Hunting through the inbox got boring, so I started filing emails into folders depending on whom they were from. Now, that's all well and good, but then when trying to follow a thread of conversation, including my responses, I had to look in the 'Sent' folder. Right, so... file the sent items in folders too. So, now it's much easier to find both emails I've received, and my responses. But wait - sometimes clients ring me up and we agree work on the phone. Now what? Make notes, of course.
As you can see, although it doesn't present the biggest problem in the world, it's a little effort each time you need to catch up on what was said by whom and when, and you've got to remember if you've made a separate not about phone calls.
A solution? Well, I've been using Backpack from 37Signals for a little while, and they offer another product that seems to be very well-received. It's called Highrise. It's a simple CRM tool that works verey simply: just BCC a special dropbox email address when you send an email out, and forward email received and it automatically attaches it to the relevant contact. So, for example if I send an email out to John Johnson with a quote, that email is attached to John Johnson in my Highrise account. If he doesn't exist in that account, Highrise automatically creates him. Then, he replies to me, so I forward that email to Highrise. That email is attached to him too, allowing me to follow my conversation with him. I can add timed notes, and group contacts by company. Tagging functionality is included too, so it's a very versatile system. I'm going to give it a go for a little while, and see how it works for me. I'll report back later.