Whenever I add contacts to Outlook or update them, there are two fields I commonly add myself:
* Date met: This provides some context for how long I’ve known them, and that alone can often trigger an association with a job or event.
* Related people: This is much more interesting. If I know Dan because of Mark, and Dan also works with Julie, then I’ll often put those names in, especially if it’s someone starting off as a loose connection. It helps form associations, and it helps me to keep in touch (e.g., so I remember to cc both of them on an email, or I can be courteous to ask one about the other).
If Microsoft, or perhaps LinkedIn or Plaxo, built an add-on especially for the second idea, it would be a great way to help me keep my contacts in order, especially if I could just click another person’s name to open their contact info. It’s essentially letting me build my own social networks in Outlook. LinkedIn could presumably do some interesting things with this, such as telling me right off the bat that I’m connected to a person through all these various other people.
Before posting this, I tried creating forms and messing with the Outlook template, but once I got to the step where I’d have to change registry files to apply the changes to every contact, I decided against it. I’ll leave it to one of the others I mentioned.