Daniel Benneworth-Gray on keeping in contact

When our design correspondent reached out to Twitter for advice on managing his contacts, he realised he had the perfect system already. Even if it made no sense, sometimes not even to him

Daniel Benneworth-Gray

A recent cry for advice thrown at Twitter: How do you look after your contacts? What do you use to record all the people and places that might be interested in working with you?

There were some interesting replies. It’s fascinating to hear how others manage their … actually no, never mind, I don’t care. I already have the perfect system. It’s a mess. It’s brilliant.

Since the dawn of time, I’ve kept all my contacts in a – pay attention now – very big spreadsheet. Just a massive grid of publishers and names and job titles and emails, notes (both salient and random) – assorted columns of schmooze-grist. There’s no great process behind it, simply a note of the last time I contacted each one so that I have an idea of when to contact them again. People at places with potential; everything I need to maintain a cycle of self-promotion. I’m Jack Lemmon in The Apartment, spinning back and forth through my all-powerful Rolodex.