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My New Rules for Contact Management

I&;ve been noticing in my Outlook contacts that there&39;s a lot of dead wood – namely, people who I have no clue who they are, or who I think it&39;s extremely unlikely I&39;ll speak to again (if I do, we can exchange business cards (or Poken, perhaps – I ordered one on Rohit Bhargava&39;s suggestion).

Tim Sanders recently wrote about "dropping a few email pounds," a great visual, and he noted how bloated Outlook gets. I&39;ve been trimming the fat here.

In case it&39;s helpful, here are the criteria I use:

  • Some contacts just have an email address, no name. Nearly 100% of these were scraped from some contact management software like LinkedIn&39;s plugin. I delete almost all of these, though a few I do edit and file properly.
  • Sometimes I just have the name and email address. I delete the vast majority of these – they&39;re people who I never bothered to even enter a company name.
  • Sometimes I forget how I know people and there are notes, or a link to their LinkedIn profile denoting we&39;re connected. I keep almost all of these.
  • There are a handful of people, such as distant college acquaintances, who I&39;m not in touch with and don&39;t plan to be, so however complete their contact information is (it&39;s likely outdated), I can afford to let those go.

Based on these criteria, I&39;ve cut a couple hundred contacts in recent months, and I&39;ve cut far more than I&39;ve added – which feels good right now, as it provides some focus on people who I should remain in touch with.

Do you do this contact paring? Have any rules to share?

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