Organize Your Job Search: How to Log Networking Calls and Follow Up

I got this email question from a new user:

How do I log networking calls and follow up? Ideally, I want to have reminders set for follow up action items? I would like too jump start transitioning my paper notes as I am having multiple calls a day.

Thank you for this question! There is actually a lot to talk about here…

Organize Your Job Search With JibberJobber: Transition from Paper Job Organizing System

I want to start with this because it is critical. If you are starting to use JibberJobber (or any job search CRM or electronic job search tracking system) after you have already been using a paper-based system for days, weeks, or months, DO NOT TRY TO GET EVERYTHING YOU HAVE RECORDED INTO JIBBERJOBBER.

This could take a lot of time, and is generally a frustrating process. Of course, you have collected great information, so I’m not saying get rid of it, but I personally wouldn’t sit down and try to copy everything over to JibberJobber.

I would, however, start to move stuff over as it is relevant. Here’s how:

I would go through my old notes, looking for follow-up opportunities. Let’s say I contacted Joe and Sally two months ago and really should follow up with them. I would use the Email2Log feature, which I might argue will be your favorite feature moving forward, to (a) send them an email with my follow-up message, and (b) get them, and a new Log Entry, into JibberJobber.

This is easier than reading that last sentence. Simply put your special Email2Log address in the BCC field of the email you write to Joe or Sally, and we do all the work for you.

Here’s my big tip: In your follow-up email, include any information you want from your old notes, so that information becomes part of the Log Entry (meaning, you’ll transfer your old notes into JibberJobber). The more details you put in your email, the better. For example:

Sally, thanks again for the conversation we had a couple of months ago. I learned a lot, and have already reached out to Jim, John, and Tiffany, the three people you introduced me to. I’ve had great conversations with them and have found them to be valuable additions to my network.

When we talked you mentioned you were seeing some pretty significant changes to the industry. You mentioned how that might impact Competitor One and Competitor Two, and I’ve seen your predictions play out. That has become significant to me because it has opened up some new opportunities, which I’ve been investigating.

I’d love to have a follow-up conversation, and share what I’ve learned. Can we schedule a call early next week?

In this example you’ll see a lot of details that might have been in my notes from a couple of months ago… and now they’ll be in JibberJobber!

Just by sending an email this way, with Email2Log, you’ll be creating:

  1. A new contact record with first and last name
  2. The right email address under that contact record, important for future use of Email2Log
  3. A Log Entry with relevant information

Pretty soon you’ll find you have all of the important and relevant notes and contacts from your paper system into JibberJobber. As a bonus, you are getting one more touchpoint in with each person… something you should be doing anyway.

For more, check out this blog post I wrote a few years ago: JibberJobber Competition: JibberJobber vs. the Excel Spreadsheet.

How to Log Network Calls in Your Job Search

Okay, back to your first question. I wish we could log calls based on your actual call, tapping into your phone system, etc. But that is just too hairy. We are not a multi-billion dollar organization… so we don’t even have that on our roadmap.

However, the way to do this is as important and easy as what I described earlier: Use Email2Log after every call. Same as before, this ensures you get another touchpoint (follow-up is critical!!) and easily get the right information into JibberJobber.

And, same as before, make sure you write a detailed email including the main points of your conversation. Instead of, “Hey Jason, thanks for your time today! It was awesome!”, I recommend you write something like this:

Jason, thanks for your time today. I feel like we covered a lot of ideas, some of which I’m including in this email. I have more notes than this but wanted to include the highlights.

[put your notes here… maybe bullet points… something that will make sense to you in a year or so when you revisit them]

Also, I’ll make sure to follow-up on the introductions you’ll make to Jose and Pam. And, I already ordered the book you recommended (Shoe Dog, the Phil Knight memoir) and am excited to dig into it!

Thanks again, I’ll be in touch!

In a month or two, when I am set to follow up, I’ll be able to read this Log Entry and see what we talked about, who I was supposed to follow up with, and the book I need to talk about. Much better than “hey, thanks!”, right?

I know this adds a step to each call but IT IS WORTH IT. As you network more, and have more activity in your job search, you will be forever grateful for taking this extra step, and adding detail, to your notes. And, that immediate follow up with that level of detail. But that’s not the only follow up with this person, right? Afterall, we are looking to build our professional network, and these calls shouldn’t be a one-and-done thing. That brings us to the next question…

How to Create Follow Ups in the Job Search

Well, now we are getting to the fun stuff. What I’ve talked about above is the basics of Email2Log. The advanced stuff isn’t hard, but it is very, very cool.

I’m not going to share everything you *could* do, but I’ll tell you how to do this one thing (create a follow up (aka Action Item, aka Reminder)) with your Email2Log. To learn more, watch this short video (Getting Started: Email2Log: Special/Reserved Lines (4.3))

Simple put this line anywhere in the email (I recommend below your signature, and change the font to white if you want it hidden (although if the recipient prints your email, it will likely show on a printout):

startdate:1 week

What you put after startdate: could be absolute (like, a specific date) or relative (like, +1 week, +3 months, etc.).

What happens when you do this? Well, this is just Email2Log with one enhancement… so:

  1. You will create a new contact (unless the contact is already in, in which case it will match the email, and not create a duplicate)
  2. You will create a new Log Entry (like the examples above)
  3. You will create an Action Item date on that Log Entry. This will show up on your JibberJobber calendar, and on the Reminders list.

Easy… super easy. Once you get used to adding that you’ll love it.

And that’s about it. I don’t want to write a novel here, and sorry for how long it already is. But that’s how you move forward from where you are at.