Here’s how I spend no more than 30 seconds a day keeping in touch with everyone I know:
I set a daily reminder (I use Remember the Milk) to email atleast one person from my contact list every single day. It takes 30 seconds to pick someone at random and fire off a quick email to say hello.
Here’s an email I shot off just a few days ago:
Subject: Saying hello & mastering the iPhone keyboard
Hope all is well and that you had a great time in Costa Rica. (From the look of the pictures on your blog, it sure looks like you did!)
I dropped into a post today that reminded me of the brief conversation we had about mastering the iPhone keyboard, thought I’d pass it along: http://blog.crankingwidgets.com/2008/06/12/iphone-keyboard-mastery/
In any case, just wanted to say hello. I appreciated your time on the phone a few weeks ago – if there’s anything I can do to return the favor, please let me know.
Ok, so now you know how I do it, so let me give you one more tip: Do your recipient a favor. (See how I passed along a blog post that was relevant to our conversation from a few weeks ago?) As they say, it’s better to give than to receive. Consider each favor an emotional deposit. When it’s time to call in a favor of your own (whether it be help finding a new job or an industry expert that you might need some insight from), you’ll thank me.