David Rockefeller's Rolodex card for Nelson Mandela.

One could argue that the most successful people are the most well connected and have great relationships. Remembering birthdays, gifts, events, special occasions, addresses, becomes more difficult as our lives become more occupied. A personal CRM helps manage these things and strengthens your relationships.

A good personal CRM allows you to remember all of the above, as well as allowing you to flexibly store other information, just as David Rockefeller did with an entire room dedicated to rolodex cards. Fortunately we don't need a separate room and a secretary to manage our rolodex β€” we have computers and the internet.

David Rockefeller’s Rolodex cards have been transferred to file drawers. Photo: Benjamin Hoste for The Wall Street Journal β€” Source

A personal CRM has allowed me to easily remember important events, dates, notes, and so much more. When I receive a gift I punch it into Pickle β€” my CRM of choice β€” and add a to-do to send a thank you. It's attached directly to that friend so I stay organized. While Facebook tends to remind you of birthdays, it's hard to keep track of other information. In-fact, as we grow older, I see less and less of my friends using the happy birthday reminders of Facebook.

With Pickle, I can keep track of all sorts of useful stuff. I'll know if a guest is a vegetarian when shopping for a BBQ, I'll keep track of gifts and correspondences, I'll be able to quickly see promotions and notes from the last time we spoke and like Rockefeller, I can catch up like it was last week instead of last year.

I remember companies quickly so when someone asks for a recommendation for attic insulation, I can quickly pull it out and remember the details. I can tag things with insulation or hvac and instantly find everything with those tags. I'll even attach invoices and other files to various contacts for future reference. If you've ever spent more than 30 seconds looking for an invoice from your plumber two years ago, you'll know how handy it is to have it instantly and readily available.

I've used a personal CRM to help my wife plan our wedding, and I've written about it a few times. I highly suggest everyone use a Personal CRM. David Rockefeller was an expert networker. From this article:

One Kissinger card mentions the time when Queen Elizabeth II knighted him in June 1995. β€œHe is not to be referenced as Sir Henry as he is an American,’’ the card said, with the word β€œnot” underlined for emphasis.

During a lunch at his estate in 2015, Mr. Rockefeller gave Mr. Kissinger a copy of his 35 Rolodex cards. They contained descriptions of their hundreds of encounters since they first met in 1955.

β€œI am astonished that we have seen each other so much,’’ Mr. Kissinger recalled telling his friend. Having a record of their frequent times together over the years β€œmeant a lot to me,” he said in an interview.

Having a personal CRM has been a very powerful tool for me and helps me stay organized. I'm more productive and confident when I meet up with people. It's something that Facebook and LinkedIn just can't do.

If you want to try using the CRM that I've built, you can freely check out Pickle here.