Do you look like this when you try to keep track of information about:
Do you wish you could remember:
Instead of on paper or in spreadsheets or other documents, would it be nice if the information was online, so that you could access it from anywhere, on your PC, tablet, or smartphone?
Would it be nice if it could print whole categories of people's addresses directly on envelopes or postcards in proper Japanese format, or various other types of output on demand?
These features and many more, designed for Japan (tuned for Japanese addresses, furigana/romaji fields, bilingual interface, etc.) are now available from Light For Japan Productions as KizunaDB! 12 years in development by a missionary who was previously a professional database system developer. Currently used by churches, missionaries, CRASH Japan, Deaf Ministries International (DMI) Japan, and more.
What does it do?
It replaces your Rolodex, sticky-notes, single-PC data files you might have made in Access or Excel, and whatever other way you keep track of people you know. It probably includes all the types of information you usually keep about a person or organization and then some.
No need to repeat household information like address, landline phone, or names of the family for an envelope - you can create a "household" once and add more members to it.
It handles photos of individuals and households, and can even be used to create photo directories.
It normalizes Japanese addresses - in other words, it usually eliminates the need to type any of the text part between the postal code and the chome/banchi numbers, because the prefecture, city, ward, and community names are all derived from the postal code and copied automatically from the Japan Post Office's own database. (International addresses can also be entered, although no normalization is provided.)
It allows you to indicate relationships between people and organizations, or even between organizations and each other (for example, a person belongs to a department, which belongs to a larger organization), and you can search for people or organizations based on those relationships.
You can define events and keep track of who attended them (including repeating events, like a weekly Bible study, with reports of how many times the people attended), including time range if desired (for tracking hours of volunteer work or even employment). Future dates and date ranges are allowed, so you can also use it for scheduling.
You can keep a log of communications you have had with each person/organization, as well as other milestones like when they were baptized, when you first met them, or whatever else you want to make note of that is based on something happening at a point in time. The text related to each log entry is of unlimited length, so you can even include the content of complete emails, etc. if you want. Of course, all this information is reportable and searchable.
If desired, you can use it to track donations and "pledges" (commitments to donate, such as a monthly sponsorship or even a loan that should be paid back) and generate a variety of reports of that data.
You can create your own categories and assign any number of people/organization to any number of categories. Categories can be designated to apply to just people, just organizations, or both.
You can get a list of people based on their birthday (limited to certain categories if desired), so you can easily remember them on their special day.
You can upload files associated with a person/organization, like reports, application forms, photos, audio/video, etc., for easy archiving and retrieval.
Using multiple selection criteria, you can print addresses directly on envelopes or on label sheets, compose emails with the recipients pre-filled, create lists of your choice of data, and create custom formatted reports as needed.
The administrator for each "client" can create and maintain login users, and some sensitive areas (e.g. if the donation module is used) can be restricted to only users that need to see it. Each user can choose which language (Japanese or English) they want to see the interface in. (More languages could be added if someone wants to translate the various pieces of text.)
...and other things - this is not a complete list of its features.
What do I need in order to use it?
Future plans include making its layout also work well on small screens like smart phones.
Can I see it now?
Yes! There are two demo instances - one showing typical usage for churches and the other typical usage for missionaries. Currently only the church one has sample data (it takes time to create fake data!), but you are welcome to look at either or both:
To log into either one: User ID=demo, Password=demo You are welcome to play with the data - add, edit, or delete as much as you like. Once a day it will be restored to how it was.
I'm doing this mostly as a ministry - it takes a huge amount of time, but actual expenses are low (mostly just server rent). I considered just letting people use it for free, but I spend a lot of time supporting clients (setting up custom dashboards, doing support and training, etc.), so I think I need to charge just enough to keep away people who aren't serious, if you know what I mean. (I also want to focus most of my volunteer effort on Christian ministries, so although I will accept secular clients, I'll charge them more.) It will also help defray the cost of my server, and allow me to upgrade the server if it gets overloaded. The closest comparison to KizunaDB would be CRM services, and they normally cost tens or hundreds of dollars per month per user! I don't care how many users you have for your KizunaDB database - the price is the same.
"Regular" price (businesses and secular organizations):
Churches and Christian ministries (75% off!):
I am willing to train in person - I find that it is most effective to talk face-to-face about each ministry's needs and then customize the KizunaDB configuration together. I won't charge extra for that, but if you are outside the Kansai area and I am not already traveling to your area for other purposes, help with my train fare is appreciated.
And... If anyone wants to help me in concrete ways, they can use it for free! Not all the help is technical in nature - examples:
So, if you are interested, contact me!
I am not a big corporation with dozens of programmers, so KizunaDB will always have some rough edges that I'm continually working on. I also have not yet taken to time to write formal documentation or tutorials (although I definitely want to!). But my current clients love Kizuna and rely on it for their ministries, and I will continually respond to feedback and make it better.
This is something that has been in use since 2000, and I have continued to develop it gradually during the whole time since then, in response to needs and wants of its users (including myself, of course). Besides our own mission ministry and personal life, notable users have been Osaka International Church, Budounoki Cell Church, Deaf Ministries International (Japan), Global Day of Prayer Japan, the Kansai Franklin Graham Festival, and CRASH Japan. Over the years I have had additional requests for it, but I felt it wasn't really ready for use by ministries that I didn't have close ties to, because each installation would still require significant maintenance and support on my part.
At the CPI conference in 2011, I announced that it was "almost ready" to be made available to additional clients - I first wanted to finish some upgrades I was working on at the time. Right after that, I had several personal setbacks (in my personal life, my health, and my time schedule), and never made as much progress as I had hoped. But the areas that need work are mostly cosmetic - some pages don't look as pretty as others, or don't yet have Japanese capability on their labels. Everything works. So... here goes - I am considering KizunaDB available! It runs on a single server (so that I can manage upgrades, backups, etc.), but each client (a church, ministry, mission agency, individual, etc., although it does not have to be limited to Christians - it could be used by businesses for info about customers and vendors, for example) has their own completely separate secure database, can customize their interface appearance, and choose to enable or disable a variety of modules based on their specific needs.
"Kizuna DB" Online Contacts Database