Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Must-Have Tool for under $30

I just hit 2,000 contacts in my outlook contacts database last month (that, and my 1,600 messages in my inbox could be causing my outlook crashes lately...hmmm?). Anyway, I was thinking how my contacts have grown over the last 2 years. Yes, I've met a lot of new people in my travels to client offices and conferences. But just as importantly, I've grown my contacts database because it's now so easy to add contacts! How?

I bought this tool - anagram - a few years ago. It's software that runs in the background that allows me to highlight contact info anywhere (at the bottom of an email, on a website, at the top of a resume), press Ctrl-C, and - presto - the info is automagically copied into the appropriate fields in my outlook contact database. It creates a new contact, puts the contact's name in the name field, the email in the email field, the cell phone in the cell phone field. It even puts the url of the webpage you copied it from in the notes field. All you need to do is confirm that it's correct (about 10% of the time it does something funky, like put the person's title in the company field), and save it. Now it's in your contact database.

I don't get any commissions from any vendors for recommending their products, so I say this purely as a happy user. Check out Anagram at It's $29.95, and the best $30 I've spent in years.

p.s. Apparently, Linkedin cut a deal with them, so you may already have a free version of this software running as an outlook plugin if you have the linkedin plugin installed.