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Monica: Personal CRM. Remember everything about your friends, family and etc. (github.com/monicahq)
414 points by tylermauthe on Dec 1, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 198 comments

I have to mention that this is one of the top 3 tools in my personal stack. See some comments below regarding various things I saw in this thread.

Stability: Been running it for 2+ years now (or is it 3+ already?), no problems whatsoever. I update when the mood strikes - never had to roll back because something wasn't working.

Why: As someone who considers himself terrible at remembering things, this little piece of software made all the difference re keeping up with people. The e-mail notifications is a killer feature - so simple, yet I've never done it before in my personal inbox.

I think the fact that it's an external service and not inside your inbox matters from a UX perspective. I have this other place where I define the logic, and then receive it in the screen I look at every morning.

Originally came to know of the project years back through https://sive.rs/hundreds, and while he's a bit better (a lot better) at it than I am, I can confidently say I've stayed in touch with dozens of people thanks to Monica. His notion of "ranked lists" also makes sense, at least to me, as a mental framework for managing personal contacts.

Shameless plug (for the creators!): I 100% recommend Monica, have contributed to it, and am a big big supporter of https://github.com/djaiss (Regis), https://github.com/asbiin (Alexis), et al.

They're actively working on something new now, so if that helps them somehow - link incoming:


A personal comment: There's a (repeating) notion in this thread that keeping up with people is somehow linked to how much you care about them. I care deeply about many people I meet, personally, but I don't think the two are necessarily correlated.

Example: Say I met someone years ago at school, and I thought she was pretty cool. I added her to Monica and I reach out to her once in a while to see what's up. We talk about work, exchange some personal stories, and go our separate ways. I might not think about her for months at a time, but then - quite intentionally - I think about her when the email notification comes up. It makes me happy that this person is somehow in my life.

Is that impersonal? Is it wrong in some way? It's my own very, very private way of keeping people in my life. I don't see it as not genuine or fake.

If it works, right?

> There's a (repeating) notion in this thread that keeping up with people is somehow linked to how much you care about them. I care deeply about many people I meet, personally, but I don't think the two are necessarily correlated.

I wholeheartedly agree. There’s a similar resistance towards books like “How to win friends...”, like you’re a sleazy car salesman for trying to improve your social skills.

It’s like harping on people going to the gym and watching their diet for not being “naturally” fit.

I have a friend who does this. It used to be that every year or so he would come out to where I live for a convention he liked to go to and he would stay at my house for 3-4 days and we'd catch up, go do some stuff in the evening when he wasn't at the convention, etc.

One year he resolved to "do better about keeping up" - apparently feeling bad that our entire message history was him texting me a month before the convention asking if he could stay with me, and me saying that he could. True to his word, ever after that, he has periodically texted me every few months just to make idle conversation. He even stopped going to the convention but still keeps messaging me periodically - which I appreciate because it shows he didn't view me only as a hotel replacement.

Still, I prefer our old arrangement. Frankly, I don't need to know how he is doing every few months and I find it a bit awkward to make small talk any way. As I just have one friend that does this it's not so bad, but if I had more friends who wanted to just regularly "check in" like this, I'd have to start blocking people, ending friendships, or developing an automated routine to tell the curious that I'm doing well and to ask about their family and our mutual friends, etc.

> Frankly, I don't need to know how he is doing every few months and I find it a bit awkward to make small talk any way.

There's a bit of secret sauce here that I tend to rely on to prevent myself from being considered "that guy".

First and foremost, I do this as much as possible via e-mail. Phone or WhatsApp is indeed too "personal" for these type of things (save for one person, an old boss of mine, who I have a scheduled zoom call with once a month. But that's just because he and I just like the chit-chat, it appears).

I write up a long-form message, something like 5-8 paragraphs with real news about myself and the things I've been up to, and ship that alongside the usual casual chit-chat.

It's surprisingly useful - I think this is the only context in which long-form e-mail is a good thing.

But then again, I grew up in an era where e-mail is the devil, and this was not always the case (or so they tell me).

What strikes me as the secret sauce there is the 5-8 paragraphs of info that gets dumped at once. There is something value in there that the other can pick up on and continue the thread.

Compare that to a text , where you might send a sentence or two and expect them to come back with something- when in fact, they weren't thinking about YOU and therefore aren't prepared to respond. Hence awkward.

Yep, yep. Makes all the difference.

Liking to write helps a lot with keeping in touch.

I think the resistance towards that particular book is because the full title is "How to win friends and influence people". The last part in particular is what makes it sound sleazy. It would be very different if the book had just been called "How to make friends".

The book was published in 1936. I think the meaning of the word “influence” has evolved to mean something more sinister than what the book is about.

> It would be very different if the book had just been called "How to make friends".

I think it is the other way round. People criticize it because "How to make friends" is the first and more prominent part of the title, while the book is not primarily about that. "How to influence people" fits the content much better than "How to win friends" but "influence" isn't the most appropriate word either and I guess that would not have sold the book nearly as well as its actual title.

Apart from that I think there is nothing to criticize about the content, it might be trivial to a degree, but it is solid and ethical advice, if I remember it correctly.

I only read a few chapters of the 1981 revision, but the author always made sure to emphasize that all the tools and techniques were boosters for good intentions, not a replacement for them.

I think many people read the title as “How to befriend people to influence them.”

Actually, the french translation or this book has got the title "how to make friend" (comment se faire des amis)

> It’s like harping on people going to the gym and watching their diet for not being “naturally” fit.

Exactly. I have this thing that I'm not good at. I have this tool I use to be better at it. Everybody wins.

One might say that computers in general are tools for computational work, since people are not as good at crunching numbers in their head at a consistent, repetitive and deterministic fashion over time.

One might even be right. :)

I figured out how to deal with cognitive dissonance people are feeling about this years ago.

I would rather make a calendar invite / use <insert your fav software> and remember to call <valued loved one or friend> and feel bad about having to do that...

Then forget to call and feel worse about forgetting.

> Then forget to call and feel bad about forgetting.

This. I feel really, really guilty if I hear something great or awful happened to someone I used to be in touch with, but the relationship faded away into the flow of life.

Why wasn't I there? What? It's been 3 years since we last talked? How did that happen?

So, no to all that jazz. Enter Monica. :)

for some reason you omitted the sleazier half of the title "...and influence people".

Improving social skills and using them manipulatively are entirely different things. If you've ever known or worked with psychopaths you'll get that immediately. I suppose there's a continuum but still.

I don't agree. Influencing and social skills cannot be dissociated. Making friends is the process of making a person like you, which seems to fall under the definition of influence.

As many things, influencing people isn't inherently bad, but depends on how and why.

Have you read the book? It’s very far from being sleazy or manipulative, but rather a guide to what people tend to think are agreeable qualities.

