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I receive job offers from here and from there, introduce myself to potential clients on jobs sites, via email and so on. I can keep 1-3 potential clients in my head at a moment.

When I receive, say, 10 requests a week, I easily lose control of their status. To which of potential clients I replied, to which I didn't? What did I promise Mr. Bateman and what did I send to Mr. Payne as an example of my work? What makes the process of getting the project slow? Is that because Mr. Brown said designs weren't ready yet and we should wait until they are done before discussing development stage with me?

The question is - how do you keep these things under control? If you have 5-10 potential clients in the row, how do you make sure you keep them all updated as soon as possible and that the process goes as it should go, so that you are not the weakest part of if, but a strong one?

Computer tools, notebook and a pen, iPhone apps? Please share your advice.

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Personally, I am a cluster of confusion. But recently, I have taken a liking to organizing notes and correspondences with Trello.

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Why not Google docs e.g. Spreadsheet?! You can access it from anywhere and any device.

Or Trello like Dwayne suggested. Although for this specific case, I think that Trello would not suffice as you need both rows and columns. I thus give preference to Google Spreadsheet (which is Excel in the cloud).

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There are CRM (customer relations management) software packages out there, but I don't think they're cheap.

I think you can leverage many different productivity apps to do what you need.

Since I'm not at the point where I can afford a personal assistant or CRM software, I use Excel spreadsheets, my calendar app, and reminders. I think it all depends on what kind of person you are. I'm "visual" (apparently, according to the woman who came to organize my office), so I need to see everything to remember it exists.

If your processes are the same for all (or most) of your clients, you might do well with a customized form or checklist (this can be implemented in a spreadsheet or database). After you create your master process, you make individual ones for each client and you can track where you are in the process with each one, and you'll know what needs to be done next.

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Hyper Plan is a new software that feels a bit like Trello to me but it has rows and columns and you can organize/label them any way you see fit. http://www.hyperplan.com

I appreciate the availability of Trello from anywhere, but with that said, I really hate the experience of a web app compared to a desktop app, though Trello is a fantastic program.

With all that said, I'm like Dwayne - a cluster of confusion - except I'm not visual. You could put my to-do list on my desk and light it on fire in front of me and I probably wouldn't notice it. So all tools suck for me in that they're only valuable if I'm willing to look at them. And once I get overwhelmed with work...I'm afraid to look at them.

I add reminders to emails in Outlook. (Then close the window without looking at it...) and I have tried using Hyper Plan, Trello, and Toodledo -- the latter two both have free versions that do a lot. And Hyper Plan is a one time purchase.

Lately though, due to my struggle against my own nature to seldom get things logged and then rarely look at them when I do ... I've made a simple checklist in Evernote with check boxes of my important things. Sometimes I look at it and check them off.

I know this is horrible, but honestly, my main strategy is to try to always throw the ball back in my client's court with a question or info I need, knowing they will contact me when they're ready. When that's not an option, I sometimes do forget about them but I know they'll email me and ask "what's up!" if I don't respond soon enough.

I also rely on my subconscious to wake me in the middle of the night with that "oh no!" feeling regarding a client I forgot when it's urgent enough.

So I'd love to hear what other's do too. My method only works well if you have too many clients and don't care if you lose a few...

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