silverhuang
Hi all,

As an entrepreneur who has for years been frustrated by the linearity of most productivity systems out there, I'm wondering if I can use TheBrain to develop a better way of tracking client communication i.e. emails, social media messages, text messages etc.

I would really love a system where I can reference all communication instances and types with any specific client instead of having to jump from service to service i.e. in my case, Contactually to Aweber to Gmail etc. 

As a new user, I'm aware my lack of experience using TB is probably blocking me from seeing a simple solution but here my current newbie block:
  • I'm using link types to distinguish between "emails sent" and "emails received" however I'm worried that in linking directly to the client Thought I may end up with too many email Thoughts linked to each client Thought, be it child or jump. 

It is not imperative that I do design this system because just playing around with trying to design it will inevitably teach me a lot more about how I want to use TheBrain, which is at the end of the day, my current major objective. 

But yes, curious to know if anyone else uses TheBrain to track emails?

Thanks.
Silver Huang

macOS Sierra 10.12.6 | iOS 11.2.5
TheBrain 9.0.242.0 | TheBrain Tech 9.0.4
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ruudhein
I think using TB as a kind of CRM could work much better than using TB as email storage.

I've used TB in the past to keep essential client information in a central place and the best value I got was by grouping information however it made sense for that client.

What appeared to be most effective was to give thoughts names that capture the essential status of an action or communication event. "Concerned about X" as a thought name worked better than using only a date or copying the email subject line. Using the other systems as a data store but TheBrain as the conceptual side of that data.

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So there's my view of you. When you call or write, I can pull up your name and instantly see where we are.

I can add detail to the thoughts:

2.jpg 

I's be using the dot-notation to order those thoughts so they appear in the order I need vs default sorting order:

3.jpg 

As communication grows, or as things get handled, I can group thoughts down:

4.jpg 

Leaving my top level view clear:

5.jpg 

To keep things instantly clear, I'd have some info about you in the note for your name but also in jump thoughts:

6.jpg 
So now next time we talk I know what business you're in and I'll ask "how was your vacation?", and then "by the way, in the middle column on your homepage you have a typo; with the Intrepid Intrepid ethos instead of Intrepid Integrity"

After the call/email, I'll update those talking points. Some can be deleted, some can go into a facts about you thought; "vacations in Cuba - loves it"

So the key is to keep it instantly useful for you, not to treat it as a formal data place.

Other things that come to mind:
  • Use the notes
    • top level thoughts with a few bullet pointgs
  • Link to searches
    • easy to link to a search on your name in Gmail, for example
  • After each communication entry, move/group/rename/tag/prune as needed
    • the goal is to have an instant overview who this client is and what's up with them
Using: Evernote | FilterizeEverdo | Dynalist | Liner | TheBrain v9.0.263.0
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zenrain
I would agree with ruudhein. Generally if there is a program that is specifically designed to deal with a process (for example, task managers and email), I’ll use those programs and link specific items to TheBrain. In effect, I’m using TheBrain as a summary or overview of the important information I need, and let the individual tools handle the details. Otherwise I’m doubling the work I need to do to stay on top of things.

Overall I find TheBrain most useful when it acts as an information repository. I try to distill what is useful for my workflow/job/project/research and arrange it in such a way that I can activate the area that deals with that topic and it will show me all the information at a glance, as well as the reference documentation and links to the details or resources should I need to go further. This was hard to do when I started, but becomes second nature and makes TheBrain an invaluable resource for me, rather than just a bucket I put stuff in that I don’t want to forget. Although to be honest, I sometimes do this too… 😃

It helped me to think about each thought as a representation of something. To this representation I can add files, pictures and notes, or all of them. Most other information software can’t do this, it’s either a file, a picture or a note. So for notes I generally use them as my notes about what the thought is I’m representing. This may be a summary of the attached file, my thoughts about it, or just the status and things I’ve worked on for this thing (this ends up being very useful if I date stamp and note the progress).
macOS 10.13
TheBrain 9.0.250
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metta
I do use TB as my CRM, but I only use TB to document client-related communication (email, social media messages, etc.) for items that are either "pending" (waiting) or "to do".

The client is the main parent thought, and the notes in this thought include:
> a summary of his/her contact info
> important notes about client's current concerns
> list of current "To Do" and pending items, along with
> a dated bullet point history summary.

The text of any relevant communication messages is selectively added into the brain as child thoughts (thoughts that correspond with the list in the client note), and they are tagged as either "pending" or "to do". (Occasionally, I will also create child "note" thoughts that are strictly for documenting non-actionable information.)

When each of the "to do" or "pending" issues has been addressed, I remove them from my client note, and move the related children to an "archive" thought (also a child of client/parent). (Relocating these thoughts to the archive prevents the accumulation of clutter in the plex.)

I also use attachments freely, both on the client thought (for general items) and on the individual action item thoughts, when the attachments are directly related to the "pending" or "to do" item.

A comprehensive history of all my client communication remains archived in my client folder in my email program and/or in the social media channel. However, I rarely need to reference either of the original communication sources again, if I adequately document all the "pending" and "to do" items in my brain.

Hope this helps! ÃƒÂ°Ã…¸â„¢â€š
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