How To Organize Your LinkedIn Connections On A Free Account

LinkedIn-InBug-2CRev500+ Connections And Counting

Over the last several months, I’ve become a big fan of the business/social network LinkedIn. I’ve had an account for a few years but didn’t really understand how to use it properly.

While I wouldn’t say that I’ve completely arrived, I believe I currently have a much better grasp of the importance of this business networking application. I really appreciate the great tools LinkedIn has provided its users to create killer profiles. I have also enjoyed making over 500 professional connections over the last few years.

Since I continue to make a number of unique connections each day, I’ve been curious as to how I can organize this massive group of people into various categories based on where they live, how close of a connection they are, what industry they work in, etc. I also like employing the Pareto Principle in my networking efforts and spending the most time and energy on my top 20% of connections.

I initially considered upgrading my LinkedIn account from Basic to at least a Business account so that I could organize my contacts into a maximum of five separate folders. At $19.95/month billed annually though, this was too expensive for my usage.

So, I did some more research on the free account. I discovered there is a way to organize all your connections through the use of tags at no cost!

Using Tags To Organize Your Connections For Free

LinkedIn provides a wonderful little tags tool to organize your contacts for free. Here’s the step-by-step process to organize them:

  1. From your profile page, look at the top menu bar. Here you will see the follow categories: Home, Profile, Contacts, Groups, Jobs, Inbox, Companies, News, More.Screen Shot menu
  2. Place your cursor (arrow/pointer) over the Contacts category. You should have at least two links underneath: Connections and Add Connections. Click on Connections.Screen Shot pre
  3. Now you should see the following screen shot. In the center of your screen, you will see an alphabetical listing of all your connections. Select a specific connection you would like to organize.Screen Shot 1
  4. Now, in your connection’s info to the right, you will notice a link that says “edit tags.” Click that link.Screen Shot 2
  5. Here, a small dialog box will appear where you can create new tags or select tags already created. In my screenshot, you can see that I have tagged my connection to Phil Holmes as “friends” as well as “Worship Ministry.” You can be creative as you want in tagging and organizing your personal connections!Screen Shot 3
  6. Once you have completed tagging your connections, you can go to each tagged section over in the left side of your screen in order to view a particular grouping of your contacts.Screen Shot 4

That’s it. It’s that simple and it’s completely available in your Basic free LinkedIn account.

How Do You Organize Your Networking Connections?

Most likely, there are some additional ways you could work around the organizational aspects of LinkedIn connections without having to pay for a premium account. I’m aware that you can export your connections completely out of LinkedIn into a separate software application such as Microsoft Outlook.

So, how do you organize your LinkedIn connections? Do you have additional information to share with the community based on your own unique experience? I’d love to hear your thoughts and processes.

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