Organizations and businesses of all sizes can benefit from a phone log system to keep track of vital phone calls and contact information. For example, professionals such as lawyers and accountants rely on phone logs to keep records of clients and to record the amount of billable time spent serving each one.
Basic Phone Log Methods
Use phone logs to keep track of inbound and outbound phone calls. Record data about clients, such as business and cell phone numbers, email and website information. For traditional phone logs, keep the data secure by putting it in a safe place out of public reach when not being used. On an electronic system, keep messages secure by limiting exposure to the data and installing a password. If the office has a receptionist, integrate the phone log with her so that calls are returned timely and efficiently. Give her access to users' inboxes so that they can easily check messages.
Arrange for remote and forwarding access of the phone log from your cell phone or computer. Integrate text messaging and email into the phone log system for greater flexibility. Organize phone messages into personal folders for easy access. Set up public folders if you wish to share the data with the rest of the office. Set up notifications so that you receive messages as soon as they arrive. Place non-urgent calls in a folder for the best time management. Establish a system to return all phone calls within a reasonable amount of time, and set up reminders so no important call is forgotten. For an effective backup system, arrange for distribution groups to receive notifications.
Traditional Phone Logs
Use a traditional phone log system by writing down information on a pad designed to keep track of callers and their information. Some phone log pads come with a carbon to automatically make a duplicate record for storage. Before the electronic age, executives, office workers and individuals kept track of phone calls by writing down names, numbers and other information on individual pieces of paper or pads designed for this purpose.
Consider using MyWorkTools, which offers a Word template document as a phone log for inbound and outbound calls. The tool can be used as a time management and productivity measurement system that tracks the date and time of each phone call, number dialed and the length of the call, as well as the call's purpose. The tool can save time as it eliminates the need to spend an average of two hours or more to to make a similar phone log manually.
PhonePad Electronic System
Download the free trial of the PhonePad system, which uses a Windows application to store all phone call information in one inbox. Colored icons and coding provide instant message status recognition, and messages are arranged to indicate whether they are new, read or need follow-up. The PhonePad looks like paper message slips for an intuitive user interface. The messages are supported by text formatting in different fonts, colors, styles and sizes. Multiple messages may be opened simultaneously, and text messages are also supported. The built-in address book stores previous caller data.
PDA or Cell Phone Logs
Use a phone log designed for your PDA or cell phone, such as PhoneLog 2.0, for the PalmPilot mobile phone device. PhoneLog tracks all phone messages received and left for others. In addition, a list can be easily created that may be quickly accessed for return calls. The PhoneLog provides a complete record of conversations. The system is also customizable and may be easily integrated.
Susan S. Davis is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the L.A. Press Club. She was managing editor of "The Hosting News" and a columnist at Online Dating Magazine. Davis attended Chicago's Medill School of Journalism, and holds an A.A.S. in radio broadcasting from Minnesota Business College and a certificate in paralegal studies from University of California, Los Angeles.