43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Contact management options

Hi -

I'm trying to figure out the best way to go about storing contact information for contacts related to a community group.

The basics: I want a digital but not web-based solution allow me to see both a quick list of contacts and have expanded space for details and notes.

Whatever I use needs to be able to export data for other board members and for archiving. I'd love some kind of tagging or other sub-category system. I need this to be $30 at most, free is better.

More details:

1) I'm currently running Mac OS 10.3.9. I do intend to upgrade to 10.5 sometime after it's an option, but 10.4 only solutions won't work.

2) Digital, but platform independent exporting.

3) I don't have Microsoft Office at home (I do at work, but that's a non-ideal solution.)

4) Low cost: As above, up to about $30

5) Easy to add entries/update: I don't want something where I have to copy/paste information into multiple places. (I'd considered VoodooPad, which I otherwise adore, for this, but the manual upkeep would be a pain.)

6) I strongly prefer an offline solution (i.e. on my own computer) over a web-based one. Some of the people whose contact info I have are cautious about data privacy. Some notes may also be confidential within the board.


1) A list option, and detail screens: I want something that will give a single list of names/contact information (like an Excel spreadsheet would, so I can quickly go down and send emails/etc.) but that also has individual screens for additional detail (last contact date, a reasonably extensive note space: some of our contacts will involve scheduling notes or other details.)

2) Some kind of "last contact date" sorting would be fantastic.

3) Some way to separate these contacts from others. I'd love some way to keep my personal contacts separate from work for this group (both for archiving/passing on data within the group, and so I don't have to wade through my personal contacts to find people.) I don't care whether that's separate saved files, or some sort of tagging, or whatever, as long as I can archive stuff out easily.

I haven't used Address Book: my impression was that it might not fit my criteria. If I'm wrong, please tell me!

Many thanks for whatever suggestions you have.


About jcarnott




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »