Wednesday, June 03, 2009

To Database or Not

Where do you keep the names and contact info of your partners, supporters, suppliers and everything in between?

Are they written on 5 x 7 index cards? Are they in a worksheet? A database software perhaps? Hmmm. Where ever nook and cranny its located, someone in your organization should be maintaining the information and keep it accurate and up-to-date.

By today's standards, a computer is standard fare in every office, these information should be in a worksheet, at least. One would argue that we should still keep index cards in the event of a power outage or something like that. Oh well.

If you don't have a legal copy of Microsoft Access (a database program that comes with versions of MS Office) or MS Excel, you can try using the free office suite called OpenOffice. You can download a copy at Its worksheet software can do almost everything that you would need. Its database software is not as formidable as MS's offering but it can still hold its own. Best of all, its FREE and LEGAL.

You may also consider online databases like the ones offered at Its a free service but you should back-up your databases very often. I just found out that a web service provider, Coghead Software, was bought by a bigger company and its offerings are not anymore available. Too bad, I found it easy to use and I can have a database free.

There is always the case to have a database software customized to your needs. You will need someone who is well-versed in database programming and who USES legal software so that the software that they will turn-over to you will no be made from pirated products. You don't want that don't you? If you need get someone, I can recommend someone to you, email me at

I'll follow this up tomorrow on how to structure your database. Thanks and God bless!

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