The History Engine is TntConnect is the most powerful task record of any software I have ever used. But it is only as helpful as the information put into it. Here are some random tips for you when logging history.
- Log every task you do, regardless of the result. 10 dials = 10 tasks logged. One of TntConnect’s distinctives is how easy it is to log history attempts in moments. Tip: The easiest way to log a phone call is to click on the phone number; the history box will then include the number dialed right in the note.
- When you send a support-related e-mail, blind copy (BC:) yourself, then copy and paste the whole text into the description of your task. Copy both sides if your message is a response to theirs.
- An event is “Attempted” if the desired result is not achieved, such as:
- The person you wanted to talk to did not answer (busy, no answer, babysitter, child, secretary)
- You went to an appointment but they did not show up
- You sent an e-mail but it was returned with a wrong address
- Save commonly-used descriptions to make your history more consistent and easier to create–the description box auto-fills from your saved list. You can add/edit items in the list by selecting Edit list… from the bottom of the drop-down list.
- When writing a description, be detailed so you can make sense of your history.
History isn’t perfect. For example, if a contact calls you back and you fulfill the activity you were seeking, you may want to use “Done” instead of “Received” on the task. Here is an example of a description written after a phone call, in order from less descriptive to more:
- ” “ [blank; no description written, just the call recorded]
- “Called” [why? who talked to? result?]
- “Called; no answer” [why? next action?]
- “Called; no answer / left message” [same as above; no real improvement]
- “Called for decision / left message: Will call back Monday at 8pm” [more descriptive: Why (called for decision), Action taken (left message), Next action (I will call back Monday at 8pm)]
Note in the above examples, “Called” is not a helpful description when Call is a task type; there is no reason to repeat the action when the history item already logs it. Instead, use your characters judiciously to pack the best punch.
- Write casual encounters as an “Unscheduled Visit” (found on the bottom in the “Other” task types).
- Log history for all the contacts in the Current Group. For example, when you send a special ask or your monthly newsletter.
- Be ready in and out of season. (Not really a history tip in itself, but it results in history!)
- Have note cards handy, with stamps, to write a quick thank you.
- Thank after EVERY appointment, EVERY decision (yes or no), EVERY first gift, EVERY tangible (non-financial) gift, etc.
- Keep an index card to write down who you sent notes to so you can enter it in TntConnect later.
- When talking on the phone, use a pen and paper to scribble notes, as typing may be distracting to the contact (sounds like an airline reservation system!)