A first-hand look at LinkedIn Contacts: a guest post from Jon Dize

dizeToday’s post is from Jon Dize, Founder of NSDA North Street Development Advisors. Jon is an experienced fundraising consultant who helps organizations grow through donor relationships. In Jon’s work, it’s all about people–and one of the tools that helps him manage that part of his business is the just-introduced LinkedIn Contacts application. Here’s Jon’s first-hand look at LinkedIn Contacts.

After reading Anthony’s post on April 29 on the new contact app created by LinkedIn, LinkedIn Contacts, I knew I just had to try it out. I have not yet been disappointed with what LinkedIn has offered this far, and I consider it my go-to location for all things connections, including phone, email, skill sets, etc.

After using is for the past two weeks, I can say that LinkedIn is an outstanding, easy-to-use contact system. After signing into LinkedIn Contacts with your LinkedIn username and password, you can view all of your LinkedIn connections in several filters, including alpha order, those you most recently connected with, or those you recently added to your connection list. You can even sort connections by the company they work at, by job titles, etc. (I had not realized how many non-profit executive directors I was connected to, for example.)

Another great feature: you can sync LinkedIn Contacts with a Gmail account, Yahoo contacts, Outlook, TripIt, with your existing Apple contacts, and even Anthony’s favorite app Evernote. After doing so, you will be able to view your to-do lists and daily calendars with direct links to the LinkedIn account of anyone you will be meeting or collaborating with. (This is actually quite interesting, as it also illustrates who you have not yet added to your connections.)

And perhaps the best features relate to its practical uses: search for a connection, find their contact information, and either send them an email, a LinkedIn message, or call them (if you are using the app on an iPhone) by touching one button. While their profile is open, the app will also display how long you have been connected, your shared connections, full profiles, any notes, etc. You can even search for people that you want to connect with.

One issue I usually have is keeping up with connections that change contact information. (I really loathe having to periodically purge my contact files.) By using the The LinkedIn Contacts app, however, I will always have my connections’ most up-to-date information (especially valuable for one guy I know that seems to change jobs every 4-6 months.)

I am actually starting to prefer the LinkedIn Contacts app over the actual LinkedIn app now, with the speed that I am able to get contact information and the absence of any news or updates.

My only caveat: it is only an iPhone app right now: you can use it on the iPad, but it is not optimized for iPads. Yet. I suspect LinkedIn will change that soon.

But since my phone contract will allow me to upgrade to an iPhone in 19 days (who’s counting), this will not be an issue for me for long…

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