Those of you who know me well know I call myself a "lifehacker" which basically means I hack & use technology to be as efficient as possible. For example, I strongly recommend that those who are in front of computers all day learn to play them like instruments.
I've had people ask me how I use technology to be efficient when I'm in sales mode (which, really, any entrepreneur is most of the time). Here's a screenshot of what my email client looks like, with the tools I rely on below that:
Rapportive: This Gmail Plugin is an absolute necessity for anyone even remotely in a sales type of role. It lets you learn about the person you're emailing with, and connect with them via LinkedIn right from the email client. It also lets you manage their Highrise CRM profile without having to go to Highrise, which is a godsend. I can't recommend Rapportive highly enough.
Boomerang: Lets you schedule email to be sent later, but more importantly, will "boomerang" an email back to your inbox a specified amount of time after you've sent it. It's a great way to have a soft reminder to follow up with someone. You can also have it only boomerang the email back to you if the person you're emailing doesn't respond.
I can go into more detail on how I use these services (and especially how I use Rapportive to create tags in Highrise right from the email, which I then export to Mailchimp for monthly marketing newsletter blasts) if you'd like. Just make a comment below asking for whatever detail you'd like me to delve into. If I get enough interest, I'll spend the time to do a more in-depth demo.
Love to see how to make Highrise work better with gmail. I like highrise, but can't seem to stick with it as I've used gmail for so many years making due.
Also, what is the twitter widget you use?
Ben, the trick is to use Rapportive. Rapportive lets you ad people to Highrise without having to actually open Highrise. You can then tag them right from the Rapplet. Not having to mouse over to Highrise every time I want to take an action is a godsend.
Also by using Highrise's "dropbox" feature you can copy your emails to the contact notes in Highrise. I use Gmail Auto BCC from Jaidev: jaidev.info/home/hacks/gmailAutoBcc so that my Highrise dropbox email address is automatically pasted in (some limitations but works pretty well)
If I get a few more people asking for details, I'll take the time to do a full screencast on all of it.
UPDATE 8/14: LinkedIn purchased Rapportive awhile back, and they just published an update that basically neutered its most awesome functionality, including Raplets (which connected Rapportive to Highrise, for example), and the other services someone was connected to. Here's a screenshot:
I'm testing other services out to see which might be viable alternatives to Rapportive... anyone have any opinions? So far on the list I have:
I'd love to hear people's opinions!!!
According to this article, Connect6 and Vibe both look good.
I've done some preliminary testing:
- Ark didn't have as much info on people as Rapportive or Rapporto.
- Rapporto doesn't play nicely with CirrusPath, the Salesforce extension I also use (it sits under it)
- Connect6 requires me to hover over the person's name in my gmail before it displays any info -- annoying.
- Vibe also doesn't play nicely with CirrusPath.
Ugh. No good options.
It is nice tool for Gmail and i am loving it.
Hey Daniel! I use several apps on your recommendation like Rapportive, YesWare, CloudApp, Hackpad etc etc. Thanks for making my life so much more easier! :)
Quick question - Rapportive support doesn't seem to be active. I and almost a dozen other people on Twitter are having trouble connecting our Twitter accounts (@SyedKazimRizvi). Any chance you know anyone in the company that could take a look for us?
Hey Daniel, Love your post, really interesting to see how you have created this workflow that really works for you!
I'd like to get your thoughts on unifyo.com, we're similar to Rapportive in that we give contact insights at the point of interacting/seeing contacts, but we work all over the web and not just inside Gmail. So whether you are in Linkedin, Highrise, Twitter, etc, you can see your contact's data and conversation histories from your email, CRM and other sources. We also work across the team, so everyone in your team will be up-to-date with your contacts and you'll know who knows who inside your organisation. It also means that you wouldn't need to BCC Highrise into every email you send, because Unifyo will give you the contact conversation history information wherever you go on the web.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts!
Lewis, looks interesting. I tried signing up for it (which worked) but when I tried adding a second email address, I got this "something went wrong" error: http://drod.io/image/2i1m290V290c
Any ideas? I was trying to add my work Gmail email address using "imap.gmail.com" as the imap server.
Yeah just tried it again w/ these settings: http://drod.io/image/0K2I3l2O0e2g
No dice; same error.
And I connected Highrise successfully, but I see some type of error in the log: http://drod.io/image/0d2Q1Y2J2L2Q
Have you used Nimble or Capsule CRM? If so, I would love your thoughts on how they compare to HighRise.
