That old breakfast appointment

I was trying to find a specific comment from a note I wrote years ago. I knew the name of the partner, but I could not remember the exact appointment. Was it in 2005 or 2010?

That is to say, I KNOW I talked to Wile Coyote about “Acme Anvils”, but I just cannot remember when.

Fortunately, TntConnect makes it very easy to search through history–not just all history but even for one specific contact.

  1. In the Contact list, I selected the specific contact in question
  2. Select Lookup | This Contact to filter the list to just that one contact
  3. Go to the History View
  4. Check the box at the bottom Filter by Current Group
  5. Change the date range to All
  6. Type in the word I am looking for in the text filter

1. Select Wile Coyote

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2. Select Lookup | This Contact

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3 & 4. Go to the History View and check the box Filter by Current Group. Notice a blue bar appears that says, “Only items related to contacts in the current group are shown.” In this example, Wile Coyote has no History in the “Last Week”, so the list is blank.

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5. Change the Date Range to All

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6. Type the desired text in the Text filter. This searches any text in either the Description of the history OR in the actual notes of the logged history. In this case, the words “Acme” are in the notes.

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Here is the actual history entry:

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The fun thing about this blog post is that I actually did this just this morning before writing this post, which is what gave me the idea for this post. I had to re-create the details for this sample, but I truly did search through my entire database for one specific history event many years ago.

Being able to filter on one contact in the Contacts View (Lookup | This Contact) allows me to do two helpful things:

  1. Perform a mail merge on one specific contact only (such as to prepare a giving submission form for my organization, or for printing a Getting to Know You sheet)
  2. Use all of the six History filters. I cannot filter (much) on the History Tab for the contact, but when I view the contact’s history in the History View, I can filter by all six filters (date, type, current group, data changes, text-in-notes, etc.).
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A League of His Own

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I felt like a chump after reading an article in The Wall Street Journal last night, realizing that I am “in a whole other league” compared to this guy. Here are the opening paragraphs (Emphasis mine; I cannot link to the article as it requires a subscription login):

POCANTICO HILLS, N. Y.—Some might say David Rockefeller, a scion of America’s greatest fortune and the veteran chief executive of Chase Manhattan Bank, was a dedicated networker long before the age of Facebook.

That would grossly understate his horizons. Mr. Rockefeller recorded contact information along with every meeting he had with about 100,000 people world-wide on white 3-by-5-inch index cards. He amassed about 200,000 of the cards, which filled a custom-built Rolodex machine. He kept the 5-foot high electronic device at his family’s suite of offices in New York City’s Rockefeller Center for about half a century.

In the annals of CEO history, the breadth and depth of this record of contacts stand out,’’ said Nancy Koehn, a Harvard business professor and historian.  “This is a man with a large, long reach.’’

Sample card, for Richard Nixon:

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David Rockefeller was the grandson of John D. Rockefeller, but famous in his own right, having served as a primary shareholder and chairman of the board of Chase Manhattan, largest bank in America at the time.

The article explains Mr. Rockefeller’s meticulous record-keeping on the top-secret cards–a vault so secret it was only revealed when he died this year at age 101. His will stipulates the cards may not be fully released for at least 10 more years.

Many of the entries were typed on the cards, with some notations made by hand. Information that was out of date was crossed out.

Most of the seven cards shown in the article (Trump, Reagan, Nixon, Eisenhower, Sadat, Mandela, Gates) have multiple appointments listed. Here are some of items I noticed on some or all of the cards:

  • Name
  • Spouse’s Name
  • Greeting format (“Mr. President”, “Dick”, “Bill and Melinda”)
  • All relevant addresses and phone numbers; many of the phone numbers and postal codes are the pre-1970 formats!
  • Short notes on face-to-face appointments (date, location, context)
  • Public information not from a personal appt (e.g., election to presidency; cite newspaper article about a life change)

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Here’s one comment about a visit with Nelson Mandela:

7/5/93-DR hosted dinner honoring above, Rainbow Pavillion. Gave DR beaded belt. M/M J. Wayne Fredericks helped him pick it out. DRs putting it in a glass frame.

