a new Contact record. If it doesn’t find the record, though, it will create a new Contact record and the FirstName will be the email address (so put the name!)
contacts:”Jason Alba” <firstname.lastname@example.org> <– this is FirstName LastName (no comma)
contacts:”Alba, Jason” <email@example.com> <– this is LastName, First Name (the comma makes all the difference!)
contacts:”Jason Alba” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com <– this has more than one contact, separated by comma (note, whether I put in one or multiple contacts, I always use contacts instead of contact… just my habit)
companies: (or, company)
Separate Companies by commas (which means, if you have any commas in your Company records, you should remove them, or this feature gets mixed up). Like Contacts, JibberJobber will try to find an existing Company record and associate the Log Entry to that record, but if it can’t, it will create a new Company record. (yes, this is new, this week! Before this week it would not create a new Company record.)
jobs: (or, job)
Like Contacts and Companies, JibberJobber will try to find an existing Job record and associate the Log Entry to that record. If it can’t find a match, it will create a new Job record. This is also new, as of this week! Before this week it would not create a new Job record.)
Commas are powerful! Just like companies:, you can add multiple jobs on this line (you rarely will, but you might), and separate them with commas. If you have commas in your Job records, remove them or this feature gets mixed up).
NOTE: if you have 10 jobs with the same name, the Log Entry will be associated with all of them. This is a nut we need to crack, but for now I would recommend that you have different names for each job, if you want to use this feature. You might do this: Project Manager 1, Project Manager 2, etc. or this: Project Manager – ebay 1, Project Manager – ebay 2, etc. Sorry about this, and hopefully we’ll figure out a more elegant solution.
That is advanced Email2Log stuff… what does it have to do with the Log End Line?
If you put those special lines (to create an Action Item, or associate the Log Entry to Contacts, Companies or Jobs), you HAVE TO put it after the Log End Line.
So, this isn’t going to work, because there is no Log End Line:
This will work, because there is a Log End Line:
So, the Log End Line becomes important because it allows you to insert these other special commands in your email. Essentially, when JibberJobber gets the email, it says everything before the Log End Line can become the Log Entry, and everything after the Log End Line (1) won’t, but if there are any special lines (like you see in yellow, above), it WILL create an Action Item date, and associate the Log Entry to other Contacts, Companies and Jobs.
When would you do this?
Scenario 1: If I have a panel interview at my target company, I’m going to send a follow-up email to the people on the panel, and use the Email2Log feature to log it. I’m not going to include my recruiter in the To or CC, but I might want to associate the Log Entry to her record… so I’ll put the contacts:____ with her email address. I’ll also put the Companies and Jobs lines in so that the Log Entry will also be associated to the target company, and the job I just interviewed at.
Scenario 2: If I send an email to you, but then I forget to do the Email2Log, I can forward the sent email to JibberJobber, and put contacts:______ in the body, below the Log End Line. For example, this will create a Log Entry, but it isn’t going to be associated to anything (because the contacts line is NOT below a Log End Line):
This one, however, WILL create the Log Entry and associate it to the right Contact because the contacts: line is after the Log End Line:
Whew… I know this is a long blog post, but I wanted to get this all documented in one place.
Do you have any questions or suggestions? Feel free to leave them in the Comments below, or use the Contact Us form or email us directly
I’m reading David Bradford’s book Up Your Game, and on page 41 he talks about using a contact manager.
David is the consummate networker who has also had a terrific career. He’s a grandpa living in Utah and just recently was the CEO of HireVue, and before that, CEO of the amazing Fusion-IO. He is active on social media and has a big, giving heart.
Back to the “contact manager” concept. In the olden days (well, actually, even today) most people had not heard of a “contact manager.” Everyone had heard of a Roladex, which is an old-fashioned device that sat on your desk, and allowed you to quickly flip through cards that had your contacts’ information on them so you could find their phone number and call them. Here’s a modern-looking roladex (image courtesy wikipedia):
According to what I’ve found online, ACT! was the first digital contact manager – that is, a contact manager on a computer. It was 1986 (where were YOU in 1986??) and ACT! would be the first of hundreds. There were a few others that you probably haven’t heard of, the one I briefly used was Goldmine. Today you have likely heard of the massive $5B/annual company Salesforce.com. Perhaps there are thousands of CRM systems now.
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management… and this software has mostly been designed for sales professionals. Some of them LOVE the software, and live-and-die on CRM, and others abhor CRM (because they are people people, and not software nerds).
The Roladex, and the little black book of contacts, were for anyone trying to keep track of their friend/family, etc.
CRM was really mostly for salespeople. Who else would pay that much for software that was that hard to use, when all you really wanted was a place to write down a phone number?
When David wrote about using a “contact manager” in his book, I got excited. He is not using it as a sales professional, he’s using it as a real contact manager! He’s using it to keep track of who is is meeting, what their important phone information is, when he communicates with them, and when he needs to follow-up.
Let me break that down, and make this a “how to” post. This is more of a “how to get value out of a contact manager” than how to use any bells and whistles. And just for fun, I’m going to use “JibberJobber” instead of “contact manager.”
First, store your contacts in JibberJobber.
You can store all of them, but you don’t need to. Don’t get stressed that one system (perhaps your email contact list) has contacts that are not in JibberJobber, or that LinkedIn doesn’t have all of the same contacts as you have in JibberJobber. Recognize that these are different systems with different purposes. The purpose of your contact manager (JibberJobber) is not to have the contacts everwhere else, but to serve as a central repository of IMPORTANT contacts that you are, can or want to nurture. If someone comes into your life through LinkedIn, eventually they’ll probably end up in JibberJobber.
Second, record information about those contacts.
