I have used Dex CRM almost daily for the past few months now and I think it is hands down the best personal relationship management tool for individuals. Most people use CRM’s at work and with the market so crowded, there are a ton of business options to choose from- I'm not talking about those. In my personal life, I found that most of my friends were using a combination of social media and our phone book to keep track of the contacts in their daily lives.
However, this is definitely a suboptimal way of managing your relationships with your family, friends and acquaintances because everything is scattered across multiple apps with no real way to set reminders, take notes or categorize. Some people would hack some system together with Excel, Airtable or Notion but all of that required a lot of work and maintenance - it was forcing these tools to become a CRM despite all the friction and redundant work.
I get it. At a high level, a personal CRM seems icky - why should I be tracking my friends? That seems transactional - I should remember her favorite color or the name of his dog. But if you know me at all, you would know that my memory is not my superpower. What is much stronger than my memory is my desire to connect with others and to show my friends that I care. While I am not perfect at it, I try to take notes on every person I have a meaningful conversation with - what is their origin story, what are their career/personal ambitions, what are their likes/dislikes.
As an introvert, social interactions have always been anxiety-inducing for me. “What is there to even talk about? Why is this so awkward? What birthday gift would they like?” However, using Dex has allowed me to be much more intentional with my conversations with my current friends and "future friends". I can now remember Ahyoung is having a baby in 3 months, Frank hates mushrooms with an alarming passion and Tonya’s “meet cute” story with her boyfriend. Dex has given me freedom to be social and create deeper, meaningful connections with others. In a way, Dex has become my superpower.
Here are 5 favorite things I love about Dex:
- Linkedin Integration: One click. It’s all it takes. (a la Dua Lipa) Dex just grabs all the info from the Linkedin profile that you care about - photo, title, current company and even where the person lives. This saves me so much time compared to a Notion database where I would have to manually enter everything.
- Supports photos and bullet points: I have been in so many Zoom panels/speaker series and I’m constantly taking notes on the speakers. There is very high chance I might interact with that person again in the future and it is so nice to have all this context about them that I can refer back to during our conversation. I can even take quick screenshots of the slides and quickly add it to my notes.
- Locations: Dex does a good job of knowing where the contact resides due to the metadata from all the social media sites. Therefore, if I am traveling to New York and need to know who I know there and should reach out to, I can filter by the “New York” location without me ever manually logging in Dex where that person lives. Obviously, it is not perfect because people move around but it sure gives you a great jumping off point.
- Reminders: Reminders are kinda the point of a CRM, so that you can be reminded when you need to keep in touch. Birthdays (which are synced from your socials) are great because rather than having to input them manually into my Google calendar, they are all in one place and clearly displayed on my dashboard and also included in my email digest from Dex. You can also set reminders to reach out to someone after they are back in town or even set regular check-in frequencies. I have one for my friend that has been like a big sister to me since I was 18 and has met all my boyfriends. Clearly, I need a reminder to call her monthly to talk about boys.
- Quick Action Game: Cleaning your contacts in your CRM is probably ranked pretty low on your life’s bucket list. Therefore, Dex added the feature of a game (a la Tinder) that allows you to quickly triage your contacts by keyboard shortcuts. It is a little bit addicting and a nice break from all the swiping you’re doing on the dating apps.
Bonus: Dex is just so darn clean and lightweight. I have tried many of the personal CRM tools out there (Cloze, Uphabit, Covve, etc) and some of them feel sluggish and bloated. Dex is well designed with a lot of white space so I actually enjoy using the tool on the daily. Shout out to Kevin Sun and his tech team. Kevin graduated from Harvard in Math, went through Y-Combinator with Dex and personally has answered multiple support issues on Saturday nights from me. (Yes, we both need to get lives.) But he is clearly passionate about productivity, design and startups so definitely one to back in this space. So, if you are an introvert with bad memory, an MBA student looking to expand your network for that job offer, a “connector” that builds "community" or just a human being that wants to be a better friend, you should check out Dex. It's free to sign up and has a generous free plan. If you want to upgrade, ping me for a promo code.
Janet Lee is an MBA candidate at the UCLA Anderson School of Management on a full-tuition fellowship. She is currently working for TenOneTen Ventures, Visible Hands VC and Tech Coast Angels. Before business school, she started two businesses, a tech-forward real estate brokerage and international trade & logistics company. Her MBA focus is venture capital, for which she was recently awarded the Deutschman Venture Fellowship.