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Many people take serveral communications before the actual link exchange happens. Maybe they are not sure, then they decide yes, then they have to contact their webmaster. But the webmaster does not response, so you have to call again...
What are you guys using to track all this information so you don't forget that Bob is the contact for website xyz.com and that you are waiting on him to upload a link? Free options are the best, unless there are none. I am currently using excel but not very happy with it.
I'd check sites like hotscripts for contact managers - you'll find both cheap and free programs, one of which should offer the features you want.
Another alternative: if conventional contact managers don't quite do it, one with the exact fields and functionality you need could probably be done in MS Access very quickly - if you don't want to do it, you could probably find a freelancer to knock it out for $100 or so.
I am working on setuping up Outlook now. I came across an option (in Outlook) that expands the task tabs to include cutomizable ones. It looks essentially like filemaker in which you can create your own fields.
The basics I have come up with are:
1) Create a new pst file and name it link exchange
2) Create a task folder for each website project
3) Create a new task for each website you want to exchange links with (the not easy ones), and name it the name of that website
4) Set the view of the tasks to show last modified, company name, status and notes
5) For each communication with the website enter a new line starting at the top of the notes area and starting with the date
6) Optionally create custom fields with contact peoples names, position and phone number and have this displayed in the task over window
7) Optionally create a field for importance of the link exchange, A, B or C so you can sort by these
This would work to allow you to sort by company name, last communication (equals last modification if you log each one) and also to easily see what the last communication was in the task overview window, from there you could opend the task to get details on the company and communication history.