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7 Tools and Apps for Managing Your Professional Network

7 Tools and Apps for Managing Your Professional Network

For anyone in a relationship-intensive business, managing professional contacts is extremely important, and can be quite time consuming. The below tools and apps help make managing your professional network more efficient and effective.

1. Rapportive

Rapportive

    Rapportive is a plug-in for Gmail that provides rich contact profiles right in your inbox. Rapportive has a number of benefits. First, it adds color to the generally very dry task of sending and receiving e-mails. Second, it makes it easier for you to research people you’re talking to by providing you with links to all of their social profiles. Third, it helps you find e-mail addresses of people you want to cold e-mail. If you have their e-mail address correct, it will display their profile.

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    2. Yesware

    Yesware

      The primary benefits of Yesware are e-mail tracking and e-mail templating. Yesware tracks the e-mails you send and reports who opened your e-mails, when they opened them, and what links they clicked on. E-mail templates drastically reduce the time you spend sending e-mails. Templates are especially valuable for e-mails you’re sending to multiple people, such as sales e-mails, update e-mails, and general network or pipeline management e-mails.

      3. Doodle

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      Doodle

        Scheduling meetings between busy people can be quite tedious and time consuming, often involving several e-mails back and forth trying to find mutual availability. Doodle streamlines scheduling by providing users with a personal page that displays times at which the user is busy and available. It automatically pulls data from calendars that are synced to it, but respects users’ privacy by only displaying “busy,” instead of displaying the name of the event listed in a user’s calendar. Instead of exchanging several e-mails back and forth to find mutual availability, send your Doodle page, and have your buddy pick a time-slot and add an appointment to your calendar directly from your page.

        4. PrepWork

        Prior to meeting with someone, it’s very important to research the person to find appropriate talking points and avoid wasting their time by asking questions that you can get answers to by searching online. People appreciate when it’s clear that you’ve effectively prepared for the meeting. It can also surface some talking points that you may not have known about, such as past companies they’ve been with, or shared interests outside of work. PrepWork sends you briefing e-mails each morning for each person’s e-mail address stored in an event you have on your calendar for that day.

        5. Job Change Alerts

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        Job Change Alerts

          Job Change Alerts sends you daily e-mail alerts on position and headline changes by your LinkedIn contacts. Building and maintaining professional relationships requires consistent and repeat communication. Learning about someone changing jobs or roles gives a great reason to reconnect with someone by congratulating them.

          6. Newsle

          Newsle

            Newsle sends you e-mails every time your connections are in the press. Newsle is a great way to keep up with what your contacts are doing and gives you a great reason to send someone an e-mail. You could even go the extra mile by sharing the article they were covered in via your Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn page. Promoting your contacts’ work is a great way to be helpful, which is an excellent way to build professional relationships.

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            7. Followup.cc

            Followup.cc helps you avoid forgetting to follow up and stay in touch with people. To build a relationship with someone you need to do more than just meet them once. You need to have repeated contact. Followup.cc allows you to get reminders sent to you as e-mails by sending e-mails to any date, time, or duration of time. For example, putting the address [email protected] in the to, cc, or bcc fields will return the thread to your inbox on August 18. When an e-mail conversation with an important contact comes to an end, I send the thread to [email protected] to get a reminder to re-connect with the person in one month. When sending e-mails that have action required, I blind copy the appropriate time interval to get reminded to follow up. Keep reminders and to-dos out of your head and off of a list that you have to reference back to, and get them in your inbox where they will be at the center of your attention.

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            Last Updated on February 15, 2019

            How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

            How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

            Does it ever feel like the things you want to accomplish always end up on the back burner? If the answer to that question is “yes,” you’re not alone. Only about 33% of people consistently work toward their goals. In some cases, their goals may seem too lofty to accomplish, or else they aren’t sure how to make a plan for them.

            If you don’t come up with concrete steps to take toward your goals, they’ll remain dreams. There’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer, but being able to turn your dreams into goals you can realize will help you lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

            Luckily, you can realize almost any dream when you harness the right goal-setting methods.

            In this article, I’ll show you how to achieve goals and get closer you success.

            1. Break your dreams down into specific and measurable steps

            We couldn’t talk about goal-setting without mentioning SMART goals.

            SMART goals are specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-related.

            Specific and measurable steps are so important because if we don’t know what our target it, how can we ever hit it?

            Take all those beautiful dreams you have for yourself and make them into things you can actually do. If you want to be an entrepreneur, for example, a step toward realizing your dream might be researching what you’ll need to start your business.

            Find out more tips about utilizing SMART goals here:

            How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

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            2. Have at least one clearly defined goal for every interest and role in your life

            It’s so easy to become complacent or stagnate. We often think that our careers are the only places where we need to set goals, but we aren’t only what we do.

            To make the most of your life, take the approach that you’re always learning and growing in everything you do. Anything worth doing is worth doing well after all.

