The new LinkedIn redesign has had some benefits, such as personalized invites and curated and customized news. But there are some problems as well.

One change has been the elimination of the Relationships tab. Data you added to that feature is about to disappear. To avoid problems, you must log in and download the data before it's removed. The deadline is Friday, March 31.

LinkedIn posted the following explanation:

We're always looking for ways to improve the LinkedIn experience for our members. This sometimes means removing features. As part of the new desktop experience, the ability to add Notes, Tags, and Reminders to your connections which is located in the Relationship Section of your profile, is being removed.

Perhaps the feature wasn't used by enough people. And yet, many swore by the Relationships tab. It acted a bit as a customer relationship manager (CRM) package, except it was free.

That's the rub with tools on the internet. There are many free ones, but you never know how long the vendor will remain in existence, or if it will sell off the business to someone else or possibly move to a paid model. Depending on something outside of your control has its risks. At least with software that you install locally, it can last for an extended period of time while you look for a replacement.

That is of little comfort to those who have used the Relations tab and have significant amounts of important information uploaded. As the LinkedIn explanation notes, users can always pay for an upgrade to the Sales Navigator or Recruiter Lite products, which allow you to transfer and view notes and tags (although no mention of reminders).

Instead, you can download your data using the following steps from LinkedIn:

  1. Navigate to the data export page. You could get to data export from the Settings & Privacy menu as well.
  2. Go to the Accounts tab and then the Basics area of the Settings & Privacy page. Look for "Getting an archive of your data" and click Change next to it.
  3. Click the Request Archive button.
  4. Look for an email from LinkedIn with a link to download your data.
  5. In the package you receive, there will be a Contacts file. Notes and tags are in it.

You can't get to the data download from the mobile app, so don't get frustrated looking for it there. LinkedIn suggests doing this only from a private personal computer and not a public one. You only get data for features you use in your profile. If you close your account, you can no longer get the data.

If you did use Relationships, better get that data off now before the deadline hits.