Fair enough, I have not and was going on hearsay, but from wikipedia "As time passed however, scholarly reviews became more critical, chiding Carnegie for being insincere and manipulative" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_to_Win_Friends_and_Influen...)

And it also says "Charles Manson used what he learned from the book in prison to manipulate women into killing on his behalf" but I don't know if that can be blamed on the book.

I have not and was going on hearsay

This is unfortunate.

I wonder what are another 2 tools in your stack?

Ah, personal stacks. What a wonderful topic to spend a late night writing session on.

I am not really into self-hosting and homelabs, in the sense that I never got too deep into the proper architecture of it all and the "right" way of doing things. I find that when I'm creating tooling (or setting up tooling, for that matter) for myself, the only thing that matters is speed of setup and ease of use. Hosted is fine for many things if it's decoupled in a sensible way from your public identity or does not actually reveal anything that interesting about you, IMHO, but I assume that would be an unpopular opinion.

A corollary from this "proposition" is that I leave the world of software often. For things that I have yet to find proper software for, but are indeed great needs that I have in my day to day life, I find my ways.

Going back to your question, I'll admit the other two tools are a bit underwhelming.

I'm a religious nail biter, and the only thing that ever made me stop was jotting in a pad every time I want to bite. I usually keep a small pad (as in a mini-notebook) in my backpack and draw hashtags and lines in it when I'm seeing the habit return. I'm now going through something a bit difficult personally, and while I'm constantly biting right now I know that when it will really bother me I can pull up the pad and stop biting again. It's stupid, I know, but again - it works for me. I got the idea from a book, btw (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Power_of_Habit).

The other one is the Hacker's Diet Online (https://www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/online/hdo.html) - it's a weight watching tool by the guy who built AutoCad. I lost ±24 pounds after reading his book (https://www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/) and have been tracking my weight ever since (±2 years).

One recurring thing in my stack, as you noticed, is tracking. I am an AVID tracker of many things, and generally speaking advise anyone who is in a loop over something to do the same.

It simply... works.

If anyone wants to talk personal tracking, it's not hard to find me on the internets (TomGranot in most places except here). I have a plethora of ideas & opinions on the subject.

I hadn’t seen The Hackers Diet. reading it now. about 1/3 of the way through and it’s really great. thanks for the link!

Guessing something like NextCloud/Gitea.

That is... an oddly random guess.

I'm not sure. It seems like a fairly normal combination of things for people who self-host. My stack is pretty much the same, except I use gogs instead of gitea, and I'd add `Lychee` for photo sharing.

> Is that impersonal? Is it wrong in some way? It's my own very, very private way of keeping people in my life. I don't see it as not genuine or fake.

I agree with you, I do something like this on a much smaller scale to try and keep up with who I have and haven't spoken to recently. I have a lot going on and time seems to slip past me, I can easily go weeks without talking to people and it feel like no time at all. Making a deliberate effort to maintain those relationships doesn't seem like its fake to me.

> Making a deliberate effort to maintain those relationships doesn't seem like its fake to me.

I actually think it's more genuine to care enough to write down to call somebody instead of letting it slip by you. Being determined to build the tooling to be good at something doesn't have to stay within the professional realm - it should extend to personal life as well.

When you use Monica, do you add and change data directly in Monica (manually)? Or in some scripted/automated fashion?

I looked through the docs and didn't find anything about integrating/importing/exporting. I found lots of open feature requests for integrations.

I've carefully curated contacts and meetings in my Nextcloud instance, so of course I'd like to leverage all that work. I added my thumbs-up to https://github.com/monicahq/monica/issues/1444

There was this notion of a mobile app for a minute there - https://github.com/monicahq/chandler - which I think might've been super duper awesome, but open source is hard.

I would 100% use that over the desktop app if it was stable.

Re automated / scripted vs. manual - manual all the way. I keep on mentioning to folks this study I read years ago about teachers who had a student tracking system in their school.

The key point from the study was that the teachers who found the system useful are not the ones who got the most detailed or relevant reports, but the ones who actually INTERACTED with the tracking process. Some sort of "obligation" feeling or something drove them to look at the data and then utilize the learnings from it, IIRC.

If anyone remembers such a study I'd be happy to get a link to it.

I also started using this tool a couple of years back, when it was posted on product hunt, and I found it pretty useful. I can say it had saved me time and frustration whenever I forgot a name or a detail about an acquaintance.

I had completely forgotten about this, in fact I had been using the notes field on the contacts app, but thanks to this post I’m going back to it again.

What are the other top two of your personal stack?

Then I have done my job as a member of Monica's community right. Happy to see you with us!

Re your question, see https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25283008.

This looks like a beautiful software. But I would like to add some thoughts.

In the past I've been using many tools for managing all kinds of data. In the 90s MS Access for creating personal database "apps". In the 2000s various CRM solutions (desktop-based, self-hosted and hosted; among others Act CRM, SugarCRM, Highrise). Also, extensively used a self-hosted version of Confluence as a personal wiki (yeah, way to heavy for the goal). And then also many many PIM tools for managing personal notes, contact data and notes.

I have seen many tools come and go. Many of them have high maintenance costs in the long run, especially if you decide to use a self-hosted version. But even if you decide to pay for the hosted version: Your data is stuck in someone elses solution.

Finally, I come to realize, that no matter how shiny and beautiful an interface might seem, in the end the long-term accessibility and the ability to keep and own my data is much more important than anything else.

Now I keep most of my essential data in plain text-files, albeit in a structured way (in org-mode + Emacs). Emacs + Lisp are just wonderful: I can write some code in Emacs Lisp to create the perfect workflow, for all kinds of use-cases (meeting notes, contact data, overviews in ascii-tables, text-files dedicated for certain contacts, structured in org-mode and many more).

I tend to think that Emacs + Org + plain-text will be here in fifty years from now, when all other shiny solutions are replaced by the latest trends du-jour. Feels good to liberate my data.

There is no reason why you could not run any of the (self hosted) solutions you've mentioned in fifty years. Your data is still yours and it's easy enough to transform the database with simple tools in any format you like, if you choose to do so. For me the build in capabilities of these tools can not be beaten by text files. Especially when it comes to searching/filtering and linking your data. In the end the database and business logic are still just files on your hard drive

Very idealistic. - Have you ever tried to maintain a PHP project or Django project or any other web project after several years?

Dependencies break, packages are abandoned, or the whole project gets abandoned, then try to maintain the regular updates, patches, fixes. Whole lot of work, until you give up, have yet another database dump in your hand and no interface to work with the data. Of course you can query those tables, get your data out of them, but that's another story.

If it's a private project, like a Personal CRM, you don't have to maintain anything, just run it in a VM or container make access only possible over a SSH tunnel and forget about it.

