I believe everyone should create a database to make it easier to find the contacts they have met. It’s hard to remember who you met a month ago let alone a year or two previously.
I know a lot of people use their Outlook database or even Excel, but it generally requires a more robust database to manage enough of the details and have it searchable when there are more than 500 people in the database.
I started using Q&A which is a Symantec product. It was great because I could do custom designs. I ended up having more than 180 fields in the database and included the billing information. I ran reports directly from the database for productivity, performance, income, renewals, mailings and even call back details.
Once my database reached 6,000 it began to corrupt. I was told to change to FileMaker Pro and that worked well enough for another 2,000 entries, just under two years.
The next advice I received was to convert to SQL which was just as much my idea because I wanted to put the database online on my website so I could access the information from anywhere.
There are more than 10,000 names in my database today and I have the ability to find people I originally met more than 20 years ago.