Keeping track of business associates is demanding, particularly when there are so many of them. Nobody can be expected to remember everything, or keep track of everyone, but Refresh (free) is an app that can do it for you.
The app analyses your schedule, contacts relevant information from Facebook, LinkedIn and others, providing an at-a-glance profile that allows you to quickly catch up with associate’s latest happenings. You can even add your own notes, and the app will follow-up with you when your next meeting rolls around.
Smalltalk has never been so effortless.
Getting To Know You
Refresh is an app that’s all about keeping track of the people in your life, with an emphasis on the business world. If you’re the sort of person who meets regularly with a large number of people, then you’re the sort of person who is going to benefit from using Refresh. The uses range from keeping track of project progress to remembering a friend’s favourite sports team – and Refresh lends itself well to both business and pleasure.
When you first download the app you’ll be invited to pair your account with as many social networks as you can. Generally, more is better – the more Refresh knows about you, the more it knows about your contacts. The app generates what it calls “insights” for each contact, whether they are in your iOS address book, Facebook Friends List or merely a follower on Instagram.
The app will make its own invisible ties, linking together contacts intelligently without much input required from you, the user. A simple search for MakeUseOf colleague Justin Pot detected personal email accounts, an iOS contact entry, a Twitter username and Google information in the form of web authorship and YouTube content. This information is presented on one single profile page, which provides a lot of information at a glance.
You can fetch this information whenever you need it, but once access is granted to your iOS calendar the app can help you out there too. Upcoming meetings with relevant contacts provides one-tap access to insights, and if the app hasn’t detected the right parties you can manually add people to the event. Once your meeting is over you can add follow-up reminders along with due dates.
That’s only half of what Refresh is for, and while it’s an effortless process having an app scour a contact’s social profiles for conversation starters, adding your own notes can be indispensable too. Notes are added via contact profiles and via the Notes tab at the bottom of the screen, and are categorised by purpose. There are fields for general notes and stories, as well as information like location, relationships and interests
This information is added to the top of your contact’s profile view, so it’s the first thing you see when you visit their page. There’s a real opportunity to get personal and remember the little details that might make all the difference at the next meeting. I’ve never in my life needed to butter-up a shareholder, but I’d bet remembering a daughter’s fourth birthday or favourite sports team’s recent results will help.
The types of insights you end up with vary between things you are unlikely to have picked up on yourself – like a contact having recently taken a trip abroad (FourSquare checkins, Instagram posts) or celebrated a milestone at a job (LinkedIn); and things that are generally only disclosed in personal circumstances (which you note manually), like home address or the fact that your contact recently got a dog.
The app works best if you play all of the relevant social networks, with particular attention paid to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. It still has limited use as a location for storing notes about contacts if you don’t choose to do this, but you might as well just use your default contacts app instead.
In addition to the core functionality, Refresh also allows you to quickly connect on various social networks, email yourself a dossier of a contact’s credentials, send business cards and more – but it’s main draw is its ability to organise a messy contact list into an insightful business directory. Provided you’re adequately immersed in the world of business networking, this is a useful app.
Refresh is for those of you with way too many LinkedIn connections, who adore networking but whose ambitions for a carefully-spun web of go-getters means you spend much of the time trying to remember names than you do networking in the first place.
It doesn’t get in the way or try to replace your existing networks as so many other apps do, and that’s probably why Refresh works so well.
Download: Refresh (Free)
Unfortunately at the time of publishing, Refresh may not be available in all global iTunes stores.
Image credit: PlaceIt