Interest in search funds is growing. Because it's so difficult to find good target companies, I've been curious to know what tools searchers use to keep track of their deal flow.
I expected people to share personal or small business CRMs (e.g. Streak) geared towards this use case. But, Excel seems to be the primary tool for teams tracking leads and contact information (synced using Dropbox). My guess is that people like spreadsheets because they're easy to get started and are highly flexible. Because searchers are working in such small teams, maintaining file formats is effectively a non-issue.
When pressed, here are some of the other tools people mentioned when I asked how they manage their outbound emails and deal flow. (I've ordered them by frequency with which they came up.)