I‘ve seen VMs running Ubuntu 10.something, with a Jira instance that was never updated. Then these people had both an outdated VM where upgrading to the next Ubuntu Sever LTD version was not a trivial task. And Jira was outdated as well. And I‘m not even talking about the Mysql and other services on that VM.

I'd love something like this packaged as an offline only desktop app. I can't trust any third party to protect such personal data about myself and the people I care about. I suppose there's the option of self-hosting and allowing only localhost...

You can host it yourself on your own server. Or, you can run it within Docker locally.

I contributed to Monica a bit and the “desktop version” was always a huge GitHub issue. That, along with an impossible “E2E” encryption issue, devoid of any understanding of RDMBS or TLS, is why I didn’t go much further with my contributions.

Edit: see issues 531, and 543.

> Or, you can run it within Docker locally.

Just please make sure you're using a volume so the data is persistent. And also please keep backups in case that volume explodes.

It is funny, because my app https://contactcache.com started like that. It was an Electron app working completely locally. Gradually I moved to a web app that can work locally in the browser, as long as the browser doesn't delete the local storage.

How do you feel about desktop apps that sync to google drive? I just made scrumsheet.app and a friend mentioned that I should do the same for a personal CRM. Do you trust Google with the data or do you really prefer it to be offline-only?

Software or apps including their own cloudsync are a layering violation. I already have tools to sync my filesystem, just make sure your software writes to a logical location on disk and tools already used will sync.

I highly agree. One of the most frustrating things is when an application provides "cloud-sync" to google drive or iCloud but tools like syncthing or nextcloud that sync local files can't be used.

So, once your super secure local app will remind you to contact a friend, how will you message them to exchange detailed personal stories? Gmail? Facebook?

You give them a call to meet up sometime? idk, I feel like you're being argumentative / snide but I'm not sure if you're actually trying to make a point.

What about Matrix? Ricochet? Signal?

This is a particularly bizarre rebuttal. Usually the answer to this kind of thing would be "well yes but we can only solve 1 problem at a time", but in this case it's not even that. There already are ways to contact people privately!

I will message them in their preferred communication platform. Which in my country is usually Whatsapp or perhaps Facebook.

I recently developed my own app to solve the same problem, I call the Personal CRM a “PRM” (link here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/prim-relationship-manager/id14...)

The privacy comments elsewhere in the thread resonated with me, but I think self hosting is too large a barrier for most users.

I decided to build Prim by leveraging iCloud’s local/cloud CoreData storage. This approach ensures I never have access to user’s data - it stays completely within the Apple ecosystem.

I have also taken a mobile-first approach, I think that focus reduced some of the installation and maintenance barriers for users. With the iOS app there’s no deployment or setup cost for users. Personal interactions (chat) and data (contacts, calendars) are already managed through our phones, so the iOS app also seems to be a natural fit for other reasons.

I hope to see more products/projects where the users data, monetization, and developer incentives align. It’s great to see an open source PRM project that matches those incentives.

What are your thoughts on data interoperability? I have a few contact lists (names, emails, numbers, addresses across a few services) that I'd like to consolidate into a single list and take that into whatever app I end up using. Is this at all possible? Have you come across any useful standards?

Thank you for writing this. I’ve tried a few methods to keep track of important information about friends, and thought about writing exactly this - especially tracking contact frequency. I just installed Prim and I’m going to try it!

Feel free to try my iOS app. You can track the frequency. It's basically SwiftUI on top of SQLite. All data stays on the device. It has support for Siri, Shortcuts and widgets. Feedback is welcome.


I tried the app, it crashes quite frequently, but seems like a very neat integration with iOS and I would consider using it if I could understand how data mobility is handled per my other comment.


Thanks for checking it out!

Are you using iOS 14? After the upgrade I’ve seen an increase in crashes for CloudKit storage. Hope to have a fix out soon.

I will follow up on the data mobility in your other comment.

14.1, but it seems to have stabilised and working well.

Comments so far:

1. I really enjoy the deep integration with iOS, I have not experienced an app that works in this way.

2. It would be great if the notes attached to a contact were saved in the iOS contacts notes, as from my testing this didn't seem to be the case.

3. I would like to be able to export all data into some format, and ideally import from a standard format as well.

Thank you for creating this, I've been using Notion which often feels too slow and separate from the flow of "keeping in touch".

I'd totally pay for something like this, but not $90/year. I'd pay $90 per year for an all-in-one-service to replace Google, but with open source and privacy.

It seems like a tough business model, to try to sell a one-off utility like this. Over a 50 year lifetime, that's $4,500.

It feels like in the eighties, I'd pay $20 (which is $40 in today's dollars) for a shareware tool, and it'd do this for the rest of my life (or until my 80286 running DOS became obsolete, whichever came first).

Luckily it's AGPL 3.0 licensed, so you can happily host it yourself, potentially at a much lower cost.

I could host it for you for €49/year: joostwebhost.nl . You'll get email with it too, all running on open source software. :-) I mainly focus on WordPress hosting now, but I will add this to my services too.

There's always people who aren't prepared to pay the asking price. Maybe they should charge more, especially if it means there's a sustainable business that isn't going to get sold and shut down.

Profit = number of users x number of sales

(Minus costs, which are low for a web service)

There's a point that maximizes profit, and my point was that $4,500 might be a bit beyond that for a personal CRM.

You can host it yourself for free.

I would love to have a social media platform where I can have multiple tiers of friends. Social Media "friends" and separately a circle of ACTUAL friends. You would get more access to the data shared by actual friends.

The best part of it would be that unlike in a CRM I wouldn't have to keep this data up-to-date. My (actual) friends would update their own data, only. Everybody would need to only keep their own data which they want their actual friends to see up-to-date.

> I would love to have a social media platform where I can have multiple tiers of friends. Social Media "friends" and separately a circle of ACTUAL friends. You would get more access to the data shared by actual friends.

"Um, /u/galaxyLogic? Why aren't I in you "ACTUAL" friends list? Is there something you want to tell me? Are we not actually friends?"

I see what you're trying to say - Facebook friends are often just random chumps you've met once, never or are distantly related to someone else you've met once - but I think a tiered system could quickly become something of burden on said friends :P

It was taxing even before this. Welcome to the site! Now choose who your real friends are.

> Why aren't I in you "ACTUAL" friends list?

I can see the point. Nobody wants to be perceived as rude. At the same time I think everybody understands that if we've never met in person we probably are not friends enough to exchange phone-numbers for instance.

That was Google+

And they even called it circles.

...and it was an awesome idea.

The execution and shoving it down users throats, not so much.

They had circles but I think all the circles were basically equal conceptually, just different people in them (?)