If David Rockefeller had 100,000 people covering 200,000 cards, it is safe to say that the number of data entries must have numbered in the millions. Admittedly, he probably had a personal secretary updating these cards, a luxury I have not had!

I am staggered, yet envious, of this kind of detail. Many times since I started using TNT I have wished that I had kept the records of every support-raising contact and appointment I had. Sadly, like many missionaries I “threw away the card box” [metaphorically; mine was electronic] once I reported to my assignment. Initially I contacted more than 1,000 people on my road to full support, but the vast majority did not make it into TNT because the Excel files were discarded years before TNT came along… remember back when file storage was limited to little plastic disks that held little? “Why would I want to keep this?” I probably asked myself in 1990s.

But I do take heart that since TNT came into my life I have in a very poor emulation done the same thing, and why TNT is also “in a league of its own” in terms of software. My two TntConnect databases have in them 3321 names and (not including data changes) more than 51,000 rows in the history log. And that only represents my last 15 years—less than half of the 31 years I have been raising support for my organization. The very fact I was able to come up with those two numbers (3321 contacts + 51000 history items) in about one minute is evidence of the data-managing power of TNT.

When I joined my organization full-time I was actually trained using an Index Card system quite similar to Mr. Rockefeller’s. Maybe to my detriment, upon returning home I immediately switched to “my own homemade system” (that is, a simple spreadsheet). Yet I know several people today who still maintain their entire partner list on index cards. What a treasure!

History: The Jet Engine of TntConnect

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Every afternoon about dinnertime three 747s fly over my house as they make their final approach to our airport. My sons and I can feel the plane coming, even before we hear it. We never get tired of looking at them.

Boeing was designing this plane at the same time the Concorde was being developed, so it was a huge gamble (many thought a company-destroyer). The common thinking at the time was that “all passenger planes will soon be supersonic” and that this monster ‘traditional jet’ would be obsolete before it even rolled off the assembly line.

Because of this concern of obsolescence, they designed it to be particularly useful for cargo—which is why there is a cabin on top (this leaves the entire main fuselage available for cargo). Of course mass supersonic travel never happened and the 747 proved to be a phenomenal success, completely changing the way global air traffic was handled. Passenger and cargo traffic exploded far more than anyone expected. For almost four decades, the 747 held the passenger capacity record, the distance flying record, the cargo capacity record, and the speed record for all passenger jets.

Boeing ended up selling more than four times their wildest expectations, and the plane is still in production today, almost 50 years later.

For years I have asserted that “The Log History feature is the jet engine of TNT.” If we compare the above photo with the one below, the differences are obvious.

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Both planes are valuable and useful, and both fulfill the same core purpose—getting someone from Point A to Point B. But if your Point B is any great distance, or you need to carry a lot of stuff, you’ll probably prefer a jet.

But which jet? The 747, a fighter jet, or a business jet?

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For me, when I say that “History is the jet engine of TNT,” I have a fighter jet in mind because of its incredible speed and agility.

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But I also think of the 747. Support-raising is a long-haul, and I want a tool that will do it … easily, comfortably, with excellence. My TNT history contains tons of cargo—tens of thousands of history entries—and TNT carries that cargo with the strength of a 747 but the agility of a fighter jet. So when I talk about the Jet Engine of TNT, I really mean that TNT embodies the best of all four planes…

  • It can be a Piper Cub for someone who just wants a little hopper to manage their newsletter list.
  • It can be a business jet for someone who wants fast and nimble.
  • It can be a fighter jet for someone who wants sheer power and responsiveness… to attack their support raising efforts.
  • It actually is the world’s biggest, baddest, bestest “jumbo jet” support-raising software with incredible cargo-carrying abilities, phenomenal performance, and sheer good looks.

Many TNT users do not even realize how much power is at their fingertips. They want to “Fly from Montreal to Auckland,” thinking they have a Piper Cub at their disposal when they really are piloting the 747.

In addition to being able to record thank yous, phone calls, and appointments, some of the long-haul ways I use History includes:

Now that you know what a powerful tool TntConnect is, I hope http://www.TNT.tips can be a pilot-training course to help you be the best pilot you can be.