What Is Personal CRM? Definition, Guide and Tools
When it comes to growth, you have to think long term, and forging relationships is foundational to such a far-sighted strategy.
Using a contact relationship management tool for business can help nurture today’s contacts into tomorrow’s loyal customers. If you’re searching for a contact organization system to keep track of your expanding personal network and relationships, a personal CRM platform has also got you covered.
What is a personal CRM
Personal CRM is a set of tools combining a detailed address book, a day planner with reminders, a calendar and event manager, and a streamlined way to handle communications; all of which get regularly updated in real-time. Other CRM tools can include business card scanners, trip planners, sales campaign planners and trackers, and even journal features.
While there are much more advanced CRM systems for large enterprises, a good personal CRM is often a quick and affordable way for any business professional to amp up organization, manage workflows, maintain solid relationships and expand professional networks.
Benefits of using personal CRM
Here are some of the main features and benefits of a personal CRM software that you have to look forward to:
Encourage new relationships into data-comprehensive contacts.
Categorize contacts based on tags, locations, company, and role.
Store all contact information, history and communication for instant access.
Organize schedules to keep track of events, meetings, and tasks.
Get reminders to stay in touch and follow-up nudges to reconnect with contacts.
Have unified access to communication channels like email, text, and phone calls.
See all important details and past engagements when dealing with a contact.
A personal CRM can be used for friends and family, co-workers, potential employees, suppliers, marketers, industry gurus, or people you’ve met at networking events.
It’s not just about having quick access to your contacts’ professional details, for example where they work and their role. It’s helpful when nurturing contacts to be able to recall their personal interests or special occasions, like their favorite bottle of wine for their birthday or work anniversary.
What’s important is, when doing outreach and growing your network, many personal contacts have the potential to develop into a propitious business relation.
18 Best Personal CRMs
Monica is an open-source CRM that focuses on personal over professional relationships. It shows how your contacts are connected to each other. You can add notes and set reminders to contacts, and see all your past conversations with each. The dashboard lists your upcoming (and past) scheduled engagements.
Although it promotes itself outside the work world, Monica can still help small business owners. Its layout is pleasing to the eye (especially for those with minimalist tastes), but this also means a near-effortless learning curve. The journal is a great added touch too.
Monica offers a free plan with limited features and 10 contacts per month.
Unlimited plan is $9 per user per month.
Totally free if you host Monica on your own servers.
Dex focuses on strengthening your relationships and growing your network. Using a Chrome extension, it grabs data from LinkedIn, Twitter, Messenger, Facebook and brings it into your contact list. Once you’ve populated your address book, Dex suggests new contacts. It reminds you whom you need to keep in touch with, and helps archive past conversations.
The Chrome extension is nifty as it lets you use Dex while persuing your social media sites to add new contacts to your list. While it doesn't boast to be as good for sales as other platforms, it makes up by making valuable relationships a top priority.
Premium plan is $7.99 per month.
Hippo is a memory aid as well as a straightforward CRM. For each contact, you can add notes and even to-do lists. You can schedule meetings and events, and get reminders. This is a lightweight app strictly for iPhones.
Simplicity, minimal tools, and total ease of use help Hippo live up to its sole promise: to stamp out forgetfulness. Either than that, it's pretty cheap.
The unlimited plan is $1.49 per month / $14.99 per year.
Hippo offers a free month trial.
Airtable handles contact, project and idea management as a network of customizable spreadsheets. You can layout views on timelines, Kanban cards, or in calendar mode. It auto-scans spreadsheets for related material to create links in your larger database. There’s a form maker that embeds to your site and feeds results back to Airtable.
Airtable comprises the power of a networked database but with the ease of a simple spreadsheet. The platform can seriously organize your thoughts, goals and relationships. This is great for a small business or a big life task, like finding an apartment or applying for a new career.
Airtable offers a free, basic version with limited records, storage, and history.
Plus plan is $10 per user/month, billed annually.
Pro plan is $20 per user/month, billed annually.
Contact Airtable for an Enterprise plan quote.
FollowUp Personal CRM
FolowUp Personal CRM works in Gmail with your Google contacts. You add notes to contacts, see all engagement histories, and can search using standard or custom filters. A clear list view shows all your scheduled meetings, tasks and events. As the name suggests, there’s a feature to set reminders so you never fail to follow up.
