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Website/App that will remind me to stay in touch with people IRL!
February 25, 2014 12:07 PM   Subscribe

My therapist has suggested I spend time with people -- not online, but In Real Life -- in order to help me me deal with issues I have with avoiding difficult situations and confrontation. I thought I would make a list of people I want to spend time with and then periodically 'ask them out' just to spend time and chat about things. Perhaps a lunch or something similar. These could be friends, family, business relationships or just people I respect and would like to spend time with. CONTACTUALLY already does this quite well but is a bit feature-heavy and is geared towards business contacts. I am looking for something a bit more lightweight and geared toward individuals and personal relationships. I think just the following features ought to do it: 1. List of people and contact info 2. Reminders to meet periodically that could be changed based on the contact. 3. Ideally, something that could be edited either online AND an app so that its synced. Looking forward to getting your ideas and input.
posted by seatofmypants to Human Relations (12 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
I do this in Google Calendar - I set repeating reminders every month/two months for various people on a Wednesday so I can plan a coffee/meetup with ample time for the upcoming weekend.

This way it isn't an app or to-do list that isn't part of my usual day-to-day and thus I can't forget about it. Contact info is in the reminder each time it pops up. It syncs across all my devices.
posted by rutabega at 12:16 PM on February 25


This could be a great project for Trello. You could set up each person on their own card and set calendar reminders.

I'm using Trello for my job search and networking and love, love, love it. I use different "Board" categories (Hot List to Contact, Waiting for Follow-Up, Upcoming Meetings, etc.) to keep me organized.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 12:17 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]


Rutabega has this just right.
I LOVE me some Google Calendar.
It's lightweight, fast, and can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be.
Sounds PERFECT for what you are looking for.
posted by John Kennedy Toole Box at 12:29 PM on February 25


ty SD and ruta.

i found this app but it is only for android and does not work on a browser. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zoylab.keepintouch&hl=en

anything that would work with google calendar would be ideal.
posted by seatofmypants at 12:30 PM on February 25


I simply use google calendar for this too. (Reaching out is hard, but everyone I've asked out as a friend has had a positive response!)
posted by vespabelle at 12:32 PM on February 25


I've often wanted a similar app to what you're looking for, so I look forward to those responses. But in the meantime, I just use my regular calendar, and it's working better for me than I would have guessed.

What I've started doing is every time I schedule IRL-time with a friend, I make it a recurring appointment instead of a one-time appointment. Some are weekly, some are monthly, some are less frequent than that, but they're always set up with a 3-days-prior reminder. When I get the reminder, that's when it's time for me to call or text to suggest plans if we haven't already made any.

If plans start happening more or less frequently, I readjust the recurring appointment. With friends I want to see weekly, this quickly evolved into "standing dates" so that we both already know and have calendared what we're doing every Tuesday at 6, for example.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 12:33 PM on February 25 [4 favorites]


There's an app called Positive Activity Jackpot that does, among other things, exactly what you want. I believe it is available for iOS as well as Android.
posted by PMdixon at 12:43 PM on February 25


I use Google Calendar too. One thing I've done this year that seems to be working well is put my close friends' and family's birthdays in GCal and set a reminder to be emailed to me 2 weeks in advance. This gives me time to get a birthday card, email them to set up plans, etc. without last-minute scrambling. I think this helps strengthen relationships even if it's not specifically what you were asking about.

You should also look at this site: Lifeboat which has tips and research about maintaining and strengthening friendships. The last I heard from them was that they are making some sort of app that will do what you are describing. Dunno when it will be done but it's worth subscribing to their mailing list so you'll get that update.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 12:54 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]


Oh also adding that, if you're like me, you go on self-improvement kicks and look around for completely "new" sites, habits, apps, books, you name it, to support this "new identity" you're going to have once you've become This Fully-Actualized Person. But, what's more sustainable -- for me at least -- is not buying or downloading new software but looking at the stuff I'm already doing and tweaking it to incorporate a new habit. Which is why the Google Calendar reminders have been working for me -- I already use GCal for everything else so I don't have to expend extra energy.

So I ask *you*, what organizational tools do you already use, that you could modify to support this habit with very little extra time and energy?
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 1:00 PM on February 25


i agree roger, working with what you've got is more effective. that's why i think anything with GC will probably work well.

by the way, does anyone else love the irony of using technology to get away from technology and back to real people.
posted by seatofmypants at 1:18 PM on February 25


does anyone else love the irony of using technology to get away from technology and back to real people.

Well, I was going to suggest you use a paper calendar, because evidently you are working hard on finding ways to unplug and deal with real-life people as opposed to deepening your attachment to devices. Maybe just give that a go for the first round.
posted by Miko at 1:26 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]


I recommend keeping a text file. When you get in touch/have the connection with someone, put them on a new list. If you can't get hold of them, put them at the bottom of the current list. When you finish/give up on the current list, move to the next and move over any names you want to keep trying to contact.

You can also use Trello but a text file or Google Doc is easier. Paper is probably easier, too, but I completely understand your wanting something digital.

Over time, you should start getting caught up in social habits and will need fewer reminders as more people should be getting on your calendar from invites, setting the next date at the current get-together and standing/repeating get-togethers.
posted by michaelh at 1:44 PM on February 25


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