I’m on Day 3 of the 15 Days to Freedom Blog Challenge led by Natalie Sisson of the excellent Suitcase Entrepreneur fame. And her topic for us, the challenged, is to describe one tool that I will be using to become more productive.

Since my MIA (Most Important Action) from yesterday is building relationships, that’s what today’s tool is going to be for.

I’ve been using a tool called Contactually, which is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool that’s designed to be as effortless as possible.  You connect the web service to your Gmail, Exchange, LinkedIn, etc. and it will not only import your contacts, but it will track your communications with your contacts across all of your social media.  This eliminates needing to enter a summary of the communication afterward, or having to do all your communication from within the CRM, which is what you would have to do with other packages.

You can also set up Buckets, and put people in those buckets.  Say for example I set up a bucket called “Hot to Trot”.  You can then set a time on that bucket, say one week, and Contactually will remind you if you haven’t contacted someone in that bucket within that period of time.  This is perfect for making sure you touch base with certain people on a regular basis.

Contactually also of course does pipelines, if you want to track steps in your sales cycle or other phased communication activity.  It also does Programs, which are a scripted set of interactions with a person, either totally automatically, or by prompting you to do it.  It has many other excellent features that you can see here.

Pricing starts at $29/month, with a 30-day free trial, so it isn’t cheap, but it provides excellent value in time and effort savings, and in improving the quality of your most important relationships.

So, as I ramp up my relationship-building this year with Contactually, hopefully this tool will help me avoid being a tool.