Three months ago, I started using beta-version of BusyContacts, which a reader suggested in a comment to the post on organising academic contacts. Last week this software (developed by the maker of my favorite BusyCal) released the first official version. I have really enjoyed BusyContacts, which not only can replace Apple’s Contacts but can even compete with large CRMs such as Daylite.
BusyContacts has many indispensable features, e.g. customisable fields, colour-coded tags, and displaying email correspondence with a particular contact. The Tags work much smoother than Groups in Contacts because (a) you can add them while editing a card without reaching your mouse and (b) each card shows all its Tags (have you ever wondered to which Groups your particular contact card belongs?).
I have already used BusyContacts to organise a workshop and to map academic disciplines in an emerging network. Recently I disseminated a newly published article using BusyContacts. I first assigned a special tag to all the people I wanted to send the article. Then I generated emails for every contact with that tag directly from BusyContacts. Subsequently, I used TextExpander to write all these emails. With its custom fields TextExpander let me personalise each message and to include or exclude optional parts (e.g. that I cited that particular scholar in this paper) while providing standard information about the publication. The tag in BusyContacts will help me to always know whether a particular person has received a copy of that particular paper. (I can of course also directly see it through the correspondence that BusyContacts automatically displays).
BusyMac support has been extremely helpful during my testing of the software. I am sure it will develop much further and have a lot of helpful features. My three most important wishes for future versions would be:
- Import capability (from *.csv, Excel, Numbers etc.);
- Bulk editing;
- Ability to organise contacts hierarchically (through tags or otherwise).