Google Sheets is Free, But Not as Competent as a Personal CRM

Whether a budding entrepreneur, a seasoned professional, or looking to make a career change, having a well-organized system to manage contacts can be a game-changer. Finding a system that is specific to fulfilling certain needs is imperative to being able to effectively cultivate relationships. This can work with free personal CRMs, or specially designed and bespoke software geared towards building relationships, such as Covve’s personal CRM. Nurturing a network requires the use of the right tools. Revered career coach, Doug Lester, expresses that having the right tool can make a world of difference when it comes to staying top of mind and building a network. These tools are known as personal contact relationship management (personal CRM) systems that serve the specific purpose of helping users nurture both personal and professional relationships. There are also generic networking tools and systems that are minimal in versatility, but are easy to manage and can be built by individuals themselves. Using Google Sheets, for example, may be a cost-effective and simple tool for professionals who do not require extensive relationship building needs.  Generic tools can be fitted to function as personal CRMs which can be an effective and relatively personalized option, however they lack the specific, tailored functions found in bespoke personal CRMs.

Why are Personal CRMs Important?

Personal CRMs, unlike their business and sales-oriented counterparts, are tailored to individuals seeking to nurture and expand their networks. They are invaluable for several reasons. People can be forgetful, and can not remember every detail about every person they meet. Through note taking features and automated reminders, pCRMs help in recalling important information about contacts, such as birthdays, preferences, and past interactions. Personal CRMs streamline networking by categorizing contacts, tracking communications, and prompting follow-ups. This helps in making the most of relationships by helping professionals be more consistent, intentional, and present. Whether your goals are to grow your business, find a mentor, or simply maintain friendships, personal CRMs help you stay focused and organized in pursuit of those objectives. By automating the ‘admin’ side of things, pCRMs make room for people to give more attention to the important relationship building aspects.

Who May Need a Personal CRM?

Personal CRMs are versatile tools suitable for people across industries, at various stages of their lives and careers:
  • Entrepreneurs: Building and nurturing relationships with potential clients, investors, and partners is essential for business growth. For example, Shannen Stewart, founder of Heels & Handshakes, shares how Covve’s personal CRM helped her make the most of her network
  • Professionals: Salespeople, marketers, and freelancers benefit from tracking interactions to be able to keep relationships fresh and meaningful, adding value to those with whom they work.
  • Job Seekers: Keeping tabs on networking connections can be invaluable when searching for job opportunities. For job seekers, Doug Lester states how easy and efficient using personal CRMs are when looking for the next career step. He shares that he has been “using Covve for a few years now, and it’s been the place where I capture the bits of personal information that help me make networking a friendlier, more human activity.”
  • Socialites: Those who have active social lives can use personal CRMs to remember birthdays, hobbies, and other details that make interactions more meaningful, and help in keeping them top of mind.

Can Google Sheets Act as a Personal CRM?

A simple yet effective way to build your own personal CRM can be achieved through Google Sheets, the ubiquitous spreadsheet software, because it is free and widely accessible. However, its effectiveness in this role depends on your specific needs and expectations. Google Sheets can certainly help organize your contacts and store basic information. You can create columns for names, contact details, and additional notes. It’s a simple solution for those who have limited contacts or want a minimalistic approach. Users will miss out on core personal CRM functions such as reminders, optimized scheduling, and AI-powered prompts for news that are relevant to individual contacts. Softr, one of the largest ecosystems for building no-code applications, diligently breaks down a step-by-step guide to developing a personal CRM tool through Google Sheets that can be tailored to specific needs. The article is a 15 minute read, reflecting the tedious process required for building personal CRMs through software such as Google Sheets. Using bespoke personal CRMs, however, users will find these tools ready to use, allowing for more time on personalization and creating efficiencies in networking habits.

Investing in a Personal CRM

Investing in a dedicated personal CRM like Covve offers several advantages. They are a pivotal tool to use as they simplify processes and help users stay on top of their schedules with precious contacts. Personal CRMs like Covve automatically update contact details and provide reminders for follow-ups, saving you time and effort. They also offer features like relationship strength analysis, contact enrichment, and custom tags, making it more sophisticated than a basic spreadsheet. Mobile apps ensure you have your network at your fingertips, allowing for immediate follow-ups and better relationship management. With Google Sheets, your data is only as secure as your Google account. Personal CRMs often have more robust security measures in place that align with data and privacy laws within the regions they operate in. Google Sheets can serve as a basic personal CRM for those with limited needs and a preference for simplicity. However, investing in a dedicated personal CRM like Covve can significantly enhance your networking efforts, offering automation, personalization, reminders, and more.  Whether you’re a professional, entrepreneur, or a socialite, a personal CRM can be a powerful tool to help you manage and leverage your connections effectively. So, while Google Sheets is free, remember that when it comes to networking, sometimes it’s worth committing for greater competence and efficiency. For the best relationship building practices and tips, keep an eye on Covve’s insights where industry leaders share their wisdom and learnings.

Updated on 29 Nov 2023.

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