All of us have been in this embarrassing situation. We meet someone for the third or fourth time, only to realize we can't remember what that person's name is. Some of us are great with names and remember right away, but the rest of us don't. Sure, we may find ways to disguise that we've forgotten that very basic detail, but deep down we know that the person may be aware we still don't know their name.
Most professionals speak to quite a few people in an average day, and that doesn't even account for situations like networking events and conferences, where you can interact with hundreds of people in a short time period. Committing all of those names to memory can be difficult. Fortunately, there are a few tech tools that can help. Here are some apps to research before your next networking event or meeting.
If you want to give your brain a workout, an app like Namerick is a good place to start. Using techniques like repetition and mnemonics, Namerick equips users with tricks to help remember names. When you meet someone new, type that person's name in and the app will walk you through the steps to take to make sure that name sticks in your memory. Over time, you might find these techniques become second nature.
2. Name Shark
Imagine having photos and names of important people in your smartphone, where you can review them like you're preparing for a big presentation. Name Shark brings that functionality to you, storing photos and information and letting you create and share groups. While you may not be able to snap pictures of every potential client or business associate you meet, this app can be useful for employees at large organizations who need to get to know each other. You can also use it to practice memorization techniques with multiple built-in quizzes.
Nameorize flashes reminders of a new person you've met. These reminders give you an opportunity to review those names and details repeatedly in the days and weeks following your initial meeting. You can also research people you've met based on the details you entered, which suits the way some people try to recall names. You can also group names by categories like work, networking and friends.
4. Remember App
In a given week, a business owner can meet dozens of people, with any one of them becoming essential to that person's future. Remember App lets you log each of them, along with the context of where you met them. The Nearby Places feature logs the location of each encounter, making it easier to pull up everyone you met at the same place. When you return to that location, the app will automatically remind you of everyone you met the last time you were there, which can help if you're trying to keep track of the names of people at specific businesses. Best of all, you can log reminders to contact certain people you meet for later follow-up.
5. Remember Names
Like its name, this app has a straightforward interface, designed merely to help you track the names and basic details of people you meet. When you meet someone, input the name into the Remember Names app and add information on where you met the person and other basic facts.
6. Contacts Journal
The typical business owner's day is a series of work duties, meetings, phone conversations and emails, making it tough to track all the interactions you've had. With Contacts Journal, you can log each of those interactions for later access. It also syncs with the contacts app in your iOS device. Once the two apps are communicating, you can add details for each of those contacts and have that information accessible when you look up those contacts later.
Nobody gives you 24-hour notice that you're going to need to recall details about specific contacts. bytNotes is an app that lets you create notes and link them to your contacts. When one of those contacts calls you, the related notes appear on your screen to let you recall who they are, where you met them and any other details you've entered that can enhance your conversation.
In school, you may have used flashcards to prepare for tests. Apps like Brainscape bring that concept to your mobile device, letting you create flashcards with names on the front and basic information on the back.
Although these apps won't improve your memory overnight, they will act as support as you meet new people and build long-term business relationships. Over time, you may even find you don't rely as heavily on the apps as the mere process of entering names and details may help to cement them in your memory.