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A structured relationship management comprises a wide variety of information types and can quickly become very complex. The aim should therefore be to achieve the best possible result with simple measures.
Problem 1: The sheer quantity of information and contact leads to old data and to contacts left behind.
Problem 2: The combination of different offline and online tools makes it impossible to tie the details together and you end up searching for them or writing them multiple times.
Problem 3: Writing down or memorizing information can take lot of energy, especially if you must plan and structure over and over again where and how to save it.
Reason 1: Tag clouds and one-pagers can’t manage long term relationships. The contacts and information need an useful sstructure, classification and evaluation.
Reason 2: Address books and co. don’t grant enough possibilities and therefore you need a combination of different tools (address book + list + calendar + notes + …) to manage your contacts. There must be one solution covering all of it, otherwise you won't be able to relate the information to the contacts.
Reason 3: Documentation takes far too long. There must be a fast and easy structure which works with a few words and not with whole texts.
With ContactShip App we want to provide you the solution for a real relationship management.
(This is only a brief summary of the entities to explain the concept. It doesn’t contain all data fields and date tables and therefore is not usable to build APIs.)
ContactShip structures your data in a multi-relational database with different data tables. There are four main entities and several sub. Each table saves a set of details with different data type (text, time, numbers, selections etc.) and timestamps, ratings and markings. The relations between the tables ensure a meaningful structure of your information and each of your entries uses a combination of data of the entities.
With this structure you obtain the maximum of flexibility to save the information you want to guard without losing the overview.
Summary of all information about one person. The contact has a contact id which is used for all entries related to the contact.
Consists of: First name (Text), last name (Text), contact id, creation date, update date, marked status and rating.
Groups are the entity to form manual selection of contacts. They are used to define the Group Memberships.
Consists of: Group name (Text), description (Text), group id, creation date and update date.
Occasions are the entries in the scheduler and are used for the interactions and notifications. Occasions are quite complex because they contain a lot of information to allow the functions of the scheduler.
Consist of: Occasion name (Text), category, location (Text), start time, end time, occasion id, creation date, update date, marked status, rating, repetition status, repetition pattern, repetition end pattern.
Categories are a dimension to subdivide six of the seven sections and they are also used for the occasions.
Consist of: Category name (text), category id, creation date, update date, section.
Set of basic pre defined attributes like first name, age, look and relationship status. They are related to the contact entity through the id of the contact.
ConsistsConsists of: Attributes with different data types: text, selection, rating, time/date.
Contact information like phone numbers, email addresses, social media profiles etc. They are related to the contact and category entities.
Consist of: Label (Text), info/number/e-Mail (Text), category, creation date, update date, marked status, rating.
Wide range of information like hobbies, preferences for food, vacations or wishes and dreams. They are related to the contact and category entities.
Consist of: Entry (Text), info(Text), category, creation date, update date, marked status, rating.
Time based interactions with a person like phone calls, video chats and meetups provide a time line. They are related to the contact, categories and occasions entities. Interactions can start before and end after the occasion the belong to (for example the meetup starts at 6 pm but you already join with a person at 5:30 pm). You can create several interaction with one person for one occasion.
Consist of: Occasion, start time, end time, description (Text), category, creation date, update date, marked status, rating.
Functions and behavior of people in a selected group. Group memberships are related to the contact and groups entities. Each contact can be related to each group once.
Consist of: Group, function (text), creation date, update date, marked status, rating.
Relation of the person to a selected other person. Its a double relation to the contact entity.
Consist of: Contact, info (text), category, creation date, update date, marked status, rating.
Extension of the descriptions with your own categories. They are related to the contact and category entities.
Consist of: Entry (Text), info(Text), custom category, creation date, update date, marked status, rating
The most important fact of a relationship management is, that you will end up with a lot of information especially in long term relationships. If you make just 1 entry for a friend per week you will end up with 530 entries after ten years. If you have 10 friends this will be 5.300 entries plus a lot of entries for your other contacts.
If you take this fact into consideration you know why a plain tag cloud or some notice fields won’t be any good in the long run. Therefore, we included different dimensions to structure your data so that you keep on top.
