This isn’t the first time I have written about Evernote… and it won’t be the last. If you don’t already use it, you should. Seriously… it will literally change your life. For those of you who do use it, congratulations for taking the time to learn more about it.

fists image via

In addition to being an Evernote lover, I am a big believer in AUTHENTICALLY building connections and nurturing relationships… and seek to infuse technology into every process. So, let me share the way I use Evernote as a Relationship Builder.

Before I go any further, let me be clear, I am not talking about creating a contact management program. Here is the difference, as I see it, so we are starting on the same page:

A Contact Management Program is typically used to store/retrieve contact info like phone numbers, emails, addresses, birthdates, etc. You are probably using Google Apps or Outlook to do this for you now… and (hopefully) it all syncs seamlessly to your smartphone and tablet.

The Relationship Development Program concept is to have a system to nurture important connections and build real relationships with them. These people may be a combo of “online only” connections and those you see throughout the year at conferences, Starbucks for coffee, or in your slippers over video chats!

Okay, now that that is clear (I hope), let me continue.

A little over a year ago, I decided to use Evernote to focus on 20 connections. I chose people I met throughTwitter, so the bulk of our interactions were focused online – peppered with some in real life events and in virtual life G+ hangouts.

It really is quite simple to create a RDP system in your Evernote:

1. Choose the people you want to focus on…

2. Create a notebook called “relationships” or “connections” or (whatever you want to call them…)

notebook image via shutterstock

3. Create a separate notebook for the first person.

4. Drag that notebook icon over the top of your “relationships” notebook to easily create a STACK.

5. Create the rest of your connection notebooks inside this stack.

6. Now – start collecting your info!

Here are some “collect me” suggestions to get you started:

  •  When and where did you first meet? (add this as a recurring calendar event to celebrate!)
  •  What are the names of their family members? (Furry ones included!)
puppy image via shutterstock 
  • What are they passionate about?
  •  What do they do for fun?
  •  What are their favorite #hashtags?
  •  What are they currently working on that you might be able to help them on/with? (The key here is to ask then actually DO what you can to help!)

Now, when you are out on the web doing research, shopping, surfing, etc and see something that reminds you of them – send it right to their Evernote Notebook via the Evernote Clipper or the emailing into Evernote option. Things like:

  • Articles you want to read later and share with them specifically
  • Something special (like custom chucks or a cool app) you want to research before you share
  • A tweet that expresses a date, desire, or need you want to catalogue or share (the emailing into Evernote is the BEST option for this!)
  • A Facebook status they posted that you just don’t have time to respond to right away…(You can just highlight the comment and click the Evernote clipper to save it as a separate note in their notebook!) You get the idea…

Then, whenever you talk or meet, add a note into their notebook and use a date/time stamp to keep information chronological and organized. You can type it in yourself or use a text expansion product like TextExpander for Mac or Breevy for Windows.

Want to have fun with this and take it to 11? (You KNOW you do!) Create a stack of notebooks for people you would like to meet! Find them on their social channels, RSS their blog posts, and engage with them. Ask them if there is anything you can do to help them reach a goal – and then DO IT. Give to Give – NOT to get…and see what happens!

Remember, there are no rules here. Start your own Evernote experiment with people you want to “get to know better” and see what happens! You might just find yourself with a new strategic business partner, client, or best friend.

I did.

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