As a Chrome extension, it feels like second nature for regular Google users. It’s not just simplicity—which it has in spades, but as an extension, FollowUp Personal CRM transforms Gmail into a powerful business tool.
FollowUp offers a free version with limited events, reminders, and FollowUps.
Professional plan is $19 per user/per month, billed annually.
Executive plan is $29 per user/per month, billed annually.
This personal relationship manager has the look and feel of your phone’s address book and SMS tool. It plots your contacts’ locations with GPS. There is an auto-logging tool for calls and texts, and caller ID that displays CRM info. Other features include a business card scanner, SMS scheduler and even a trip planner for when you hit the road.
RoloCRM is great in a way that doesn’t feel like it’s an entirely new app, but rather just a good option for beefing up of your phone calls and texting tools. GPS and mapping are also unique.
Individual plan is $4.99 per user/per month.
Starter plan is $15.99 per user/per month.
Growth plan is $29.99 per user/per month.
Standard plan is $74.99 per user/per month.
RoloCRM offers a 7-day free trial.
Streak is a Chrome extension for Gmail. You can compose emails and schedule them down the road, or save them for blast campaigns. It has an email thread splitter, where each new convo can have separate recipients. A tracker tells you when someone opens emails. Finally, there are basic pipeline and spreadsheet features.
Being able to simultaneously prepare emails for the masses while maintaining a personal touch is one of the main pros Streak gives users. In helps maintain relationships, and saves on lots of admin time while doing so.
There’s a free version with basic tools.
Professional plan is $29 per user/month billed annually.
Enterprise plan is $129 per user/month billed annually.
Keep My Friends
The main focus of Keep My Friends is in the name. Once you’ve added personal and professional relationships to this simple CRM system, you choose a timeline for how often you want to stay in touch. Automated reminders help you stay in contact. You can easily view all upcoming reminders and all past communications.
If you’re tired of hearing “Why haven’t I heard from you in a while?” then Keep My Friends might just be the most base-level CRM solution to this problem. It’s geared more towards personal relationships than for growing a business network.
Unlimited plan is $7.89 per month.
Keep My Friends offers a 30-day free trial.
Cloze is an AI app to manage relationships, inboxes, and contacts. It pulls contact info from multiple communication channels, as well as social data from LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Algorithms determine which contacts are important, and nudge you to keep in touch. For emails, there are reminders, trackers, schedulers and reusable templates.
It’s the AI that gives Cloze a leg up. As contact lists grow and engagements stretch into the past, it’s great to have an intelligent app to help keep track of who’s who and when you should drop someone a line. The info-collecting also cuts down on dull data-entry time.
Pro plan is $17 per user/per month, billed annually.
Silver plan is $21 per user/per month, billed annually.
Gold plan is $29 per user/per month, billed annually.
Platinum plan is $42 per user/per month, billed annually.
Sellf is a fully mobile CRM that emphasizes sales and ROI. They offer lead management with advanced customer insights and contact information and segmentation. Deal management helps monitor sales campaigns and tracks leads through your pipeline. Sellf has calendar features, note-taking, and to-do list-making tools.
Even though it looks pretty business-class, there are “fun” tools, like sales gamification. Sellf doesn’t aim to limit its users to individuals with personal CRM needs. But for those seeking a bit more of a grownup platform, this works.
Starter plan is Max 10 users (contact for prices).
Performance plan is Unlimited users (contact for prices).
Enterprise plan is Min 50 users (contact for prices).
Markd is a browser extension: When you’re surfing through social profiles, you can use the Markd button to add anyone to your network with a simple click. Markd automatically fills out the details of a contact. You can add notes and tags and file contacts into lists.
Markd is designed to help you record and store contacts from your social media accounts, for example, when checking out LinkedIn, the platform lets you pick through names you’d think you might want to send to your CRM network. All contacts get neatly laid out on their nice-looking dashboard.
Markd is free.
Contacts+ is accessible on mobile, desktop and web browsers and syncs contacts from Google, Apple and Microsoft suites. It’ll de-duplicate any data, searches your network for updates, and indexes all contact info, notes and tags for granular searching. For calls, Contacts+ blocks spam and gives you advanced caller ID. There’s also a business-card scanner.