What is needed is built-in support for the idea of "INNER CIRCLE". Those are the people with whom you are willing to share your phone-number with etc.

Facebook has this but not many people use it. Google+ also had a good implementation in "circles".


This is an organized list and comparison of Personal CRMs.

Note: this is written by a Personal CRM (Dex) and is pretty slanted. They put themselves first on the list, which is fine, but have broken URLs (example: https//clay.earth/ ) for most of their competitors and throw shade at projects like Monica, calling them "single developer projects... with relatively limited feature sets".

Check the links in your blog posts. Some are broken. E.g. ZooWho.

Not mine. It is written by this YC company called Dex.

You can add mine side project https://contactcache.com to the list :-)

I tried it some time ago and liked it. Self hosted aspect is a big plus for me.

However, I've since stopped using it because the upgrades did fuck it up more than once I think and it was too slow to add information, too much friction.

I've since started using markdown files edited in Sublime and synced over Dropbox. Quick, no maintenance overhead.

To anyone who’s been self hosting this for sometime — has it been stable, usable and relatively pain free through updates? The hosted plan for $90 a year is way too expensive for me.

The reason I ask this question is to figure out if it’s worth trying or not. On another forum, I’d asked about self hosting Ghost (the publishing platform) and someone said that it’s a pain to keep up with it and that the makers of the software have made it in a way that the hosted solution would be preferred by potential users.

been hosting it for years and it has been stable

Can confirm, even on a RPI zero w, happy as a clam for years

I left social media about 6 months ago. I don't regret it at all but I do find that keeping up to date with people outside my inner circle is harder. Previously I could send someone a message based on something I'd seen in their Instagram story but now I have to consciously remind myself to message people. Making and maintaining adult relationships is hard.

I’ve recently struggled with this problem recently and looked at all the personal CRM tools. Monica, Dex, UpHabit, Cloze, CJournal etc. I learned that tools are just tools, they’re not magic. The way to keep in touch with people is to consistently keep in touch and write down their information. It doesn’t matter the tool. I now just allocate a few hours each weekend to update and review a custom excel sheet I use as my CRM. You might think it’s inefficient, but the inefficiency is where I actually accomplish the most. Progress often looks inefficient in hindsight. Plus - simple doesn’t mean easy and complexity itself doesn’t equal better.

Just like David Rockerfeller's Rolodex!


I've always wanted to create something like this myself. Glad to see someone do it.

I also developed my own version of it and launched it many years ago!

It was extremely simple on purpose, you had two views:

- List of people: sorted based on when you needed to get in touch with them

- The profile: add notes (with a contact more/less often when submitting) and choose social circles (by closeness: Family, Close Friend, Work, Acquaintance... or by situation: Golf Club, Gym, Chess...)

Based on the circles, notes, ratings, etc. the App organized them from top to bottom on a "Who should you contact now". It was cool.

As I grew older I used it less and less and ended up retiring it. It helped me become a better person by internalizing the importance of remembering names, hobbies, FORD method (Family, Occupation, Recreation and Dreams) and improving my small talk or breaking the ice.

If you've never used a personal CRM and you struggle to maintain and nourish relationships I highly recommend you to try something, either Monica or what someone suggested of having text files, a spreadsheet, notes...

I’m guessing more people do this, they just don’t post about it.

I made my own solution to this 6 years ago and use it to this day. my solution leverages google people api so it’s automatically synced as part of the notes field of my contacts, and I have an app in my iphone and on my desktop and a cloud interface to quickly manage and query the data.

10/10 recommend and wish it was more normalized

Sounds cool, have you considered putting it on github?

that requires a bit of effort, so i haven't had a need to. what would be the motivation to do so?

i would be curious if there's enough interest to make it into a service though. it would be a webapp/cli that manages the dossier in your google contacts notes (so automatically syncted with all your data natively).

Have they implemented CardDAV support yet? I’d definitely add it to my self-hosted stack, but I don’t want to be stuck updating contact info in two places.

Yes! They also added CalDAV for birthdays and tasks.


That’s great to hear. Checking that page, I see that the sections for iOS is empty. Doing a quick search shows some iOS/Apple specific issues. Any idea if the CardDAV (and now CalDAV) implementations work with Contacts on Apple devices?

It does. I haven’t noticed anything major.

Is there anyone that has used this for some time who is willing to share how/if this has made any impact on their life? I'm just curious how well this works. Would anyone recommend it?

So what can you do and can't using iOS and it's contacts, reminders, calendars, etc?

It's like - I don't want a TODO app when I can create simple Note with checkboxes.

Yep, my PRM is an iOS Notes folder called People, with a note for some people I want to remember facts about. In particular what some like so I can use the list to make gifts. There is also a "debts" notes. I’ve been using this system for a few years and it works well.

The tooling you describe isn't relational. Furthermore, Monica has found great success in helping users with social challenges, maybe with ADHD. The workflow you describe isn't an ideal solution addressing that challenge.

I would say it's more ideal than Monica. Monica is a separate app from the ones you usually use, using a separate database, with more latency before first input, and more button presses before you can actually store anything. These are all bad features if you're trying to augment short-term memory. I'm not a fan.

(Moreover, Contacts is absolutely relational, in any sense that matters. There's a Relations field. It's stored in a sqlite db.)

Let me know when Contacts adds the ability to add spouses and children, and previous gifts at Christmas time. ;)

I'm on iOS 14, and "+ add related name" lets you add any relationship. I think that's been there for awhile.

For something like gifts, I'd probably just use the Notes field, or create that topic in the Notes app.

It's no Salesforce... but it seems to cover all the bases for personal relationships.

> and previous gifts at Christmas time. ;)

I'm working on a solution for that :P

https://superwishlists.com.au - it's not open to public registration yet, but it'll get there in the next few weeks. It solves the problem you've outlined and a bit more, whilst being free in every sense.

there is a "notes" field on the samsung contacts, should be good enough.

I tend to think that CRM is the wrong model for friends and family.

Brain + contact info on your computer/phone + calendar with reminders for birthdays etc. + pencil and paper for notes catches the most important things but allows us to forget the less important things.

What's the major difference between what you're suggesting and a CRM?

I tend to think back of "How to Win Friends and Influence People" and there's an entire chapter devoted to what is basically an analog CRM and devoting time to staying up to date with it (including scheduling calls).

If anything I think a CRM applies even more because I care more about friends and family than I do about a sales pipeline. More effort = more importance, in my book.

Also there's the added bonus of not having to remember these things so I can focus on remembering more useful things.

The major differences for me are intent, whether it's retaining more information than you'd normally remember (which seems creepy and intrusive) and whether it's a paid service or subscription.

1. Intent design: CRM seems designed principally as a sales tool and I don't want to sell or be sold to.

2. Information retention: I think regular calendar/contacts/reminders built into your phone balances the "don't forget important stuff" with "don't make an effort to keep track of things that aren't important."

