What is a personal CRM?

What is a personal CRM

What is a personal CRM?

Personal CRM Definition: A personal CRM is used to manage your personal & business relationships and gives you a way to store important contact details, categorise contacts, keep a history of meetings/events and remind you to reconnect. People who use personal CRMs are:

    • individuals looking to keep track of friend’s names & families
    • employees looking to document their networks and people who they can connect with in order to advance their career
    • freelancers wanting to keep track of potential clients alongside personal connections
    • business owners looking for a simple CRM that helps them keeps track of their personal and business relationships


What does CRM mean?

The term CRM is borrowed from the business term “customer relationship management” which came from the evolution of the address book and Rolodex that contained customer contact details like names, address, phone number and other important notes.

Personal CRM Features

Personal CRM features

The core features of a personal CRM are:

    • Store contact details
    • Add notes & images from your meetings or events
    • Add notes about personal interests and special occasions
    • Remember special dates related to contacts like anniversaries, birthdays and their favourite wine
    • Show connections between contacts
    • See different views of your connections
    • Add tags to contacts based on relationship, company, meeting location, group etc
    • Add reminders to follow-up with your contacts


How do you use a personal CRM?

If you think of a personal CRM like an address book with extra features, you’ll find them easier to use. The first step is capturing and collecting all your contact details. You can add contacts manually to all personal CRMs but most also have the ability to upload a .csv or Excel file of your contacts.

Once you have your contacts in your personal CRM, you can start putting them into buckets / categories. You can add categories by friendship, company, location etc. Next, add in when you last spoke to the contact and start thinking about how long you’d like to leave between contacting them again. The final part of getting set up is to add notes and tags to your contacts. Write down important details of your conversations, record gift ideas, create custom tags that help you further categorise them into groups and…you’re done!


What are the main benefits of a personal CRM?

We’re living in the information age and it can feel like we’re drinking out of the fire hydrant of the internet daily. Having a personal CRM means you can keep your contacts in a central, portable place, you can remember your contacts and send them regular messages, you can stay top-of-mind for them without needing to get them on an email list and finally, you can build more trust but remembering important details in your contact’s lives like special dates, children’s name and other things they mention that could easily be lost.


Why do I need an address book alternative?

You want to keep everything as simple as possible and your phone or paper address book is almost as simple as it gets. Personal CRMs are for people who have outgrown their address book and need something more secure, more mobile and able to hold as many contacts as needed. The downside to address books is that you have a chosen format and need to stick to that format for the life of the book. You could use a spreadsheet as a personal CRM but this has limitations around the collection of ongoing notes on the record (due to the fixed size of cells). Using a personal CRM, you can adjust the format to include extra details and this applies to all contacts.


What else can a personal CRM do?

Personal CRMs can range from simple CRMs that you build yourself in task or document apps through to fully-fledged CRMs set up in customised software. In the more advanced personal CRM apps, you can:

    • See the address of your contacts on a map
    • Enrich contact information with data from social networks and more
    • Get reminders on you phone from the personal CRM
    • Have automated emails sent from your CRM app
    • Have templated emails sent from your personal CRM when you move the contact to a specific stage
    • Have the ability to connect your personal CRM to other apps so you can move contacts to your email list, make phone calls online etc


Personal CRM Alternatives

What personal CRM software should I choose?

There are plenty of things to consider when choosing personal CRM software. You need to look at whether it is personal or for business, whether you want free or paid, whether you want to use a personal CRM template or use personal CRM software, whether you need all the extra features etc. If you need help deciding, get in touch and we’ll be happy to give advice on the best fit.

Add your personal CRM?


We’ve researched close to 100 personal CRM software options so we can recommend the best personal CRM for your specific needs. We’ll show you how to build your own personal CRM, how to find personal CRM templates and what personal CRM apps are worth your time and money.