Do you need to import your data?

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The two most requested features on Monica so far are:

  • the ability to import contacts from an external source,
  • automating as much as possible the recording of things about your relationships.

I totally understand why people want it. Monica is all about recording and documenting social interactions with the people you care about. Having to enter all the contact names one by one is considered by many to be a painful task. Moreover, having to record everything manually after a phone conversation for instance, is even more painful.

However, think about this. Monica is designed to help you have better relationships. Building relationships is not something that we should automate and make it easier. Building relationships is a conscious effort. It is not easy. It does require a bit of work. If you had the ability to import 500 contacts, what it would do to you? You would have now 500 people in Monica, ready to be documented. Will you really take the effort of entering all the information for those 500 persons? Can you even be friends with that many people?

I like the idea of having to enter my contact one by one, because it forces me to think of who is more important to me. For every person that I add to Monica, I conscientiously choose if this person somehow deserves (the word is definitely too strong but you get the idea) that I take the effort of documenting our relationship. Then for every person I add, I have to fill all those information for which I have to actively look for. I would go as far as saying that having a mass import, without the ability of pick and choose, would even ruin the main purpose of the application.

But this is how I personally see the product. How I see it, is perhaps not how you see it. Hence the need for an importer. We’ll built it, definitely. But before importing your contacts, think about this. Do you need to keep information about that many people?