The business-card scanner uses real human beings to transcribe the details, and only at about a 20-minute delay—so less room for error. Contacts+ gets flexibility points for allowing users to bounce between operating systems and devices.
Basic plan is free to sync 1 account.
Preimum plan is $8.33 per user/month, billed annually.
Team & Small Business plan starts at $12.99 per user/month, billed annually.
Covve is a personal CRM that boasts a lot of AI-driven features like auto-reminders of who to contact and when, otifications for when you’re losing touch with certain contacts, and sophisticated proprietary technology and external sources to find and suggest information for your contacts. The platform’s unique AI-powered News Engine notifies you of news pieces that might affect your contacts so that you can be the first to reach out.
Covve goes with you everywhere, available on iOS, Android, and web. The platform takes the privacy of you and your contacts seriously. Plus, interactive contact mapping, filtered by country and industry, notifications, contact referrals and automatic updates to your address book make this a serious option for padding out your personal network.
Free plan available with limited features.
Pro is $7.5 per user per month, billed annually.
For businesses with more than 50 people, Charities and Alumni groups, contact vendor for a quote.
UpHabit is a mobile CRM app for iOS and Android. It lets you link your contacts’ social media profiles into the dashboard where you can also add contact descriptions, notes, and tags. A major focus of UpHabit is the reminder tools, complete with snooze options.
One selling point is UpHabit’s take on privacy—your data improves your experience, but won’t get sold. Otherwise, this is one bare-bones personal CRM tool, which is a plus for those seeking the basics without high fees and bells-n-whistles.
UpHabit offers a free version for up to 5 contacts.
Pro plan is $4.99 per month, paid annually.
Unlimited plan is $8.33 per month, paid annually.
Social Contact Journal
Social Contact Journal is an intelligent personal CRM and relationship management app strictly for iPhones. It shows you past engagements with each contact. You can add notes and tags, and even create contact groups. There’s a message reminder and text suggestions feature.
The suggestions are handy to never forget an important event, but also to save you time thinking about what to write. Another cool tidbit is that you can add images and photos, not only for a contact, but even for a “moment” (a past engagement).
Free download available in the app store.
A premium subscription is available for $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year.
With ZooWho, you set goals for how close you want to become with each contact, and ZooWho tracks your progress. When you schedule meetings (and other events), there’s a countdown feature. ZooWho also updates your network’s Instagram activity, and there’s a direct “gifting” feature through 3rd parties.
As far as personal CRM goes, ZooWho has a few extra features making it good for small businesses too. This is a highly visual platform, with images and video uploads, which can make checking the app a lot more amusing, not unlike Instagram.
ZooWhoo is free.
ntwrk is a mobile app for both iOS and Android. It’s as personal as it gets when it comes to CRM. It syncs your contacts from Facebook and LinkedIn. Your relationships are listed according to the status of how important they are. With each contact, you see your notes and the last times you’ve connected. Reminders make sure you never lose touch.
ntwrk shows you the last time you talked with contact and suggests the next time you ought to, making it a very usefu tooll for freelancers and the self-employed.
A free version is available with limited contacts on the app store.
Unlimited subscription is available for a one-time purchase of $0.99.
LincSphere is targetted at individuals looking to grow their professional networks. It has ‘introduction’ and ‘referral’ features whereby contacts can suggest new people to each other. You can set repeatable follow-up reminders, there’s a business-card scanner, and you can see your contacts’ locations laid out on a map.
Some of the most coveted benefits of LincSphere are the introduction and referral features; these help build up a network that isn’t simply based on anonymous blasting through public social profiles.
A free plan is available with limited contacts.
Pro Monthly plan is $4.99 per month.
Pro Annual plan is $49.99 per year.
The personal is professional
Whatever the purpose of meeting people and collecting contacts, any of the above CRM tools hands-down beat a folder full of spreadsheets or a thick wad of business cards any day. That's because the idea of getting a personal CRM is not merely to collect contacts, but to manage and deepen relationships—that is, to think about people first and profit later.
An investment in personal CRM is all about going long. It’s a commitment to growth.