When you first enter a contact, you likely won’t have all of the information you could put in about them. I usually start with just the first name, last name, and email address. As my relationship progresses, or as we exchange more and more emails, I will find out other information, like a work address or phone number, which might be in their official work email. Just collect this information as you get it, and gradually enter it into JibberJobber. Don’t stress about not having it to begin with…
Third, record important communication as “log entries.”
When you reach out to someone, or respond to them, log it into JibberJobber. I don’t do this all the time, but as I’m starting a relationship I’ll log any communication just to put a timeframe around how fast or slow our relationship is forming. Once I have a strong relationship with someone, I find myself logging communications less, but the quality of what I’m logging increases. For example, we meet at a networking event and I send you an email. I’ll log that email, even though it’s not going to have anything more substantial than “nice to meet you – let’s get on a call next week.” A few years later I’m not going to log every email we exchange, but if there is something big, or important, then I’ll log that. Don’t beat yourself up for not logging everything… you’ll get used to what you really want to track and what you don’t need to.
Fourth, indicate when you need to follow-up with your contacts.
This might be one of the hardest things to do, and track, for people who are starting to get serious about networking. Why? Because the more you network, the more follow-up you can do! And it feels rotten to meet people, start a relationship, and then forget when to follow-up, or who they were, or why you should follow-up, etc. In JibberJobber, you’ll create “action items,” which is basically a due date on a log entry. You can even create recurring action items, which means you can say “Ping Johnny every quarter,” to help you nurture relationships over the long-term.
Keith Ferrazzi says that if you want to be better than 95% of your competition, all you have to do is follow-up. We know this, but there’s a reason why 95 out of 100 people don’t do it: it’s hard to manage!
Let JibberJobber be your contact manager and your follow-up tool.
The focus is not on sales, rather on relationships.
Are you ready to get serious about this yet? Jump on a User Orientation webinar, and let’s start by taking baby steps together.
I want to address a different question from Michael’s original message to us, where he says:
>> … my contacts from [LinkedIn, Outlook, and Facebook] are constantly changing so all of this will then need to be updated within JibberJobber to stay current.
Yes, those three databases will change… but I want to think about this “need to be updated in JibberJobber” idea.
If you add a new friend in Facebook, do they really need to be in JibberJobber?
If you add a new contact in Outlook, or in LinkedIn, do they need to be in JibberJobber?
I would suggest that they do not need to be in JibberJobber.
I have new additions to LinkedIn regularly, as well as new additions to my email contact list. I do not regularly update them in JibberJobber.
I put a lot of people in JibberJobber, adding more contacts there per week than any other place (probably more than my email, LinkedIn and Facebook combined). But I’m not too worried about have any of them in sync.
This is because JibberJobber is my central networking, relationship and tracking tool. When we get serious in our relationship, I’m not worried about you being a “friend” in Facebook. I’m not worried about connecting with you in LinkedIn. I’m not even that worried about you ending up in my email contact list (although just by emailing me you are already in that tracking system).
But I WILL get you into JibberJobber. I’ll track your contact information (as I get it – I might have the email address at first, and eventually a phone number or two), and I’ll track the important conversations we have.
I’m guessing 70%+ of my Log Entries are created with Email2Log. This means that with very little effort, I’m able to keep my central relationship tracking tool (JibberJobber) updated with active contacts, and our email conversations.
If we have an active relationship, I’m likely emailing you. Since it’s so easy to get a new Contact into JibberJobber with Email2Log, and the email becomes a Log Entry, I do a lot of my data entry with that tool.
This means that even though JibberJobber isn’t in sync with my other networking tools, it does have the most important, current relationships in the system.
Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to keep all of your systems in sync… let’s just focus on tracking what we need to track. The beauty of this is, if you do decide to put someone into JibberJobber that is in Facebook, (1) it’s easy to do, and (2) it’s easy to copy/paste whatever data you need from Facebook when it is the right time.
I got a great question from Michael about importing, and the potential for creating duplicates. In short, he is asking about importing regularly… let’s say monthly. If I import from LinkedIn today, then I import from LinkedIn next month, aren’t I going to create a whole bunch of duplicates? (you can see his original question and comments in the box at the bottom of this post…
In short, no, it shouldn’t re-import duplicates.
In this very important blog post, where I describe three steps to import from systems like LinkedIn, the third step has an image of the import screen with some yellow rows and some white rows (scroll to the bottom of that post to see the images). The yellow rows are for those records that we think are already in the system…. so, if you import 100 records today, then pull your contacts from LinkedIn (or Google or wherever) next month, and you have 125, the 100 you already imported will be in yellow, and not imported. The left-most column is a checkbox where you can choose to override the option to not import… but in general, as long as the row is yellow (and in that case, the checkbox to import will be unchecked), you will not create new duplicates each time you import.
That’s pretty cool, huh?
The bottom line is that you will have duplicates… I still get them and I know all the tricks. For example, let’s say I have John Doe as one of my Contacts. His email is John@Doe.com. He emails me from his personal email address (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I reply back with the Email2Log feature without really thinking about it. I don’t take the time to see if the hotmail email is on his record… I just shoot a reply back and… well, I get a duplicate.
This could be frustrating, but really, it’s so easy to clean up and MERGE the duplicates that not only do I not worry about it, it isn’t an urgent need to merge the duplicates. I can continue to put Log Entries on both records… and when I finally get around to it, merge them, and all Log Entries are merged under the one record. It makes duplicates a minor nuisance, but not a mess that you might think it would be.
Here’s Michael’s original question and comments, which I thought was too darn cool to just summarize as a question (Michael, thanks for the kind words!). I’ve took the liberty to throw a comma in here, and make other visual changes to his comment: