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I'm looking for a CRM to maintain the following data:

Company/organization (contact information fields like address, phone, mail + notes)
   Contact person 1 (contact information fields + notes)
      Meeting/telephone notes 1
      Meeting/telephone notes 2 (sorted by date)
      ...
   Contact person 2 (some contact information fields + notes)
      ...

As you can see this is all text based. No need for photographs, email or any other type of data.
Also, no need to maintain tasks, action lists etc.
A Google doc spreadsheet is just a little too unstructured, though ;-)

Must have:

  • User accounts. Other than an admin, no access levels are required (everyone can edit)
  • The ability to only fill in company (if we don't know contact persons yet)
  • 'Responsive design', i.e. should work nicely on mobile browsers (iOS, Android)

Nice to have:

  • Free
  • Full text search
  • For the notes a plain text field is enough, but if it has some markdown, fine
  • Preferably no app to install. If an app must be used, minimum permissions required (I see no reason why any permissions are required given the kind of data we want to maintain)
  • Option to export the data in an accessible format (maybe .csv), for backup purposes (and in case the website shuts down)
  • Option to have no company/organization (when dealing with individuals). We could work around this by duplicating the persons' name in the company data, no big deal.

Notes:

  • We have the option so self-host on our site. In that case it should be PHP based or a Wordpress plugin with separate access.
  • I already went through all CRM questions on this site (and many CMS questions because that abbreviation is also used for contact management system, not just content management system)
  • We are talking about several hundred companies and 20 users max.
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Podio is free and could be easily configured as that kind of CRM. Since you want meeting notes per contact, you'll need to configure a "Meeting notes" app, and link notes to the company and contact. Then from the company entry you'll be able to find the notes.

Insightly is another decent free CRM with great linking capabilities. Not sure if it could accommodate your notes requirement since the last time I tested it was about two years ago.

BTW, here's a comparison of over 70 CRM and project/task management systems that I've evaluated.

If you want to self-host a Wordpress plugin, then the pods framework is definitely what you want, once you define the objects and the data display. For example this and this were both built with Pods.

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