3. Paid service/subscription: I'm OK with contacts apps but I kind of have contacts, notes, and a calendar built into my phone already and have no desire to pay a subscription fee.

Elaborating on (1) a bit: I don't really set out to "influence" my friends and I'd be kind of unhappy if they were trying to "influence" me.

Influencing family might make more sense though, like influencing kids to study or family members to exercise and eat a healthy diet.

The danger in family and friend relationships is turning things into a contract which can be unforgiving and intrusive. "Well, household database shows that you've been late taking the garbage out 52% of the time for the past 3 years!"

As a child I dreamed of having a smartwatch that would record everything my family members said so I could play it back to them and prove infallibly that I was right. I was glad they didn't have such a thing to apply to me though.

I imagine in the future we'll be wearing smart glasses or contact lenses that will identify the name of any person within view who we've met before, as well as their relevant statistics and information including data from online services like social media or dating sites (much the way that CRM provide sales clerks with information on every customer who walks into the store.) I'm not sure that's entirely a good idea.

Using a CRM tool like this means generating data that is only usefully formatted when using the tool which makes its long term utility highly dependant on the tools maintainer. Calendar+contacts+notes are already standards, already very portable, already very mature, we've had gcal running for a decade and a half now. Unless you're intending to completely replace your calendar/contacts/notes somehow it's a net gain in overhead and complexity.

Monica looks great. I had the same pain point and built Bardun (https://www.bardunapp.com/) as a iOS app instead of a website. Bardun brings together freeform notes and contacts to capture relationship information.

For privacy, the app stores information locally on-device only. Sync of contacts via phone, Google mail or calendar is possible. Contact information is streamed to the device rather than stored on a server.

Not sure if this was already argued elsewhere as I understand that monica gets posted here frequently, but on the readme:

> This project is for people who have hard time remembering details about other people's lives - especially the ones they care about.

My argument is, if you actually cared for someone, wouldn't you take the effort to remember everything about them, rather than saving it in a social relationship database?

I've tried something similar to this during my college days. I painstakingly inputted all my phone contacts to google contacts. I searched their facebook for their birthdates, what university they were attending and what degree they were studying.

Looking back at it now, that was a tremendous waste of time. I've met maybe 1000 people in my lifetime, I could count in my ten fingers the people I care about. Can people actually care about other people, AT SCALE, to the point where you would need an app for that? I've read in other comments, one case in particular, where an uncle kept a spreadsheet of facts about the people he cared about, and that many people went to his funeral. So fine maybe people do need something like this to scale personal relationships.

My other argument is that this FEELS ungenuine, and I'm not sure how else to explain it. Saving your friend's child's birthday in a database just so you can say that you remembered vs actually remembering their birthday; I feel like there is a huge gap between the two. I would rather have 1 genuine relationship, rather than 100 superficial, inauthentic relationships.

What do you think?

I totally get this thinking, but I am oriented totally differently from you. I will forget my friend's birthdays, their kids names, their wife's names, things they've talked about recently, etc, etc. I have a terrible memory for this stuff. I'm not sure if it's just me being stubborn, but all of these things just feel very slippery to my mind. On the other end, I will remember in vibrant detail very trivial facts that have no real function for me. Does that mean I care about trivial facts more than my friends? I hope not.

I think of it like this. I don't pay attention to lyrics in most music, I pay attention to the feel/tune. With friends, it's all about emotional connection, not my ability to recall facts. I honestly don't think one or the other is better or worse, it's just different. People show care differently.

For me, who has trouble with things that people often associate with caring (like yourself maybe), this acts as a crutch to help me show caring in a way that other people recognize but that isn't natural to me. I would actually argue that me investing into a program like this actually shows just how much I care that I want to make up for my natural capability with a pretty involved program.

Another side benefit, it's also really nice for acquaintances that you really want to keep up with, but because of irregular correspondence they are very easy to slip from memory.

You won't forget the names when it matters.

If you can't remember these basic details, it's a sign that person is not close enough to you for it to actually matter.

Or, maybe you're like me and you just met the person five minutes ago. Either case is forgivable.

I'm afraid your experience is not universal. There are plenty of people I care very deeply about, yet Facebook reminding me of their birthdays is a godsend. Children I do somewhat better with, but names are always a struggle for me. A friend had triplets a couple months into the pandemic, and I'm still struggling there. Meanwhile a the drop of a hat I can bring to mind some technical detail that I heard once a decade ago and never used.

People's minds work differently, just because something comes easily to you does not mean it does to everyone else.

Maybe, I just feel like it shouldn't matter for anyone if you remember their kids names, unless it's your brothers or sisters kids or your own kids. Not remembering a cousins kids names in my family would be a minor faux pas, but I have like... dozens of cousins in two continents, so it's not a big deal. Not remembering a friends kids name should never be an issue IMO. Even much less so with birthdays.

But we're all entitled to our own opinions. I suppose I am just way more easy-going than some of the people here.

You won't forget directions when it matters.

If you can't remember how to get to a certain place without a navigation app, it's a sign that that place is not close enough to you for it to actaully matter.

I really do not understand people who cannot do without navigation to get home when they visited a friend for the first time.

What? I'm not sure how that has anything to do with remembering a friend's kids names or remembering people's birthdays.

I drive with nav on if I'm going somewhere unfamiliar, but only bc I live in a kind of large city and I'd like to know if there are any traffic problems or construction on one of the streets I'm taking.

If you can't see someone, you obviously don't care about them. (Glasses are a conspiracy?) And if you can't hear your friends, you must hate them.

I can never remember my age, and have missed my birthday on occasion. When under pressure, I forget which of my children is the older, and confuse their names.

In other news, I speak with a heavy accent, and am embarrassed by it all the time. I have tried learning to speak natively, without luck.

This, despite my having an above average IQ.

Everyone is somewhere on the bell curve in all of our capabilities. Cut some slack for others where they lack, and appreciate the talents you have.

I'm not sure what point the first paragraph in your response is trying to make, but all I was trying to say is it's OK to not remember details like this. Especially when it's someone else's kids, someone else's birthday - exterior to your own family.

Don't fret forgetting things. My dad has mixed up my name and my brothers names constantly since probably before I was born 31 years ago :). He's an older man now, almost 70, but I don't think his name mix-ups began because of any age-related mental decline.

I can still remember the name of the woman in the porn mag I found from my dads cupboard 30 years ago. Haven't seen that magazine in 29 years.

I keep forgetting the names of my friends wives and children. I talk to them weekly.

The only birthdays I remember are mine, my wife's and my kids. I kinda remember the season my other family members birthdays, maybe the month if I really strain. Couldn't tell the actual date even if you waterboarded me.

