One simple tool for maintaining relationships is your address book. In addition to contact information I try to include a birthday (if known) or better a date of birth (the latter containing a year – useful for those special birthdays). Birthdays show in my calendar and, for a few quid annually, I subscribe to an electronic greeting card service. On, or even before the appointed day I spend a few minutes sending a card in which I try to add a personalised message.
The impact is astounding – people are touched and delighted that not only did I remember, but also sent a card. Recently the card service added a facility for recipients to respond which is proving popular and only confirms that this simple gesture is much appreciated.
Your address book is much more it is a wonderful resource and a brilliant ‘aide memoire’. Adding photos allows their image, as well as their name to appear on incoming calls. Important annual dates such as wedding anniversaries can be added while contact information enables phone calls, video chats, messaging as well as mail.
Some years ago we stopped sending paper Christmas cards and Eater greetings and replaced them with an electronic version – not quite the same, but it works!
Ultimately, to maintain relationships you still need to make the effort, but a well managed address book can make all the difference!