Mac Tiger Telephone Call Note Software?
December 26, 2005 6:51 PM   Subscribe

Is there any simple program for Max OS X for taking telephone notes? I'd just like something that with a keystroke opens as a phone note template -- Who Called, Date, Status pop-up (like "Spoke" "Returned No Answer" "Returned Busy", etc.), and a place for notes. I'd like to have the messages kept permanently and be searchable. Thanks
posted by rabbus to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
Check out CRM 4 Mac. I downloaded it a while back and realized it was overkill for my needs, but thought it was a pretty sharp program.
posted by adamrice at 7:13 PM on December 26, 2005

How hardcore/high-tech a setup do you really want? I mean, do you want a CRM 4 Mac, or would just copying the template you describe to a couple of stickies and then saving them once you've filled them out (then using Spotlight) suffice?

Also, if you already have OmniOutliner Pro, then you could probably set up a variation on the Kinkless Getting Things Done system to achieve what you describe. If I were running a so/ho, I'd probably go that route.
posted by kimota at 10:42 PM on December 26, 2005

I second the simple approach. For similar tasks, I use Mail. For instance: I cmd-tab to Mail, then cmd-N for a new mail message and start typing. Mail auto-completes the 'To' field for people you already know, press tab, type in the Subject, press tab, type in the message, finally press cmd-shift-D to send. Mail keeps a record of all messages in your 'Sent' folder. (or other folder of your choosing) And it's all searchable. And it uses your pre-existing UI habits of dealing with Mail. (assuming you use Mail)

Using some custom-made gizmo may sound cool, but I think you'll find that proprietary data entry systems are usually overkill, plain-text is more flexible, and you don't really save any time.

But then, I use Mail to take meeting notes too.
posted by todbot at 12:15 AM on December 27, 2005

Sounds like you are looking for While You Were Out.

Using it as the template and having it send you an email filtered by your email program might work well.
posted by pedantic at 6:27 AM on December 27, 2005

This blog entry may be of interest to you.
posted by WCityMike at 8:44 AM on December 27, 2005

Personally, I would cobble something together in FileMaker Pro. That way you get the customizable fields you want and a pretty decent data format (easy exporting to plain text, so you're not locked in, etc). But I tend to keep FMP around as a swiss army knife--if you don't already know the database, one of the off-the-shelf recommendations will suit you well.
posted by bcwinters at 9:24 AM on December 27, 2005

Another possibility that comes to mind would be using the Notes field in Address Book for all this. It wouldn't be hard to gin up a text-expansion macro that put "called on [date], left message" in there or something like that. With a little Applescripting, you could do something fancier.

If you have your phone hooked into Address Book (via Salling Clicker, for example), you can use Address Book to make your calls and automatically look up incoming callers in it, saving you a step.
posted by adamrice at 10:06 AM on December 27, 2005

This seems like an obvious sort of widget to make for Tiger's Dashboard feature...
posted by Wild_Eep at 1:19 PM on December 27, 2005

You should write a command line program to do this.
posted by delmoi at 2:57 PM on December 27, 2005


% printf 'to:%s, from:%s, phone:%s, msg:%s \n' \
Bob 'Alice Smith' 626-555-1212 'Buy 100 shares ACME' \
>> phone-messages.txt

Problem solved. And it even has a template. :)
posted by todbot at 3:22 AM on December 28, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. I tried most of the solutions, and The File Maker suggestion one gave me an idea. I don't have File Maker Pro, but a good old Appleworks database document is now doing the job. It even has a pop up field which I'm using to indicate New, RCNA (returned call, no answer) RCBZ (returned call busy), Spoke, Done and Archive. (The Archive is for marking old notes that I didn't do anything about.) Every do often, I plan to Find the Done and Archives, and Cut and Paste them into a second document "Telephone Note Archive". If I had the energy, I could probably do a macro that would automatically cut and paste into the archive document when I clicked done or archive in the pop-up field. Maybe next year. Thank you all again.
posted by rabbus at 8:42 AM on December 29, 2005

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