Considering how important networking is to your career, you won’t want to miss these tools that will come in handy no matter what kind of relationship you want to build.

You know about LinkedIn, Evernote and Salesforce, but do you know about the next generation of apps poised to help you network, host effective calls and manage your meetings, follow-ups and contacts?

These six apps are guaranteed to help improve your communications, no matter who you connect with or what kind of relationship you want to build:

1. Rapportive

This tool allows you to learn everything about a person without ever leaving your Gmail inbox. Forget about searching Google; simply hover over an email and the contact’s photo, latest tweets, Facebook profile, LinkedIn profile and more will show up in your sidebar. This is incredibly useful for vetting someone, learning more and finding those serendipitous moments (“Oh, you’re going to that conference, too?!”).

Rapportive is a free add-on available for Chrome, FIrefox and Safari. At its most basic, the tool lets you put a face to a name, but it can also act as a lightweight CRM if you take advantage of all the integrated features.

2. Speek

Do you find yourself constantly fumbling for a phone number and PIN, only to join a conference call at the most awkward moment? Try Speek. The super-simple and free conference call platform lets users choose a unique and personal link (i.e., speek.com/rebecca) rather than a traditional phone number and PIN to connect conference calls.

Once you’re on the call, Speek provides a visual experience that lets you see who’s joined the call, see who’s talking, share files and mute participants. Plus, it’s integrated with your social media accounts, so you can connect with callers on LinkedIn or Twitter.

3. Contactually

Relationships are the basis of any good career, and Contactually helps you manage timely interactions with your most important relationships. Follow up with potential clients, keep warm leads from getting cold and remember to email that mentor who will find you your next job.

Particularly good for sales professionals, freelancers and true go-getters, this system automates your contact management (i.e., the crucial networking you have to do to be successful). Every day, you get a list of people you need to reach out to, and you can track all your progress and communication patterns in your personalized dashboard.

4. Ecquire

Another browser extension, Ecquire integrates with all your existing Web services, like Salesforce, Highrise, MailChimp, LinkedIn, Twitter, HootSuite and more, to help you easily and automatically add and import information about your contacts no matter what site you’re on.

No need to remember multiple usernames and passwords or enter information multiple times. And if you’re used to having to remember to “bcc” or forward important emails to your CRM system, forget about it. Ecquire has a great interface that is completely unobtrusive until you need it and delivers all your notes and details to multiple apps simultaneously.

5. Highrise

An oldie, but goodie, Highrise is a cheaper, more intuitive and simpler version of Salesforce. But it’s not just good for managing sales and business development; you can also manage people and processes like your job search, clients, blogger outreach, customers and more through the use of tags, custom fields and cases (like folders).

You can keep notes about how many daughters your newest partner has and if they prefer to receive an email over a phone call. Integrate Highrise with some of the other extensions and apps on this list to make the simple database truly powerful and intuitive.

6. WorkFlowy

As both an outlining and note-taking tool, Workflowy is the closest thing to pen and paper I’ve found, while also featuring the powerful features we’ve come to expect in today’s productivity apps.

Take notes during a call or create an outline before a meeting with WorkFlowy’s deceivingly simple interface. When you’re ready to do more, Workflowy has you covered with search, collaboration tools, tagging, the ability to zoom in and out of certain projects and more so you’re always prepared with the people you want to impress.

These apps will help you stay productive and manage the most important actions you can take for a successful career: networking and building relationships.

Share your networking tips and favorite apps with us in the comments!

Rebecca Thorman’s blog Kontrary offers tips to create the career, bank account and life you love and is a popular destination for young professionals. Her goal is to help you find meaningful work, enjoy the heck out of it and earn more money. Her day job is the VP of marketing at Speek.

47 Comments

  1. Shiva Raj

    this is very fascinating, You are a very professional blogger. I have joined your rss feed and sit up for in the hunt for extra of your wonderful post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks.

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  3. JobKaster

    I haven’t tried the others, but Rapportive is pretty awesoeme! You can easily see who you are in contact with and connect with them on various social networks. I will have to look into the rest! Good post!

  4. Ruth Louden

    Some interesting networking tools for those into apps for productivity and connecting with others! I might try out Speek and WorkFlowy (who could resist something with a name like workflowy?)

  5. Michael Howden

    Thanks for the post Rebecca…..I’ll definitely check some of these out – tweeted you article as well :-)

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  9. Swiftbonds

    This is brilliant. Only one of these is worth the time. I seem to be stuck in the middle ages trying to bond with my clients by phone.

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    Appreciate this, guys!

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    Appreciate this guys!

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    This is something that I need. Thank you.

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  16. Steve Jarvis

    Cheers for this although Rapportive does look like it could be a little scary. It always amazes me what some people leave behind in their digital fingerprint. We do speak to a lot of people through networking events as its a key part of finding new clients in our industry

  17. Denis

    Thanks for an informative special article – thanks! These apps are really going to improve my networking
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  20. Guest

    I’m starting to wonder if our lives will forever be an open book as we move forward. I for one would like some privacy. Technology, although wonderful as it may be also has a downside.

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  22. Marcus4848

    Interesting and scary. That first app is one of the reasons I generally avoid Facebook and Twitter like the plague. Privacy is beginning to become dead.

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  25. chris

    These tips will sure help with my networking thanks

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  30. Barun Pandey

    I loved these apps. Work Flowy worked for me well. Hamro Football

  31. Sarah Morris

    Any recommendations on apps for organizing contacts and taking notes about them (when and where you met them, other interesting personal info) that is FREE? Kind of like an upgrade of the contacts application I have on my Mac?

  32. Sarah Morris

    P.S. Started using Rapportive today…so cool! :)

  33. MicroSourcing

    WorkFlowy is a simple but useful app for anyone who needs to take down notes or write things they need to remember.

  34. Tatyana

    It’s all very interesting. I am going use Rapportive in my work because I have many letter to read and answer everyday. Thanks for your article!

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    thanx i will use this and i wanna first to thank u

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    WoW !!! I really like this list of useful apps, I just installed the Rapportive add-on to my Mozilla Firefox, Thanks… I will also like to feature you on my Tech Blog – http://www.stevenbergy.com.ng very soon

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