I'm the exact same way. And that should be fine. I don't have kids but I have three brothers who all have kids. I know their first names, and most of their middle names. I don't know all their birthdays. That's fine. I recently asked so I could put their birthdays in my calendar.

But even my best friends, people I've known and lived with before, wouldn't expect me to remember details about their kids. That's just weird, man.

Not everyone has a good memory, even if they care a lot about people.

I once had a girlfriend I cared about tremendously. She was, and is, amazing. Her birthday, she told me, was the 7th of December. I didn't save it, because how could I forget? It's a day that will live in infamy! It's also don Vito Corleone's birthday!

It's proper infamous now: my forgetting it in no small part contributed to our breakup.

Some people just have bad memories.

I have a brain injury. I can’t remember my parent’s birthdays. I recently couldn’t recall my wife’s middle name. I love all those people and live with one of them. Needing or wanting a technology assist doesn’t map to one’s level of commitment to a relationship in my opinion.

Like any situation, there are outliers and unique situations. Is your memory only affected for things you learned before the accident or does it affect new things you learn too?

No some people have disabilities and stuff. People with Alzheimer's aren't simply suffering from not being close enough with their friends and family.

I have genuine relationships with people, but some days I can't remember how old I am.

You might be both overthinking it, and overestimating some of the people who would use this.

I put friends birthdays in my Google calendar. It's not because I don't care about them enough to remember it. It's because I care enough to work around my own failings for them.

It sounds luxurious to have the capability to “just” remember these things. After decades of being alive, I can tell you with certainty that my mom’s birthday is one of two days each year, but I have no idea which of those two days it is. We get along famously and I’m welcome at any time, because she loves me for who I am, not for what I cannot do: remember her birthday correctly.

I think she’d be more shocked that I was able to remember it than she would mind at all if I kept notes about her so I could remember. I think she would take immense personal offense if I did so using something terrible like Facebook, as would most in my family — but if I’m keeping it local to myself alone, I don’t expect it would be any trouble at all. She trusts that by now I’m competent at the Internet, because she watched me learn how to do my computer jobs as a young child.

I would be the topic of the day at a family gathering for doing this, though! We would all hash out the entire thing in lurid detail over meals and walks. Some would ask to see their records, and I’d happily comply. If I didn’t feel strongly about them, I wouldn’t bother taking notes at all, and they all understand the family rule: only ask questions you truly wish to know the answer to. If they can’t handle what I relegate to a notebook about them, then they shouldn’t ask to read my notebook about them. This is obvious to us. It’s a simple extension of the family rule.

Maybe your social circles are different and less flexible on this matter, but that’s not at all how it would work for mine.

I'm still in my late 20s and have admittedly not yet experienced everything the world has to offer. Thanks for sharing your story!

I would definitely understand if it isn’t like this for everyone, too!

> wouldn't you take the effort to remember everything about them

You mean like the effort of writing it down? I see nothing ingenuine about understanding your cognitive limits and working around them to show that you care.

> I've met maybe 1000 people in my lifetime, I could count in my ten fingers the people I care about. Can people actually care about other people, AT SCALE, to the point where you would need an app for that?

Well I'd like to work on caring about more people. I think with personal CRMS it might help expand out my pool of and push conversations past the same ole small talk each time. Like if I can pull up something from the last convo that'd help.

I think it's a noble goal to genuinely care about more poeple.

> Like if I can pull up something from the last convo that'd help.

I can relate to this. Every time I'm alone with someone, my brain goes to overdrive and I ask myself questions like "what can we talk about" , "what common interests do we have", "how can I make him/her laugh", "what about this person that I don't know yet that I can ask" just to 'develop' the relationship.

But after a while of doing this, and observing myself doing this, I get burnt out and go 'f it, who cares'. If I cared about this person, it wouldn't feel such a grind to create/maintain this relationship.

For what it's worth, the answer "Who cares" is I do. Personally, I don't want to be the jerk who can't be bothered to remember names, so I choose to care.

Having said that, as long as you're not a jerk about it, which I don't think you are, I think it's personally fine to admit you've forgotten my name and ask, I'm not that memorable! :)

I think this just shows the value differences we each have from our upbringing and mentors, so it's very interesting.

I think this reads to me exactly like “if you really cared enough to get there you would just be able to run fast enough rather than use a car”.

It’s a weird equation of care and ability while at the same time taking someone seeking out a tool to better achieve X as evidence of not caring about X. One of those connections seems arbitrary to me, the other backwards.

For quite a few people, memory and remembering things isn't a simple issue that can be solved by "effort" or "actually caring".

Perhaps the causality is in both directions. Something I learned from doing Tibetan lamrim meditation - where you use memories and imagined scenarios to produce specific emotions to arise - is that you can start with something quite artificial or forced but this will lead to something genuine later down the line via practice. For example, if I think about all the things my mother did for me through my life, even before it, dreaming about me before she knew me, wishing the best for me, keeping me safe and trying hard to get me the best education, the best upbringing she could and so on… that can start off (and probably did in my case as a selfish ingrate) as a thought without the associated feeling of gratitude but I can tell you that writing that right now brought tears to my eyes as gratitude arose immediately.

In the same way, perhaps it's the case that if you remember more about more people then you will care more about more people? Certainly, making the effort to remember would suggest you care to begin with and wish for that to grow.

Sometimes it’s hard to be the kind of person we want to be for people we really care about.

One way of showing you care is making the effort to remember important things. Another is staying in contact. I’ve used Anki to remember friends kids names, and Monica to remind me to stay in touch. Very occasionally, I use Monica to remember where a friend is in their life last we spoke. Often a tiny cue is enough to jog your memory.

You might consider that “unauthentic”, but I would say people’s brains and memories are just really different —- what’s easy for you is not necessarily easy for everyone else. Using these tools let’s me be closer to the type of friend, brother, son that I’d like to be.

I should add, having moved overseas, Monica has also helped me maintain relationships with people who are very important to me, but who I may only get the chance to speak to every few weeks, or less. I’m quite grateful for it.

I think it feels MORE genuine as the user went out of their way to make sure they could recall information that is important to their contacts. Taking notes in class so you can say you remembered isn't disingenuous.

>My argument is, if you actually cared for someone, wouldn't you take the effort to remember everything about them, rather than saving it in a social relationship database?

I mean aren't you going to have to write it down somewhere anyway? Maybe you're not familiar with the world of journaling/notebooks, but people use them (and have been using them) for the same purpose. Before technology, people still wrote information down about the people they cared about.

> Saving your friend's child's birthday in a database just so you can say that you remembered vs actually remembering their birthday

I mean if you're taking the time to write it down I think that demonstrates a level of genuineness. It's not always possible to e.g. have the foresight 3 months in advance to say "ah I can't do that because my friend's child's birthday is then".

