But hey — anything that’s worth doing is worth doing right.
You see, I can be messy.
My purse is a the Bermuda Triangle of handbags — a place where business cards get lost forever. Once I’ve jotted down a phone number on a paper notepad, I’ll never find it again once a story’s been filed.
In fact, I currently have a cache of sources listed haphazardly in a Word document on Harris (Brownie points to anyone in journalism who actually knows what Harris is.)
It’s 2012. Time to cut out the paper, I say.
This year, I’m going to be doing lots of mobile reporting for ideaLab. That means traveling around the community and meeting lots of people.
That also means getting organized, remembering who these people are, and how I can leverage these contacts in the future for stories.
In other words, if I’m doing a story about X Company having layoffs, where can I easily search to see if I know anyone who works at X Company?
Say I’m doing a story on gardening. Where can I find someone I’ve made a personal connection with who has a garden or has joined a gardening club?
A simple name and phone number in my iPhone address book doesn’t really tell me who a person is — what moves them, what interests them.
That in mind, I made this Google form that can be embedded anywhere. I can socialize it, so existing social media contacts can fill it out. (That’s a variation of something already going on at the York Daily Record/Sunday News.)
Or, I can do as originally intended and fill out this information myself on my iPad.
This year, I’m making it a goal of mine, each time I go out into the community, to do mini-interviews and “meet” at least 10 people. These can be people who intentionally find me or ones I randomly accost.
Either way, their information will be entered in this form and automatically filtered into a spreadsheet in my Google docs.
Automatic source list.
Call me crazy, but I think this might help me clean up my act.