Steve Dotto here. How the heck are you this
fine day? Me? On a scale of 1 to 10, I’m an embarrassingly high 9, maybe even 9 ½
out of 10. Things are going pretty good. I’m enjoying things. Now one thing that I don’t
necessarily enjoy is the frustration that I occasionally have around my contact manager.
We end up with duplicate contacts. We’ve all got issues with contacts, don’t we?
You’ve got them. It’s like calendars and contacts, you just can’t get them to work
properly. Well, there was a tool that I really liked
that was part of my contact manager tool kit. It was called Rapportive and every time I
was in Gmail, Rapportive would give me nice contextual information about the people that
I was writing to and corresponding with. I loved Rapportive but then Rapportive was bought
by LinkedIn and LinkedIn is changing Rapportive to make it work better for LinkedIn, which
isn’t really making it work better for Steve and for most of you. A lot of us are kind
of a search to find the Rapportive replacement in our life. I might have found it. It’s
called FullContact. This is it right here. I think it is worth having a good look at.
So today, we’re going to talk about contact management utilities, especially for Gmail
but you can use it on other places, today on DottoTech.
Way back in the way back machine, we found this very cool tool, and we’ve done videos
on it in the past, called Rapportive, one of my favorite tools as a matter of fact,
one of my favorite utilities. It such a good utility that it was bought by LinkedIn. They
saw how valuable it was. They bought it and now they’re changing it and it’s not as
good anymore. It’s no fault of LinkedIn, I’m sure. I’m sure they’re trying to
make it better but they’re trying to make it better for LinkedIn, not necessarily trying
to make it better for Steve and for you. So a lot of us who used Rapportive have been
whining about this ad nauseam and we’re also looking for a better solution.
I came across FullContact and FullContact seems to philosophically be looking at helping
us manage our contacts in a really rich and fulfilling way so it is worth a look. Look,
right there at the top it says FullContact for Gmail. They also have full on Gmail integration
which is exactly what I’m looking for. But you don’t have to use FullContact with Gmail.
You can use it outside of Gmail should you choose.
Now what FullContact is basically a replacement contact or address book that allows you to
sync your other address books to it. It acts as an address book hub and address back center
for all of your different address books. What it will do is it will sync all of our contacts
between our different address books, very valuable, especially if it does a little duplicating
them and that sort of stuff. Awesome. It says it will fix duplicates. It will keep all of
our contacts up to date which is a cool service. It’s constantly browsing things in the online
world. This is where that social media integration comes in constantly. If it knows what my Facebook
profile is and it knows about my Twitter account, it’s constantly looking to update information
with individuals, very valuable. It will clean up your contacts. It will also do some importing
of business cards. They put it up as a fairly important feature. I’m not sure it’s such
an important feature for me. Most of us now use our smartphones to import our business
cards anyways but they do have that feature. It’s free to set up. You can sign in with
Google or you can create an account. When you sign up, you will end up in the web interface.
This is the FullContact interface on the web. We haven’t gone into how it works with Gmail
yet. We’ve just basically kind of been setting up our account at this point. At this point,
everything that we’re showing you is free. I still just have the free account so everything
I’m going to show you today is included in the free account.
Now what they do is they kind of give you main tasks, two things that you can be doing
here in the center of the screen: reviewing your new contacts, cleaning up any possible
duplicates. Then they give us notification as in nine hours to sync. One of the benefits
of the premium software, the premium version is it does real time syncing. It’s constantly
bringing your contacts up to date. The free version syncs I think every 24 hours.
Now here’s a list of all of my contacts but what’s interesting is if we go to the
left-hand side into the Tools, we can get to these main areas like going in and dealing
with our duplicates and all that sort of stuff. But they also have the ability to add tags.
I am a big fan of tags. I use them on Evernote a lot. I use them in my CRM, in my customer
relationships management system. Tags allow us to create context around different groups
of people so you can apply multiple tags. If you have a person that is say a blogger
that you follow and they’re also personal friends, you can give them two tags, blogger
and personal friend so that when you’re sorting just personal friends they will come
up, when you’re sorting on just bloggers, they will come up but if you’re looking
for specifically bloggers who are personal friends, they might be the only one that comes
up. So it gives you the ability to be able to search by adding these tags for context
which I find to be very valuable. This is the overall interface. The idea is
this is going to sync between our different address books but where it really comes to
value as far as I’m concerned is when we’re actually in our email and when we’re dealing
with our day to day activities. I’m going to jump over to my email. What I’ve got
here is my update email. That’s why there are so many messages in it. Don’t worry.