>I would rather have 1 genuine relationship, rather than 100 superficial, inauthentic relationships.

I think authenticity has a lot more to do with experiences you have with a person, which is augmented by making sure you're available to spend time with them on important dates, having awareness of their likes and dislikes, and just taking note of general information. I find that, personally, when I take the time to write these things down, I actually keep them in my memory.

As someone who is utterly awful with names but genuinely remembers people I interact with through the day on campus and at work, Dynalist was what I used to keep track of names with references to where I knew them from. Just whatever would spark my memory.

It wasn't that I didn't care about them, I truly did, but I frequently mix up names of even my closest friends if I'm not paying attention and make great effort to not give others the impression I don't care enough to remember.

I disagree. I simply cannot remember all of the social niceties I’m expected to remember. For me personally, I show that I care for people by giving myself reminders that they have an important event.

Let’s turn this around: if a friend wishes you a happy birthday, do you know or care how and why they remembered?

True. If someone wished me happy birthday I would be glad.

On the other side, however, I've already sent countless happy birthdays, merry christmases, and happy new years. Every time I do it I have this gut feeling of inauthenticity. I think to myself, "do I really care about these people".

I'm just basically trying to figure out if this is my personal issue or if anyone else feel the same way. Thanks for the response!

Is there a difference, really? You’re observing social customs that make people feel nice, and honestly, the fact that you’re doing those things is what the recipients actually care about.

Again, the last time your friend wished you happy birthday, did you wonder if they were being authentic or did it just feel nice that your friend remembered? Cut yourself the same slack!

There is an opportunity to reconnect with someone every time you do it. I think that's what draws people to practices such as sending cards. Another way to reconnect is sending out a letter with a short blurb about how you're doing and inviting the recipient to respond back with a short blurb about how they're doing.

Please be aware that not everyone has the same capacity for memory about personal details as you. Not everyone using this tool is necessarily recording 1000 different details. Maybe they are just writing information about the 10 people they care about?

>Saving your friend's child's birthday in a database just so you can say that you remembered vs actually remembering their birthday; I feel like there is a huge gap between the two. I would rather have 1 genuine relationship, rather than 100 superficial, inauthentic relationships.

I would say you're looking at it completely wrong and you don't have to forget somebodies birthday that many times before you write it down because all it does is hurt everybody. Some segment of the population forgets these things EVEN WITH the inner circle of people they know.

I forget my own birthday.

You and others probably have a much better memory than I.

I don't use tools though, we have a physical birthday calendar that helps.

This is peak Silicon Valley.

A Personal Relationship Manager feels like something that would be used against you in a jury trial. Not any specific information entered into it, just the fact alone that you were using it.

Why? What is the difference between this and a filofax except for the fact that one is digital and one is not?

I think it's the "taking it way too far"-aspect of it, compared to a regular calendar[0], that makes it so creepy. It's the fedora and trenchcoat of calendars.

[0]Which my casual duckduckgoing indicates a filofax is.[1]

[1]On re-reading the above, I fear it might have sounded a little condescending, which was not my intention. I've just never heard of filofax before. In Denmark we just call those calendars or occasionally "Mayland", after a popular brand that makes those.</tangent>

I guess I don't understand what about it is taking it too far. With a filofax, you're taking all kinds of information down about people. Calendaring is one aspect of it, but it's really an analog personal information manager. People keep yearly archives of the information. So is it that a digital PIM automates some of this process that you object to?

I was excited by the vision of Dex (a YC company), but its sign up process is so full of friction, I had to look for other Personal CRM solutions.

You aren’t kidding. A 13 question survey AND a 15 minute call to review the app before I can sign up? Plus, there are no available times to call in December. Yeesh.

Founder of Dex here! Apologies for the involved flow + being booked through December. Since everyone manages relationships differently, we've found it a valuable step for our new users. ('do things that don't scale'). If you send me a note (you'll have my email from completing the survey), also happy to send self-service instructions as well.

Valuable step for new users that complete it. Not too valuable for anyone that just walks away.

Hi Kevin, I sent you an email last week asking if I can skip the call and have not heard back. Would you check my email from junwon@product.ceo, activate account, and send me the self-service instruction?

I ran Monica for a year when I worked in a Big4. Technically not the use case, but quite handy.

However, I was never able to successfully upgrade it (circa 2018) and therefore moved on to another option because I needed features unavailable and the effort of migrating my data to a new instance was more than the effort of going elsewhere.

Might be time for me to revisit as it looks to have come a long way.

Monica not being able to sync (two-way) with something as basic as Google Contacts is a dealbreaker imo.

I was ready to pay for it to actually be my source of truth for my contacts database, and store a lot more metadata that I'm currently trying to hack into custom Google Contacts fields (profiles on other sites/services primarily).

True wishlist: A PRM like Monica, which can sync two-ways with Google Contacts / carddav, and which is able to fetch & search through communication history with all linked services for the contact (not just emails but also SMS, DMs in various services, public posts on fb/twitter etc). This could naturally evolve into a multi-messaging tool like the old libpurple based ones (Pidgin etc).

Also, please, if you do a contact manager, let me store humans and businesses as separate contact types. My relationship with "Ada L." is very different to my relationship with "Amazon Business Customer Support Phone Number".

That's nice and well thought out. You have to commit this as a feature request to the github repository of monicaprm. Remember to use a user story format.

All this times 100.

Do you know what format the data is stored in, and if it is human-readable?

moved to?

I currently pay for Cloze.com it's not perfect but is cheap enough for one person and syncs my email, contacts and calendar.

First thought after seeing the screen shot was "whoa way too much whitespace." Second thought was that I do all of this in Outlook, and get world-class email, calendar, tasks/todo and notes with it. Also importantly, all my data is both online and off, and there's a non-intrusive app for all the deives I use. Security is also world class.

Recently I've noticed the discrepancy in management of one's business relations and personal relations. You could argue that the latter is more important, but it has nowhere near the multitude of tools and solutions of former. It is nice that Monica tries to fix this.

A hearty chuckle here:

> We are like you, and this is why we are on GitHub: we hate big corporations that do not have at heart the best interest at heart for their users, even if they say otherwise.

That's definitely what I think of when I think Microsoft!

Like others in this thread, I tried using this some years ago. But unfortunately the friction of yet another specialized tool kept me from actively maintaining it, which of course makes it entirely worthless.

I've started just using Google Contacts for this. It syncs and integrates with all my devices, supports birthday reminders, relations and custom fields, and has a general purpose note taking area for gifts and other details.

I only wish the custom fields were more powerful/versatile and that the relations could be hyperlinked with other contacts instead of being just text fields.

Monica is a nice tool, but I wanted an iOS app with great UX and privacy.