Hey Daniel, We built a chrome extension to help with gmail's users to make the most of their Highrise CRM investment. You can log emails, create tasks, deals... directly from gmail. I'd love to get your feedback on it : http://insights.collabspot.com.
Jeremi, I checked the video out. Looks very promising. Does it work with Rapportive installed? It seems to use the same space on the right-hand side of Gmail.
It kind of does. For now, it goes under the rapportive widget (we load faster :) ). But one thing I'm thinking to do is to have a switch button so you could switch between the too plugins.
Hey Jeremi -- I just tried replying but my comment seems to have gotten lost:
I'll check it out -- people will likely have security concerns, as they're giving you access to sensitive data. How are you addressing these concerns?
OK cool I'll check it out. Also I'm sure people will have security concerns -- they're giving you access to very sensitive data. How are you making users feel comfortable with this?
Basically we don't store any data, even the highrise credential are stored in the extension and passed to our server when needed. The only thing we store is your email address and some information about what you do in the app (the actions, not the data) in order to improve it.
Finally, all the communications are done through SSL.
Cool, so I checked it out.
It's a cool concept, but honestly I'm not seeing a lot more than Rapportive gives me.
For example, I'll use my buddy Jeremy as a guinea pig:
Here's what I get from Rapportive: http://drod.io/image/2b3o2R0y3j1z
Here's what I get from Collabspot: http://drod.io/image/0c1q3l051h0o
(Also note a bug: Jermey has a bunch of tags but it looks like you're just pulling one)
So keep hacking on it... you might also want to meet Alexey, who runs Yoxel. Tell him I sent you. He's doing a bunch of cool stuff w/ Highrise.
Also Daniel, I don't think Rapportive give you possibility to send an email to Highrise or add the dropbox address in BCC.
Thanks Daniel for the feedback. This is weird that you don't get all the tags, I'm going to look into that. Could it be that you have 2 contacts for him ? I see that in Collabspot Insights he is called "Jeremy C" and in rapportive "Jeremy Caverly".
About the difference with Rapportive, I don't think you can see the deals and cases in Rapportive which is very important to some people. This extension is also very new, so we will keep improving it based on the feedback we get, while I'm not sure the Highrise raplet is changing much.
I think this 2 extensions will be complementary and we will work on making them work together.
Is there is anything you would like it to be doing that it's not doing yet ?
We added the compatibility with rapportive, So now you can switch between the 2 extensions, and even with the gmail original one.
Agreed re: cases & deals. That's totally valuable.
In terms of what I'd like to see: Right now I use a very kludgy system where I sync specifically tagged Highrise contacts with Gmail using Yoxel, and then Exchange server on the iPhone to sync my Gmail contacts w/ my iPhone contact list. I then use WriteThatName to update Highrise with phone numbers from people's email signatures, which propagates out across all three databases.
It's all very fragile and prone to breakage, and I'd really like to see a more bulletproof system -- especially one that would let me us the native address book on the Mac, because as it stands today, there's no way for me to use it and still keep everything in sync.
I'm a power user of multiple 37 Signals products, including the Basecamp project management system (much less so since Socialize moved to agile scrum methodologies company-wide) and its Customer Relationship Management system, Highrise.
Highrise is kind of like democracy: Not great, but definitely the best thing out there, especially if you want a lightweight CRM. (Salesforce is what you'd probably turn to for a more deeply integrated, enterprise-level CRM).
The biggest problem I have with Highrise, though, is its poor Deals section. The entire reason a CRM system exists is to manage customer relationships, and part of that is an uncanny ability to manage sales opportunities. I've hacked Highrise to make it better, but I wasn't satisfied. I put a request out on Twitter and that's how I met Alexey Panteleev.
Alexey of Yoxel.com (great service, by the way -- check it out) created a Chrome extension that's absolutely killer with Highrise. In this post I'll talk about how I've hacked Highrise to work well for me, and how Alexey's extension makes it even better. If you want to try Alexey's extension too, just leave a comment below and I'll connect you to him. If he gets enough interest in it, he may productize it and offer it to anyone using Highrise.
INTERNAL SCORECARD #6
This is the sixth internal scorecard I've published. This one is a double edition -- with New York being extremely busy and productive the last week, I made a conscious choice to skip that week's review and wind it into a two-week's-review now.
I do these internal scorecards for a mix of my own sake of review and documenting progress, and also to show observations on productivity, effectiveness, what works and doesn't, etc.