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Before my wedding, I created a Google Sheets spreadsheet with names and addresses of the invitees. My wife and I have continued to use that spreadsheet since then when we want to write letters, send Christmas cards, etc, as it has all the necessary info for that. Is there a better solution for managing these shared contacts?

Requirements

  • Online
  • Shared (both my wife and I should be able to access it)
  • Private (nobody else should be able to access it)
  • Store contact name, phone number, physical address
  • Associate related contacts (e.g. husband and wife who live at same address)
  • Accessible via Mac or Windows (ideal would be an online browser-based app)

Nice To Have

  • iPhone app
  • A way of tagging people as e.g. being on the Christmas card list, being my relative vs. hers, etc.
  • Additional metadata (e.g. how are they related to us)
  • The ability to export the data
  • Ideally it would be free or inexpensive

Non-goals

  • Integration with phone contacts, email account, social media account

I can continue using the Google Sheets spreadsheet if there's nothing better that meets these criteria. I was just wondering if there were any applications more tailored to this than a general purpose spreadsheet.

  • Is self-hosting an option? What is your price margin, in case it comes to paid solutions, and would a subscription model be acceptable? Not that I had a solution ("associate related contacts" is the show-stopper for me), but it would help others who might have a solution in mind. – Izzy Jun 11 '17 at 9:49
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There is also an open source system for personal relationship management called Monica (like CRM but for friends). It has all needed features you described. You can use it as a SaaS or a self-hosted solution.

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I think I might have a software/app solution for you. It checks almost all your boxes:

  • online,
  • shared,
  • private,
  • can store almost any type of data you want. In fact, you yourself can determine what data/information you want your app to have, how the data should be organized/connected to each other. You can link two people living together if you want to, create a dropdown for indicating whose relatives they are, whether they are on your Christmas list, etc.,
  • browser-based,
  • you can import/export the data,
  • I would guess by the use you are envisioning it would be free (definitely rather inexpensive).

It is an online platform, Simitless, for designing your custom information system.

Full disclosure: I am part of the startup that designed that platform. We just launched recently, still in beta. If you want to try it out and need some help, I can definitely give you a hand. Just get in touch.

(If you want to quickly try it out, there is a template for contact management that I have made from what you have described that you would like to track, it is viewable right here. Click the "eye" icon to preview the template with "dummy data". And, since it is just a template, you can take it as a basis and modify it to your heart's desire.) It might be just what you are looking for. And let me know how it goes, if you decide to give it a go.

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