The aim is to display meaningful extracts of your data.
ContactShip App contains a relationship status with the basic data to separate your contacts into:
You can set the relationship status while creating new contacts or in the single contact view.
With the relationship status you have a first basic cluster of your contacts which you can also use to create lists.
You can create groups for work, hobbies, occasions, activities etc. Inside a group you can add or remove members and you can access the profiles of them with one tap. Each person can be member of unlimited groups.
With groups you can focus on a manual selection of people of your choice.
Lists are one of the core features of ContactShip App and they allow you a huge flexibility to structure your contacts. Lists are managed automatically and as soon a contact matches their criteria it will be displayed inside them. For example you could define a list for people who love sushi, do horse-riding as sport, and are friends of Harvinder. Each contact can be inside each list once.
If you are a free user you can create list from basic details, if you want to work with the other data sections as well you need to upgrade your subscription to the premium plan. You can create as many lists you want.
Lists are a very good way to structure your data and enable you to focus on people with similar interests, history etc.
ContactShip saves a timestamp when you create a contact and also when you update it’s information. You can use this timestamps for sorting in groups and lists.
The importance of timestamps will rise while we continue to develop the ContactShip App.
Ratings point out the people you like to hang out with and also mark people who make you feel uncomfortable or bad. You can rate a contact in the contact list view, new contact view, single contact view and in groups and lists.
The dimension of ratings allows you to concentrate on the people you like to be with and to stop investing your spare time for red flags.
You can mark contacts by tapping on the checkbox. Marked contacts appear in the marked contact list (standard list).
Marked contacts are a selection of people you want to keep in your focus. You need to decide yourself what the reasons are.
ContactShip divides information in seven main section for different types of contents:
You can change the section by tapping on “section” in the single contact view. If you change the section you will access a complete different extract of the data you have saved.
Each data section has it’s own categories. Categories are an additional dimension to structure the data for your contacts and they also provide a piece of information to your entries. Whether someone like chicken as an animal or enjoys eating chicken makes quite a difference. With ContactShip you just pick different categories and the meaning of the information is clear.
You can filter for categories in the single contact view and therefore concentrate your view on small rextract of all your entries. This improves your overview a lot.
To offer you a maximum of flexibility for your entries, there are only a few fixt attributes - the basic details. The rest of the attributes you define yourself while creating entries.
While typing the ContactShip App shows you entries you have typed in before as suggestions so that you can pick from them to keep a basic structure. This attributes you can include as criteria in your automated lists.
You can split your entries into two parts to save them easier.
For example instead of typing “He likes German shepherds beause he had one as a child” you could type:
Attribute = “German shepherds”
Info = “had one as a child”
Rating = green
Be aware that ContactShip App doesn’t know that a German shepherd is a dog. If you want to search for all people liking dogs you would need to:
On the other hand your friend maybe only liked his german shepherd and no other dogs.
ContactShip saves a timestamp when you create an entry and also when you update the information. You can use timestamps for sorting in groups and lists and as condition in automated list.
The importance of timestamps will rise while we continue to develop the ContactShip App. A feature will be that you can limit the items displayed to those that were updated in the last week or month.
We included a 5 points and colors rating system in the ContactShip App. With two taps you can rate an attributes of or your interactions with a person. You can rate every entry separately.
TheThe dimension of ratings allows you to concentrate on the likes or dislikes of or about a person.
You can mark entries by tapping on the checkbox. Marked entries appear in the marked entry section of a contact.
Marked entries are a selection of information about a person you want to keep in your focus. You need to decide yourself what the reasons are.
Because of the interactions are related to the occasions entity you can access interactions also from the scheduler. Through this perspective you focus only on the interactions of people you saved for a certain occasion.
Occasions use the same categories like interactions. Categories are an additional dimension to structure your occasions and they also provide a piece of information and display an unique icon. Subdivide your occasions in phone calls, video chats, meetups and messages etc.
You can filter for categories in the occasion lists view and therefore concentrate your view on a small extract of all your entries.
You can mark occasions by tapping on the checkbox.
Marked occasions are those you want to keep in your focus. You need to decide yourself what the reasons are.