But I want to show you how it looks when we’re using it because this is where the rubber
meets the road. When you’re in your email and you’re actually writing an email and
communicating with someone, that’s when you want all of the different context-sensitive
information that FullContact is going to provide for us.
So I’m just going to choose somebody here, somebody like Chris Brogan. I follow Chris
Brogan, I read all of his blogs and I subscribe to his newsletter. This is what an email looks
like when it comes in from Chris Brogan to me. In the right-hand side, this is my FullContact
screen and this gives me my contact information. Now I have added Chris to my address book.
One of the reasons that I added him to my address book is not because I plan to write
to him all that much but instead so that he’s white-listed as far as my email is concerned
so that his emails always get through to me and aren’t classified as spam or anything
else. That’s why I added him as a contact. We can see here if we look at the icons here,
it’s got some little tools that allow me to do things. If he wasn’t a contact already,
it would allow me to add him here as a contact. If I click here, it will bring up his contact
information. All of the different information that it has in the contact manager, it brings
up including the tags that I’ve added to him down here at the very bottom. I’ve also
added notes. You can add notes to each of your contacts which is a tremendously valuable
feature. That’s one of the things that they’ve taken out of Rapportive that’s making people
go a little bit crazy. You used to be able to add notes to people. Now you can add notes
using FullContact. Here I can add new tags. In the tags that
I can create, for instance I already can give him the blogger tagger and maybe I’m doing
some free webinar consulting, I might add that tag. So you can add tags or create new
tags here so that you can sort and organize people as you move ahead. There are the tags
that I’ve applied to him. It’s cutting it off a little. Graphically, it’s not quite
perfect how it sits in the side bar in my version of Chrome but for the most part, it’s
certainly usable as it sits here. The other thing you can do is you can schedule
a calendar invite. If it’s a person that you normally are corresponding with an awful
lot, in this case not kind of like a celebrity type or somebody that you’re reading about,
if it’s an actual business contact you can quickly create a calendar invite to invite
them to a meeting or you can start a Google hangout right from here as well. So you’ve
got some nice additional information happening here.
You can also see access to all of the different networks. Now Chris has an awful lot of different
social networks that he’s engaged in and you can access any of his accounts right from
here. You can jump to the Twitter feed or jump to the Facebook page right from here.
This gives you the different contextual information that you’re looking for around a contact
for free. There it is with Chris. Let me take you to a person who maybe I have
not yet signed up with. Oh there, Rob Hatch. I’ve just started following him. Here is
another blogger that I’m starting to read his newsletter. This is how a person will
look when you’ve just first received contact with them. If I want to add him now to my
contacts, I click here and it creates a contact. So I do that and now he’s been added to
my contacts. He’s been added to my FullContact contacts. He won’t be added to my Gmail
contacts until the sync happens which I think notification has told us is in nine hours.
So nine hours from now, Rob will also be in my Gmail which means that as I start to write
an email, it will autopopulate his address, etc. It will do all those sorts of other things.
It constantly is looking for new information out on web. It’s constantly trying to update
information so over time, it will start to pull down Rob’s social networks that he’s
involved in and I’ll have the same kind of rich information that I’m getting say
on Chris Brogan, for example. So this works on multiple levels for us. It’s constantly
trying to update information for us. It’s looking to fix duplicates. It’s syncing
our contacts between multiple address books which is a fairly large issue and it’s doing
all of that for free. If you want more information, just drop by
the FullContact site. I’ll have a link in the show notes below. For me, I’ve had it
now for three or four weeks. I’m liking it. It doesn’t do everything that Rapportive
does. Graphically, it doesn’t tuck in quite as well in Chrome. At least it doesn’t look
quite as good as Rapportive used to look but I’m sure they’ll fix up those user interface
things. The adding of tags and the ability to integrate notes is crucial. That makes
it a very valuable tool as far as I’m concerned. The ability to quickly just add and create
a calendar invite, that sort of thing is also tremendously valuable. Take a look. Think
that you might indeed like it. I hope you found our video today to be useful.
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by Patreon and take a look. It’s a very cool concept. That’s really it for today.
Till next time, I’m Steve Dotto. Have fun storming the castle.