If you need more complex reports and customized forms, look into database software. It does much of what contact managers do, but lacks the calendar and To-do list, alarms, and e-mail logging. You create whatever fields you need-- account number, date, company name, address, zip code, phone, fax, e-mail, birthday, total orders to date, payment history, and more. You can generate reports based on any of these fields. Need to see a list of which customers have bought a specific product and are due for a re-order? A list of customers whose purchases exceed a certain amount and whose payment is over 60 days overdue? A list of all prospects who are due for a call back on July 25? All this information and more is easily located. You can generate invoices and track inventory. You can even see if the blue Ultra Widgets are selling more than the yellow and red ones. Some common brands of database software are FileMaker, Access, and Approach. FileMaker is perhaps the easiest to use and is the only one that runs on both Windows and Mac.
About the Author
Since 1988, Jan Jasper has been helping clients streamline their systems, use technology efficiently, manage information overload, and form optimum work habits. Jan is the author of "Take Back Your Time: How to Regain Control of Work, Information, & Technology" (St. Martin's Press). Through her consulting, seminars, and book, she has helped thousands of people work more effectively. Visit www.janjasper.com.