Looking for a shidduch can be overwhelming. Before you are drowning in scribbled pieces of paper, set up a process to keep all that information at your fingertips.
Whether you’re ready to listen or not, whether your child is ready to start dating or not, you might just end up with a shidduch resume or two in your inbox. What now?
You can go low tech: a binder, binder paper, a printer and a pen.
Or you can use technology, if that’s your way of life. It’s more efficient if you use it correctly. We’ll break down the way we do it and you can translate it into a paper method.
Start with a Google drive folder. Every resume that comes in gets stored in that folder. Make sure to rename any file that isn’t labeled with the candidate’s name.
Then create a spreadsheet (here’s a sample to start you off). We have the following columns (which you can tweak for your own criteria):
Last name, First name, Age, Date of birth (use that to determine the age column), City, Shadchan, Shadchan’s phone number, Date mentioned, Status, Reason, Resume (link to the doc in google drive).
As we wrote in this post, it’s important to keep track of who was the first person to mention a specific name to you.
We leave the status empty until we’ve looked into the suggestion. We might mark it “on hold” if there’s something we want to pursue before this, or if we simply can’t get the information we need. Once we’ve ruled out an idea, it gets marked as a no. If they’ve dated, we mark that in this column, too.
The reason can simply be “irrelevant” or more specific if you want to keep track of why you said no. This can be useful if a shidduch gets mentioned again in the future – or even if it’s more relevant for a sibling somewhere down the line.
Now let’s move on to the part where you’re trying to gather information about a potential shidduch. It can be hard to keep track of who said what. Try not to make or accept calls about shidduchim when you can’t be fully present to make note of what the person is telling you. Actual notes are best. Use a google doc or the “notes” app on your phone/computer and you’ll be able search and cross reference easily. We like to create a doc with the person’s name, insert the resume, and then take notes below that while on the phone with references. Also mark down if you tried reaching certain people and what the status of those calls are. (If you call someone and they don’t answer, save their name and number in your phone, with the shidduch candidate’s name as the company. It’ll prompt you to remember who this stranger is when the return call comes in. Also, it’ll help you see which potential shidduchim overlap in terms of references, which can be a good resource of information.)
You can use the same general method with pen and paper, but definitely go with a binder over a notebook. Like that you can print the resume and put it in the binder in alphabetical order. It will be much easier to reference the information at a later date that way.
Another organizing tool we all use for shidduchim is the shared WhatsApp chat we discussed in this post. Create a dedicated chat about shidduchim with your spouse or your child. Paste the resume and shadchan information in that chat so it’s always available for reference. Some choose to put all notes in this chat as well, but it can get cluttered.