As your social network grows it can become an unwieldy thing. With potentially dozens of contacts spreading across multiple sectors it can be difficult to keep track of who a person is, where you met them, and why you added them to your contact list. Nothing can be more embarrassing than to meet up with somebody and realize you have no idea who they are. Or, worse yet, be invited to an event by a contact and not recognize them.
To help manage your social network we’ve included the following list of tips and tricks to help you keep a handle on your social network.
Use a Quality Address Book App
Certain address book applications such as Covve are incredibly useful for helping to manage your social network. These apps allow you to sort and organize your various connections far more easily and leave notes regarding who these people are and where you met them. These apps can also help you keep track of when you last spoke to somebody so you know how recent the connection is.
With a good address book app you won’t need to personally remember every detail about a person - as long as you can put a face to a name you will be able to see why you took down their information in the first place.
Be Frugal with Connections
Real life is not like social media - accepting every connection under the sun is not going to grow your significance or your presence. The bottom line is certain connections are worth more to you than others. In this context this can refer to financial value, but don’t neglect social or even emotional value either. When trying to form a connection be honest about whether or not you intend to get in touch with that person ever again.
Now, when you receive contact information be sure to note things down - you never know what connections might pay off. However, only put the effort to remembering those you can actually form a bond with. As for the rest, be polite but do not waste the brain space on them.
By buckets - I mean setting up broad categories on what a connection means to you and sorting people out into those buckets. These buckets can vary and people may fit into multiple buckets or change from one to another over time. Using these broad categorizations makes it easier to sort out who you know and their significance to you more quickly. This also helps you sort out your associations into tiers based on priority.
Examples of buckets include one for personal friends and acquaintances. Another bucket might be for purely business contacts. You will probably have another bucket for family, while having another for confidants. Your own personal set of buckets can be as varied as you need them to be and are all about sorting out your social connections.
Leave Space for Socializing
The last bit advice is to remember to leave time for socializing. Having a schedule booked solid with no time for social interaction makes it impossible to keep track of your social network. Make sure to leave blocks of your schedule open deliberately so that you can fill in with time to meet and greet with people you already know. This can also help you prioritize who you wish to keep in contact with and serve as a sort of canary for when you might be taking on more connections than you can handle. If you can never find time to meet with anybody, you likely have too many contacts.
Ultimately - Trust in your Intuition
Socializing is something that humans are very good at. It’s an innate skill that is essential to our survival, so ultimately your intuition is a good guide for knowing how to manage your social network. The above tips are an excellent starting point but when in doubt, there is nothing wrong with trusting your gut.