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VIPorbit review: Get to work on your relationships

Jeffery Battersby | Jan. 16, 2014
You're excused for assuming that VIPOrbit is a business-use only, comprehensive customer and contact relationship management tool for Mac and iOS. While it's true that it helps you track your interaction with customers and clients, integrates with a variety of social media tools and Skype, VIPOrbit is designed to help you track of all your relationships, whether they are personal, social or business-related.

Contacts within VIPorbit can be linked to other contacts using a feature called VIPlinks. These links let you create direct links between contacts in an organization, and any contact that has a VIPlink displays those links when you view the contact. It's a useful feature when you find that someone you're calling is out of the office and you want to see who else you can speak with.

VIPorbit also includes another excellent feature for linking contacts called Orbits. Orbits are organized contexts within which you may encounter your contacts and they can be as specific or general as you like. For example, you may have a business contact who also plays on the soccer team you manage. This contact appears in both Orbits and can be emailed or sent a Twitter message about an upcoming soccer game without you accidentally sending the same message to everyone in the contact's business group.

Orbits also have the potential to be a bit more ephemeral. Planning a trip to San Francisco? You can create a temporary Orbit consisting only of people who live in San Francisco, then email all of those contacts to let them know you'll be in town. Once your visit is done you can delete that Orbit until you travel to San Francisco again.

VIPorbit's Calendar tool reads any information you've created in Apple's Calendar app and is updated the moment you add a new event in Apple's Calendar. But it's important to note that no data you create or edit in VIPorbit is synced back to its original sources. The app is designed to work as a standalone application with its own todos, meetings, and contact information. So if you create a calendar event in VIPorbit it will not appear in Apple's calendar.

I did see the kinds of minor issues you can expect from a version 1 application, including occasional crashes during the sync process (syncing was very slow at times) and in one instance an odd display issue that required me to restore data from a VIPorbit backup. In no case did I lose any data, but these may be the kinds of issues that would keep you from using the app until a 2.0 version is released.

Bottom line
VIPorbit is an excellent first-generation relationship management tool that makes it easy to keep your fingers on the things that matter most about your personal and business contacts. While I did experience occasional crashes, overall I found VIPorbit an excellent solution for managing all of my contacts.


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