            Set goals whether you’re sponsoring an activity for your child, taking up guitar lessons or trying to prove your worth at work.

            You’ll notice that this approach forces you to constantly develop new skills. It can also be fulfilling to put more focus and value into all areas of your life— not just the ones related to our careers.

            3. Align your goals with your life’s mission, purpose and passion

            Take the opportunity to do some soul-searching. What is it that you want to do with this precious life of yours?

            Anything that conflicts with your life’s purpose is bound to cause discontent. Staying in a bad relationship, doing a job that goes against your values, or maintaining the status quo just because it’s comfortable are not options for you.

            Thinking about your goals in this way can help you eliminate things in your life that don’t serve you. This frees up mental space that you can use to do the things you care about the most.

            Many of us struggle to find the time to work on our goals, but this strategy enables you to make more time.

            4. Create goals that ignite your spirit and inspire you to take action

            If you can’t be fired up about your goals from the start, they might not be good goals for you.

            The road to success is often tough. You’re going to have times when you might feel tired or discouraged.

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            You need to feel inspired enough that you’ll be able to overcome obstacles as you encounter them.

            If what you’re doing motivates you to be the greatest version of yourself, you’ll be much more resilient.

            5. Write down all your goals in specific, measurable detail

            This is your road map for what success will look like. The more you define what you want the finished product to be, the greater the chance that you’ll reach that vision.

            When you write down your goals, you’re creating a document that you can revisit to make sure you’re on track.

            When you’re in the middle of trying to achieve a big goal, it can be hard to see what’s working for you. The things you write in this step will help you stay on-message as you take your goals out of your mind and into the real world.

            Don’t just write down your goals and stash them away in a folder somewhere. Take the extra step to put them somewhere where you’ll see them.[1]

            If you have too many goals to post on your desk, write a summary or choose one or two steps to work on for the day. Just seeing them will keep them in the front of your mind.

            6. Commit to hitting each of your targets without exception

            You wouldn’t have created the target if you didn’t think it was necessary. Hold yourself accountable for taking the steps to succeed.

            You can always adapt your strategy or break your targets into smaller steps if you find that they aren’t attainable as you originally wrote them.

            Hitting even the smallest target is cause for a celebration. It’s a step in the positive direction. Your success will make you crave more success.

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            We often make excuses when we get tired or overwhelmed. Take away the option to make excuses. You will only be satisfied with the best effort from yourself.

            7. Share your goals with others to motivate each other

            There’s something so powerful about people sharing their goals and dreams with one another. Doing so gives voice to some part of us that could remain hidden (and therefore never be accomplished).

            When other people know about your goals, they can cheer you on and hold you accountable. When people share their vision with you, you can do the same for them.

            This strategy is particularly beneficial when you’re trying to develop healthy habits. Post about your workout on social media, or do a healthy eating challenge with your best friend. You’ll be less likely to slack when temptation arises, and you’ll probably encourage someone else to reach for their goals too.

            8. Set a series of daily, weekly and long-term goals, complete with starting times and deadlines

            Many goals never reach realization simply because the goal-setter doesn’t check their progress. People tend to forget what they set out to do, or their goal gets crowded out by other obligations.

            Forcing yourself to revisit your goals at regular intervals breaks them into smaller steps and it reminds you to think about them.

            Giving yourself regular deadlines for smaller tasks related to your goals also helps you reflect on your strategy. You’ll figure out what works for you, whether your timeline is realistic, and whether or not you need additional help to stay on track.

            In addition, celebrating small wins helps you stay motivated. Here’s how:

            How To Celebrate Small Wins To Achieve Big Goals

            9. Take 10 minutes every day to imagine how great it will feel to achieve your goals

            Visualization is such a powerful tool. Some of the most successful athletes, celebrities and business people take time each day to think about how success looks and feels for them.[2] Imagining that feeling of satisfaction can be a great motivator.

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            When you do meet your goals, take some time to be grateful. Thank yourself for showing up and doing the work. Be grateful when the stars align properly to help you advance to the next step.

            It’s not just getting to the destination of your goals that matters. How you take the journey is important too.

            10. Take an action step toward reaching your goals every day

            Your goals can easily get buried in the hustle and the bustle. Even the smallest step in the right direction is still moving you forward.

            Keep chipping away at the work every day and before long, you’ll start to see those dreams come to life.

            Maybe you didn’t start your business today but you designed the logo that’s going to go on your website and business cards. Doing that task well is going to help you so much in the long run.

            Concrete actions day by day draw your dreams out of obscurity and into the realm of possibility.

            The Bottom Line

            Dreams can inspire and overwhelm us. By turning our dreams into goals that we can work toward, we increase our chances of success. Things that once seemed impossible are suddenly within reach.

            It’s time to start turning your dreams into goals and your goals into realities. Change begins today.

            More Resources About Setting & Achieving Goals

            Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

            Reference

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