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7 Tools to Find Someone Online

7 Tools to Find Someone Online

Finding a way to contact someone has gotten a lot easier: just type their name into Google and follow a few links. For many people, you’ll quickly find a profile on Facebook, a blog or even an email address you can use to get in touch. But a Google search doesn’t turn up good results for everyone. Maybe the person you’re trying to reach has a fairly common name. You may need a tool a little better than a simple Google search to find him.

1. Pipl

Pipl is a free search tool, although it brings in results from several other sites which do charge for access to particular records. Between those various sources, Pipl turns up a good number addresses and phone numbers, along with links to public records, online mentions and other useful pieces of information. Particularly helpful is Pipl’s ability to search withing a specific city, state or zip code. If you know the geographic location of the person in question, you’ll be able to narrow down search results to that area.

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2. YoName

If you’re confident the person you want to find has a profile on some social networking site, a good search tool is YoName. The site searches across a whole list of different social networking sites, from big names like MySpace to less common options like Webshots. The results can take a little time to look through, but the process is made easier by the fact that they’re laid out in a table — you can browse through it quickly.

3. Zoom Info

Zoom Info is particularly useful if you’re looking to connect with someone at their job. Search results include job titles and employers, along with locations. The site offers a ‘contact this person’ button, but requires you to sign up for a free trial in order to use it. After the free trial, using that button and some of the site’s other features cost $99 per month. If you’re willing to do a little more legwork by calling up the company listed and seeing if you can ask for a direct number or email address, you can generally skip paying that fee.

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4. Jobster

Jobster’s main focus is searching for jobs, but it also offers a tool to search for individuals. In most cases, it’s used for employers and recruiters looking for leads — but it can offer up some contact information that can help your search. A few other job sites offer a similar opportunity, as well.

5. Inmate Search

Unfortunately, you may find yourself in need of Inmate Search — while the site isn’t pretty, it includes a list of contact information for each state’s system for finding inmates, as well as the federal system. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of options for searching all states at once, but if you know the state the person you’re looking for might be incarcerated in, you can speed up the search process.

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6. Intelius

To access most of the information available through Intelius, you’ll be asked to pay a fee. The site offers everything from phone numbers to complete background checks and actually can have useful information. I have purchased information from Intelius in the past and it did lead me to exactly the person I was looking for. However, I know the price tag (often starting around $40) can be off-putting, especially if you’re only casually searching or if you need to find information on a long list of people.

7. Zaba Search

I know many people who swear by Zaba Search when it comes to searching public records for free. I’ve had minimal luck on it myself, but if you’re having some difficulty, it may be worth a try. The reverse phone look on Zaba Search is particularly problematic — the site actually uses Intelius to look up phone numbers, which charges for the information.

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Other Options

There are more than a few other options for searching for people out there. These seven are just options I’ve actually used in the past. There are also a lot of specialized search tools, like if you’re trying to find a person’s criminal record or you want to look for someone who works for the US government. You can also check social networking sites individually — most search tools that cover social media focus on larger sites, and ignore the smaller ones, along with forums and message boards. Unfortunately, there’s still not a particularly good tool for searching such sites — even if you’re willing to pay. You’re left with essentially searching those sites by hand.

The drawback to the options listed above is that they all primarily focus on the U.S. I’ve had little luck finding resources for international searches. If you have any suggestions, please share them in the comments.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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