Using your todo-list as a personal CRM

Dec 6, 2022

Stay connected with your loved ones using your to-do list.

elephants enjoying being safe in the water

Using your todo-list as a CRM is a great way to stay connected with the people important to you, whether personal or business. Instead of juggling multiple apps, you can use your existing task manager to remind yourself to contact people you care about.

Having people as tasks can seem a bit sociopathic for some, but I find it a great way to integrate relationships to my day to day planning. This way I don't accidentally prioritize other things over people.

  • I will explain the philosophy behind at the end

  • Okey weirdo…

I know that in the productivity space we want examples so we don’t start from scratch. Here is how I have my personal CRM set up in Things 3:

Create a project. I named it People to Contact and put it inside my Relationships area.

  • Yes I use emojis in Things 3 too, leave me alone

Create a task for each person. I group them using headers to be extra organized. You can even use tags if you are more popular than me.

For each person set a repetition. This way you get reminded to contact that person again. Setting the interval length can be challenging. As a suggestion I ask myself how long will be too much without contacting this person.

Include details. In most task managers you have a description section where you can write anything. For more business-like contacts this can be really useful.

With all of this I just need to enter my Today view to see:

This system is simple but effective since it is already integrated in your daily workflow. Once you start including people in your task manager you will start discovering new ways to improve your relationships. For example you can keep a list of presents to buy or birthdays to wish. You can also create ad-hoc tasks in your Relationships area to ask your friend how their vacations were or a ask a family member how she is recovering from the cold.

Productivity tools should not be an end in itself. Their purpose is to help us better use our time, and what can be better than spending time with your loved ones.

  • I told you that I was going to get philosophical

  • Okey Plato…