Picture This!

Post Date: 2022-02-22

Today is one of those “great days” for numbers people: 2/22/22. 🙂

One of the most surprising positive outcomes of the pandemic and the significant increase in Zoom usage is my improved use of the Pictures in my TNT database.

I have not had many partnership development calls in Zoom but even so, I have made it a habit to capture quick screen shots which I crop and upload. For the most part I have always relied on Christmas letters and the pictures included with them, which I scan in and crop, interestingly, I have noticed the number of Christmas letters and pictures we receive is declining significantly in recent years.

Since the picture space on the Name & Address Bar is so small, the main goal is to maximize the head portion. By default, TNT will compress uploaded photos to keep them under a certain size; this is controlled in Tools>Options>Pictures. You can turn off the auto-reduction, but I definitely do not recommend it!

A full-size photo shrunk down is not as good as one cropped to show just the heads.

Some other Pictures tips:

1. To add/delete pictures, right-click in the open space of the Pictures Tab or on the picture in the Name & Address Bar.

2. The Pictures Tab allows you to add one or more pictures of your contacts. If you have more than one picture, you can click on any picture and it will instantly change on the Name & Address Bar. (As an aside, I do not necessarily recommend this, as TNT is not intended to be a photo storage center and a lot of pictures can slow down your database.)

3. You can see all of the Pictures in your database, and the contact they are associated with, using Tools>All Pictures. You cannot modify or delete pictures from that box.

One final tip…

Something I just did today—which is what led me to write this post—was to Lookup all contacts with Pictures just so I could take a look at them, update my pictures, etc. I submitted a Forum entry to ask for advice and got this helpful and short tip:

Lookup>Custom, and enter this text:

ContactID IN (SELECT ContactID FROM Picture)


Look me up sometime!

This post is an overview of the amazing Lookups feature.

When you open TNT, it actually does a Lookup immediately. The default is simply to lookup “Everyone” in your list. This is the “Current Lookup“, and the result is the “Current Group“:

What is a Lookup? Some software call lookups a “Filter”. This helps you narrow down all possible items to just the few you want. It’s how we shop for things… stores have countless items. As we search for one item, a variety of helpful filters appear on the left to help us further filter down to a manageable list.

Lookups help me filter a list of unlimited items into a manageable list. When shopping, I can successively size, type, colour, brand, etc. to narrow the list to something more useful.

In TntConnect, the default lookup is “Everyone”—all contacts in your database. Any other lookup will search ALL contacts in your database who fit the criteria you ask.

  • You can filter on all 175+ contact fields, as well as on all giving activity and other criteria. After each lookup, you can do Successive searches to further narrow down your results. (Think “All products > Hockey Sticks > Youth > CCM Brand).
  • You can also save a Lookup as a favorite for future reference or to be the default lookup when you open TntConnect (in Tools>Options).
  • You cannot harm your database in any way by doing Lookups, so use trial-and-error to learn to use Lookups more effectively.

The Lookup menu is simply a list of lookups pre-written for you, where you add the specific criteria. When you choose a Lookup from the menu, the “Lookups” box appears. To the left of the box are the various lookup options (by field, by list, by giving, by group).

In the big box in the centre is the “Filter” box where you select the specific criteria. For example, if you are doing a “Lookup By Field” and the field you are searching for is “Home City”, then the criteria is the city you are looking for (such as “Calgary”).

In the top of the Lookup box is the action you want TntConnect to take when doing this lookup, in relation to the Current Group. There are four options:

  • Replace the current group. This means, “Ignore the Current Group and search all of the contacts in the database. Then give me a new current group.”
  • Lookup within the current group. This means, “Of the Current Group I already have, now search only within those contacts.”
  • Add to the current group. This means, “Search within the entire database, then add any I find to the Current Group I already have.”
  • Take away from the current group. This is the opposite of #3 and means, “Of the Current Group I already have, take away any that meet the criteria I have selected.”

As an example, let’s say you wanted to call donors in Calgary, but not any who have given a gift in the last 3 months. In words, then, you would…

1. Do a Lookup>By Field for Home City = Calgary, and Replace the Current Group. You now have a Current Group of all contacts in Calgary. (Tip: This particular lookup is also pre-written in the menu: “Lookup>City…”)

2. Then you do a second Lookup>By Giving, Within the current group, so that only Calgary donors are represented. I leave the starting Date Range blank to capture all donors up to the desired date. (Tip: When you do a Lookup>By Giving without entering any criteria, TNT automatically looks up all contacts with lifetime donations > 0.)

There is no “correct” way to do lookups. In fact, while writing this post I actually had it written differently and then realized I could do it in two steps instead of three.

I am often asked, “How do I get back to ‘Everyone’ like when I open TntConnect?” It’s easy… just press the “Lookup Everyone” button on the button bar (it looks like a funnel or filter). Press it again, get your other lookup back… it’s a toggle switch!

Because I really do LOVE you!

I love my wife Kathy, and I have no daughters (though my oldest son is recently engaged so I may inherit a daughter in the next year or so!).

This post is dedicated to all of the other women in my life.

God has blessed us with a bouquet of delightful single women. I never have enough opportunities to visit with them. There are twenty-one single women on our partnership team. About half are widows and half never-married or long-divorced. The average time they have been on our team is over twenty-five years. It’s not surprising that more partners are moving into the widowed phase. Yet I was surprised to find I’d only sent a Valentine’s card to this group twice in ten years.

As I shared recently, my word for the year is Joy. I’m ever-looking for ways to bring more Joy to our wonderful team of partners for whom I am immensely grateful. Here’s how I’ll be sharing Joy with these women.


There are some different ways to track a group like this:

  • Use a Saved Group or User Defined field. I ruled these out because I don’t filter by “single women” enough to warrant keeping such a list which is, unfortunately, regularly changing (two partners were widowed last year).
  • Use a Lookup whenever I need it. Since there is no “Single Woman” field I can filter on with one click, or even a field that differentiates man or woman in general. I instead used the following steps to find all partners who are single, then female.

Lookup Unmarried, Female Partners

1. Lookup all partners. In my case, my primary “partners” list is my Paper Newsletter so I look up the group of all paper newsletter recipients. (There are many other single women in my database, and some of them do get my periodic email newsletter. But in this effort, I am only writing to my financial partners.)

2. Lookup | By Field [Lookup within the Current Group]: “Spouse First/Given Name | is | [blank]” (to find all the contacts with no spouse listed).

3. Lookup | By List: Individually select all the women from the list.

Once I had filtered my list to the twenty-one people I wanted to write to, I did create a Saved Group temporarily. Or I could have created a Group Task for these (Group Actions > Schedule Group Task). Either way, once I’m finished writing, I’m done with this for the year. (One friend of mine has done this for years; she does keep a Saved Group, and then once per year before Valentine’s Day she updates it with any changes.)

For the record, we also have eight single men on our team, six of whom are in the ‘never married’ category. This reflects the natural demographic that women are far more likely to be widowed than men.

Flower photo credit: Photo by me. While visiting friends in Mexico City before Christmas, I happened upon a flower shop in the middle of a park (below). It was brightly lit on a dark night and incredibly inviting. As I approached, I saw these roses and took a close-up. The results were better than I expected, so I printed a bunch of these in 4×6 at Walgreens. I made photo greeting cards out of them, sticking them to white cards. I bought envelopes from Hobby Lobby (which are often on sale for 50% off).

I saw this inviting flower shop in the middle of a park on a dark night. If there was ever a place that said, “Come here!” this was it.