I am getting lots of contacts (Law/Accounting/etc). And trying to find a good tool to keep all the phones/emails/notes together.
Ideally, not just text, but something smarter. So it can show me all the people I know at Law firm X or everyone person Y introduced to me.
Are there any tools (preferably free and online) to help with this ?
I use Microsoft Outlook on my computer. I sync my contacts with my Google account using GO Contact Sync. Then I sync my contacts with my BlackBerry using Google Mobile Sync.
I also use SugarCRM, an open source crm tool.
GMail contacts is free and had some features I was surprised to find. Each contact can be put into a group. The company can be listed. Each contact can have multiple people attached to them (Referred By, Spouse, Friend, relative, etc.). But the best part is the ability to pull all this together with their search feature. Shouldn't be too shocking since searching is what Google tends to excel at.
Nice to hear someone who wants to track their contacts in a more sophisticated way. I've always felt handling these relationships was the key to growing a business. Everyone wants a simple solution, but that is rarely adequate to handle the complexity of contacts.
Plaxo (http://www.plaxo.com ) is free and has capabilities to automatically sync with most messaging platforms. It also has plaintext-only notes, but it keeps extensive history and has a large number of fields for each person in it's database. It has a web-based interface, and also local code plug-ins for Windows, etc.
Sorry about the blatant plug (that's really not why I came to this forum), but you might want to check out LessAnnoyingSoftware. If you don't like that, I agree that Highrise is the way to go.
SugarCRM is only free if you host it yourself which means you'd have to pay for a hosting plan unless you already have one. That will probably cost more than it would to just pay for one of the cheaper customer managers out there.