One of my favorite web app companies, 37Signals today took the scaffolding down from their most recent application, and opened it up to the public.
It’s called Highrise, and having fooled with it a little bit today, I can already tell that it’s another winner.
You use it by adding (or importing) contacts who you are currently working with. Once this is done you can then attach notes, and to do items to these contents. The free version limits you to 25 contacts, and also keeps you from using other features; such as file upload, and, most crucially to me, cases – which allow you to group contacts around projects.
Even with the limitations, the free Highrise account can really help you keep track of not only your contacts, but how and when you interact with them.
An artist, for example, who is booking a show might use High Rise to create contacts for all the relevant names of people associated with the gig. This would include the club booker, the press contacts who might write about the gig, the local radio DJs who will advance the show/have you on for an on-air performance, local retailers who you want to try and get to consign your records, perspective managers or booking agents who you want to get down to the show, etc.
All of these people’s contact info can easily be entered into Highrise, and then, as you contact them, you can add notes that detail the conversation (the press person, for instance, might want you to send a couple copies of your CD, etc.), and then add To Dos to make sure you follow up.
It all integrates will with the other 37Signals apps like Basecamp, and can be customized to your needs. For instance, Highrise allows for tagging, so you could tag all of the above mentioned contacts with the something specific to the gig (the name of the club, for example), and thereby organize your information easily.
I encourage you to give it a shot.
UPDATE: Highrise has increased the number of contacts at the free level from 25 to 250, andnow allows cases for free users too! Excellent!