Highrise, created by 37signals, is an online system designed to manage contacts and communication with clients. The simple interface makes it easy to track the status of projects and interaction with contacts. Since the system is online and not downloadable software, all information is accessible from a web browser and can be shared with co-workers or sub-contractors.
Contacts can be easily imported into Highrise from Outlook or software that exports vCard format. Once added, contacts are easily viewed via the “Contacts” tab and sorted by people, companies, or recently added, viewed or imported. When viewing an individual contact, all details are available including an “about” section and related dates to remember important information about the person or company.
History & Tasks
When viewing a contact, it’s easy to keep track of the latest communication. Simply enter notes in a text field, and Highrise attaches the date and adds the entry to your communication history with the person. You can even attach a file to a message. This feature is great for recording decisions made during meetings. At this point, the really power (and simplicity) of Highrise kicks in. After adding a note, you can attach a task to the note with a due date and category such as “call” or “email.” Put in a reminder to follow-up with a client, and track all of your upcoming tasks on one page. The “Dashboard,” or home page, of your Highrise account shows you all recent history and tasks.
Cases & Tags
Cases allow you to group information together, such as for a specific project. Attach notes to a case and then display all messages and people on the case page, helping you manage the project in one place. Another way to organize information, called “tags,” allows you to group contacts by custom keywords. Tag several people as photographers or press, and then view all photographers or members of the press on one page. This convenient feature is quick to use and helps to find people or companies in a specific industry.
37signals offers several monthly plans, with the number of contacts, GB for storage, cases and users of the account increasing with cost. A free plan allows 250 contacts and two users, without file sharing. Plans go up to $99/month for 40 users, 20GB for storage, unlimited cases and up to 30,000 contacts. The basic plan, for $24/month and up to 5,000 contacts, is a good option for small businesses.