7 Lightweight Contact Management Tips

7 Lightweight Contact Management Tips

I’m using Gmail’s built-in contact application to run my contact management. (By the way, did you see that you can use Gmail and Calendar and Chat on your own site now, configured for your own domain?) Though there are some things I can’t use Google to do easily (mail merge types of things), there are lots of ways that I use the Contact portion of the application that might not have come to mind for you right away.

  1. Add Birthdays– I put birthdays into the contact section as well as in Google Calendar
  2. Their Needs– You often get emails from someone saying, “Know anyone who’s good at Typepad?” (btw, do you?). I put those against the person’s contact name, so that I can remember who needed what, and to ask if the person’s solved that need, if some time has passed.
  3. Kids’ Names– I’m really good with names, but that rarely extends to everyone’s kids, their ages, etc. So I plug that into the Contacts page, so I can remember to ask the person. Ditto family, spouse, pet scorpion, etc.
  4. Add their personal blog– Before I make a connection with with someone I haven’t contacted in a while, I check in on their blog first. It’s like peering in the curtains before going in. I find this very useful. The one time I didn’t follow this tip, it was devastating! No details, but I came off seeming REALLY insensitive.
  5. Roles– You always hear about a job opening, and then never remember who matches that role. Keep their roles updated so you can plumb it when needed.
  6. Favorites– My favorite food is leftovers. I like sci fi and action movies. I don’t go to many live concerts. Note these things for your contacts, if you know them.
  7. Read below the line– When you click on a contact in Gmail, it gives you the list of emails between you and that person (provided you’ve kept them, which I’ve started doing). This gives you a sense of the thread of your conversations. Take a browse of these from time to time and consider the theme of what you’re reading. Is this person helpful? Should you talk more with them? Do they often have great advice? Or worse, are they sucking your life away, one email at a time? Use this tactic to consider things often.

I’ve got some more thoughts around email, but let’s leave this as a list about contact management. What are some of yours? How can you grow this list of tips?


–Chris Brogan is thinking a lot about things at Grasshopper Factory. His personal blog is []



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Last Updated on September 17, 2019

10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

Positive thinking can lead to a lot of positive change in your life. Developing an optimistic outlook can be good for both your physical and mental health.

But sometimes, certain situations arise in life that makes it hard to keep a positive outlook. Take steps to make positive thinking become more like your second nature and you’ll reap the biggest benefits.

Here are 10 ways to make thinking positive thoughts easy:

1. Spend Time with Positive People

If you surround yourself with constant complainers, their negativity is likely to rub off on you.

Spend time with positive friends and family members to increase the likelihood that their positive thinking habits will become yours too. It’s hard to be negative when everyone around you is so positive.


2. Take Responsibility for Your Behavior

When you encounter problems and difficulties in life, don’t play the role of the victim. Acknowledge your role in the situation and take responsibility for your behavior.

Accepting responsibility can help you learn from mistakes and prevent you from blaming others unfairly.

3. Contribute to the Community

One of the best ways to feel good about what you have, is to focus on what you have to give.

Volunteer in some manner and give back to the community. Helping others can give you a new outlook on the world and can assist you with positive thinking.

4. Read Positive and Inspirational Materials

Spend time each day reading something that encourages positive thinking. Read the Bible, spiritual material, or inspirational quotes to help you focus on what’s important to you in life. It can be a great way to start and end your day.


Some recommendations for you:

5. Recognize and Replace Negative Thoughts

You won’t be successful at positive thinking if you’re still plagued by frequent negative thoughts. Learn to recognize and replace thoughts that are overly negative. Often, thoughts that include words like “always” and “never” signal that they aren’t true.

If you find yourself thinking something such as, “I always mess everything up,” replace it with something more realistic such as, “Sometimes I make mistakes but I learn from them.”

There’s no need to make your thoughts unrealistically positive, but instead, make them more realistic.

6. Establish and Work Toward Goals

It’s easier to be positive about problems and setbacks when you have goals that you’re working toward. Goals will give you motivation to overcome those obstacles when you encounter problems along the way. Without clear goals, it’s harder to make decisions and gauge your progress.


Learn to set SMART goals to help you achieve more.

7. Consider the Consequences of Negativity

Spend some time thinking about the consequences of negative thinking. Often, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For example, a person who thinks, “I probably won’t get this job interview,” may put less effort into the interview. As a result, he may decrease his chances of getting the job.

Create a list of all the ways negative thinking impacts your life. It likely influences your behavior, your relationships, and your feelings. Then, create a list of the ways in which positive thinking could be beneficial.

8. Offer Compliments to Others

Look for reasons to compliment others. Be genuine in your praise and compliments, but offer it frequently. This will help you look for the good in other people.


9. Create a Daily Gratitude List

If you start keeping a daily gratitude list, you’ll start noticing exactly how much you have to be thankful for. This can help you focus on the positive in your life instead of thinking about all the bad things that have happened in the day.

Getting in the habit of showing an attitude of gratitude makes positive thinking more of a habit. Here’re 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

10. Practice Self-Care

Take good care of yourself and you’ll be more equipped to think positively.

Get plenty of rest and exercise and practice managing your stress well. Taking care of your physical and mental health will provide you with more energy to focus on positive thinking.

Learn about these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

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Featured photo credit: DESIGNECOLOGIST via

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