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Riffing off a recent post by Imran Ali, “Soocial: The Best Address Book You’ll Ever Use?,” I thought I’d put in my impressions about another contact management service – ContactHero. ContactHero is looking to be your most favorite and most used contact manager, aggregating all of your important contacts into a single place and making them easier to edit and organize them.
You can import contacts from Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo!, among others, and includes an API to integrate ContactHero into your existing contact management systems.
You can sort contacts by first or last name, company name or most recently added. ContactHero gives you the option to populate fields if you are entering contact information for several people from the same company. There is also a co-worker link so you can toggle through contact listings you’ve entered for any contact’s colleagues.
ContactHero also includes a call reminder feature and you can receive a daily digest of reminders of the calls you have to make via email. Use their drag and drop calendar feature to manage your call schedule. And you can access a calendar view of all scheduled calls.
You can schedule emails to go out to your contacts and post-date them for future delivery. You can share contacts as text or VCard attachments. You can also export and download all of your contact data to standard formats such as CSV, XML, or vCards.
Search functionality not only includes first and last name or company name but you can assign tags to individual contacts as well to make the search more intuitive for you. I like this feature. I personally search my contacts by first name, but I also often forget someone I met at a conference and all my brain can muster is “that new social networks for women business owners.” If I tag that contact “social network” or “women business owners,” I’d be able to drill down to find the contact I need.
As I dig deeper into applications these days, compatibility and functionality on my iPhone is key. ContactHero actually has a finger-friendly interface for mobile devices, and it doesn’t require an application download.
Some other bells and whistles include maps for each contact or group of contacts and icons to identify your contacts. Or upload a photo or several photos to any contact. Click on a contact, and you get a popup window with more details rather than being led away from your contact list. Close that window and the contact list is still there. Click to dial a contact straight from the ContactHero interface or click to email them directly.
ContactHero knows the value of tracking call history. You can link a contact to a call, add notes to contact records, and even attach messages to the contact. I tend to take notes during phone calls in a spiral notebook (yes, incredible but true), and it can be tedious flipping through handwritten pages to find notes from previous calls. I really need to upgrade my call management system and how.
One thing ContactHero isn’t trying to do – at least not right now – is merge social networking functionality with contact management ala Plaxo. They seem to be sticking to anticipating all of your contact management and contact communications needs from a practical standpoint.
ContactHero does cost money. Pricing is pay-as-you-go at $9.99 per month, and they offer a 30-day free trial before committing to their product.
Do you pay for a contact management system right now? If not, what would it take to convince you to pay for one?
-images from ContactHero.com