Amicu is basically SwiftUI on top of a local SQLite db. It supports tracking the last contact date, catchup reminders, birthday reminders, Siri, Shortcuts (for semi automatic workflows), and widgets. Save the main comm app per contact (WhatsApp, Telegram, FB, etc.) for batch messages like a birthday event invite.

Feedback is welcome.


Just tried it for 5 minutes, the UI looks really clean, the UX is not the best though. I've been trying to add contacts with the "batch" feature, I tick some checkboxes expecting to add them to my list, but there's no apparent way to do so. They stay checked and I don't understand why and what that means.

I'm not sure what "mark people as in touch" is, and to me it sounds the same as adding someone from your contact, but it looks like this is a different operation from adding a contact to the list.

I like the "more" tab and its contents.

Out of curiosity, as I'm interest and work in UX, did you test this app with some real people / how did you test its UX?

Thanks for the feedback and trying Amicu. I often talk to people to improve the UX.

Marking someone in touch means you interacted with this person somehow for example you met or called. This sets the last contact date to today. This is used for reminders to catchup after some time and sorting the contact list to see which contacts you met recently and where it's been some time.

Setting in touch and adding contacts uses a similar UI, which can be confusing in the beginning. I need to improve this. Thanks!

You can also contact me at kai@amicu.app, if you've more questions or feedback.

Does PHP keep backward compatibility?

I ever used some open source PHP soft (forums and wikis) several years ago. The development of these soft has been discontinued for a long time now.

Recently, I decided to re-install the php4 age but failed. There are too many APIs and syntax are broken now.

Anyone else have the same experiences?

They try somewhat to warn what will break in future releases. So you get a few releases of warnings and then a release of THIS WILL BREAK NEXT RELEASE and then it breaks. One thing for PHP is a huge 'customer' is the Wordpress universe and they have been good about not breaking Wordpress. But with PHP 8 that will change.

If you are on PHP4 and are moving to the 7.x series plan for some pain.

My problem is I try to find things that will work with flat files. I just spent some time moving from Mediawiki to PMwiki, because of the database nonsense in keeping that in sync with PHP and Mediawiki.

I'd love to find a CRM tool that had the flexibility shown here but would live in flat files that I may have a chance to import into something else.

What if this isn't a memory issue? What if we don't need to remember everything and overestimate our roles as tiny person on blue dot?

Or what if we don't remember due to valuing things more than people? The app becomes an illusory replacement of genuine interaction.

Same can be said about writing and text and any form of better than extremely leaky memory or history

I think this is a good augmentation of our own mind, as are the others

The thing I desperately want in these is a mobile app that only works with local data and determines last contact using things like SMS, Signal, email, etc. I'm also on iOS, which seems to make that a non-starter :P

you don't need anything else. Just Monica.

This is one of those things that I wish I had, but I just didn't know it.

my mother made a spreadsheet for this, i think she'll really love monica. thanks for sharing, OP!

They should have named it Gary after Tony Hale's character in VEEP.

Offering this as a hosted instance is tantamount to conspiracy to enable identity theft, and worse. These things just shouldn't be chucked into someone's S3 bucket or SQL database.

You've been downvoted, but it does seem like a high risk for information security.

Everyone loves to preach ethics and accountability but I think lots of people in tech secretly dislike the constraints. Or not so secretly if they work at fb.

For everything you do, you should consider "what if this is used by the worst person to target the most vulnerable people?" Stalker exes, online scammers, insurance companies, 4chan wieners, toxic MRAs, data brokers working for PIs etc. Assume an open S3 bucket with data from 5000 users. Imagine how much identify theft and intimate partner violence that could enable.

Wait until you hear what people are storing on PasteBin!

Security companies ('threat intel') routinely scan new pastes to find nice stuff, like creds and code, and also C&C from bots. Pastebin is a bit gauche for that now. Even S3 bucket scanning is too everyday.

No, let's sync it to Facebook/WhatsApp/Snapchat/Google, so we know our privacy will be invaded.

A set of index cards works pretty well. An excel file on a USB stick is pretty good for most people. Even better if you can use an encrypted volume -- simple on macos and painful elsewhere.

The usual trade-off is ease of access -- on the cloud you can get it anywhere. But it isn't encrypted, it's accessed via an API, and you're dependent on someone not fucking that up.

This software can run offline, which is good, but the monetisation is via the cloud, which is bad.

Too bad portable software is such a shitshow. Everyone has these enormous runtime engines and there is no way to be confident in anything they run hasn't been updated the siphon off everything to a random cloud instance. It's architected to trust the cloud rather than devices we can physically control.

Some folks are big on using Roam Research as your personal CRM.

Finally, a tool with which to manage my private life just as I manage my corporate existence and my business customers. Amazing!

I've been using this for some time now. It seems like development has slowed down a lot this past year.

I think it has a lot of potential.

This is kind of interesting. I use the Contacts app in macOS to capture this data. It's worked quite well for me.

I recently discovered UpHabit[1] which serves a very similar purpose. Looks like they have a very generous pricing offering:

Personal $0/year - Manage limited relationships - Add unlimited contacts - Contacts sync daily - Unlimited integrations - Up to 5 introductions only

[1]: https://uphabit.com/pricing/

Does it view properly on mobile?

Its mobile app seems to be discontinued, but I don't care if I can use it via web.

Monica ... Peter Gregory is dead ...

Just build your own with Airtable for free, and export to CSV if you want to bail out!

They even have an example: https://airtable.com/templates/marketing-and-sales/exp7KcHbb...

Monica is open source, Airtable isn't.

Technically Facebook is a personal CRM.

They called out how this differs from Facebook pretty clearly https://github.com/monicahq/monica#who-is-it-for

You're right, but for a normal person Facebook meets the needs and that too without the hassle the details of contacts updated.

If the person in question is mark zuckerberg

It is legal to put my European friends in there, considering GDPR?

The GDPR doesn't apply to personal usage of data - only if you're using the data in the course of operating a business.

> In the case of personal or household activities, the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK outlines the exemption as being the processing of personal data in the course of a ‘purely’ personal or household activity, with “no connection to a professional or commercial activity”

(source: https://www.hutsix.io/does-gdpr-apply-to-individuals/)


Personally, I feel Laravel is amongst the top reasons why PHP is so vibrant. The amount of innovation that sprung from Laravel and it’s close ecosystem is amazing, LiveWire, Inertia, Alpine.js, Tailwind just to name a few.

I am yet to see a single framework-agnostic project using Laravel, that's the main problem for me.

It's like Ruby on Rails, you're either Ruby developer or "Rails developer". Same dichotomy for PHP/"Laravel developer" for me.

Having seen the average quality of open-source PHP projects that don't use Laravel, I think it might be a necessary evil.

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