Ask HN: What do you use as your personal CRM?

38 points by strimp099 2 months ago

I am seeking a personal CRM that I can use to keep up with friends, family and business relationships. I just started using Monica ( which covers everything I'm looking for. The glaring deficiency is the lack of any CardDAV syncing for Google Contacts. There is an API but a) there are undocumented required fields that break POSTs and PUTs and b) I don't want to roll my own syncing. I've been mucking with Zapier which can trigger a web hook at a new Google Contact but again, the Monica API is a bit rough.

What do you use as your personal CRM? If you use a few tools, what is your workflow?

toomuchtodo 2 months ago

I pay for Monica, and use it heavily for managing personal relationships. Have an issue or PR open for the API docs deficiency you mention?

Also, keep in mind there are some pitfalls when using CardDav with Google Contacts.

afarrell 2 months ago

Sidenote: does anyone know of good books, blog posts, or videos on how to use a personal CRM effectively? What I’m really asking is: How can I learn to be better at the administrivia involved in maintaining personal relationships?

wousser 2 months ago

I always wanted a personal CRM that reminded me when it was a good time to reach out to someone, and where I could read about past conversations.

At that time there weren’t a lot of these apps/services, so I created a simple app that did just that. Keep notes of conversations per day per contact, set a (recurring) reminder, organize with tags and have birthdays reminders and suggestions.

Since I use iOS it’s currently for iOS only. And most focus went to iPhone. The iPad version is a bit rough.

I’ll be monitoring this thread for most requested features, and learn more about what people look for in such an app/service. And of course reach out to me of you’d like to talk more!

Feel free to give it a try if you’re on iOS. Social Contact Journal:

  • strimp099 2 months ago

    For me, has all the features I would ever need in a personal CRM except syncing with a living contact registry (, Google etc.). Have a look at their feature list.

ksec 2 months ago

Sidenote: What would someone think if I used personal CRM to record down small details. I have heard some found it touching, that you actually spend time to do this with CRM or Pen and Paper. Some found it gross, as if you were tracking them.

Other than that, most of people uses are simply Contract Apps, which I wouldn't really call it a CRM.

  • jrowley 2 months ago

    I think your intention behind recording the notes and the relationship between you and the other person is important when determining if it is creepy. Also if you have a natural deficiency in memory or attention or meet a lot of people it might be particularly useful.

    Full disclosure, I take notes on the people I meet so I can better interact with them. Or that’s the hope anyway.

LastManStanding 2 months ago

I had been using Google Contacts with a minor "hack" of using the "file as" field as a three digit priority field, but still with the person's name and leading zeros. So a contact record looks like this "095. John Smith". Then when I come across a contact record I change that number, almost whimsically which makes it kind of like a bubble sort. As the same time, I made effective use of labels (tags). I have, however, recently switched to Nimble which I like, but am still getting used to. Syncing with Google Contacts is a mandatory feature for me, and Nimble allows 2000 syncs without additional charge via a third party.

johntash 2 months ago

Thanks for mentioning Monica. It looks a lot more polished than the last time I took a look at it.

I've been toying with the idea of making my own crm, but always put it off hoping someone else will do it better.

Other than syncing contacts, are you happy with Monicahq?

  • strimp099 2 months ago

    I think Monica is great. Specifically I like that it has a journal, notes, tags, conversation history, repeat (scheduled) events. The import from vcf works well too. I'm happy enough with it to pay the $5/month. If it had syncing, it would literally cover 100% of my requirements.

clintonb 2 months ago

I use Google Contacts, which syncs with the Contacts apps on my macOS and iOS. There are fields for contact info, and important dates. If there is any other important info, I add a note.

AKhoo 2 months ago

Having some structure and more than anything, intention and persistence is key.

IMO most people blame the lack of the Personal CRM, but really the bottleneck is they're not recording information they want to remember about people.

I personally just use Google Keep to store notes I want to remember on people close to me. As for acquaintances, I just respond to Facebook updates and prompts as they happen.

runjake 2 months ago

I put birthdays, other important dates, and short notes in a contact in

But, I can't help but think if I'm looking for a CRM for personal use, I'm doing something wrong.

skinnymuch 2 months ago

Monica user here as well. Would be nice to get some syncing. Though as you said. It seems like it’ll take quite a bit of work and isn’t on the road map.