Until now I have maintained an external spreadsheet that held all of my contact info. I am now putting the contact info for all my ‘related’ contacts into FTM so that I can see it when I look at their record. I hope to also run a report with all of the Contact info – later on that. I plan to continue my external speadsheet for ‘unrelated’ contacts though because I am not sure where to put them. If you have ideas please share. Here is how I am going about this…
1. Look up names from the spreadsheet in FTM under People > Tree. Remember to look up women by their maiden names (unless you don’t have FTM set up that way of course). Use a wildcard asterisk if needed.
2. Open the Person tab under People. To the right of Individual & Shared Facts click the ‘+’ button to add a fact. Here are the facts that I had stored in my spreadsheet that I added to FTM. If you want to add these fields you can click Add at the bottom after clicking ‘+’.
a. Last Contact: This is the date that I last contacted them. I put if it was via email/phone/etc. in the description.
b. Connection: This is how they connect to my tree. I like to put last name first in all caps like SMITH, Jane (Maiden Name) and then add the Person ID number if I know it like #101. Sometimes I put a relationship in parenthesis afterwards like (grandmother).
c. Phone: Enter home, cell, work, etc.
d. Email: Enter home, cell, work, etc.
e. Address: 123 Red St, Green, AK 12345-1234. I enter this as close to the PO requirements as possible so that I can easily create mailing labels, envelopes, etc.
f. Web Site: If needed.
Any other info goes under Notes.
Now, for the important part… You probably want to make all this contact info private right? Of course right! This is easy to accomplish if you select the fact-to-be-privatized and then click Options (far right) and then ‘Mark as Private’. The kicker here is that if you aren’t careful there is a glitch in the program and it will ERASE the data you just typed in the field! I have not been able to get it to glitch all the time but it usually does when I don’t tab after entering and either highlight the data or leave the cursor in the data. Just be careful not to erase any info in your spreadsheet until after you are sure that your data is safe and sound. I usually click on another fact before making a fact private just to make sure it is firmly planted in its field. (I am currently using FTM3 v.220.127.116.113, subsequent versions may not have this glitch but I know that previous ones did as well). I have not had any problems with data disappearing after I have it firmly in place.
How do you handle contacts?