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Posted by on Dec 27, 2012 in Guides / Tips |

Centralize management of contacts with Google Contacts

Centralize management of contacts with Google Contacts

One aspect of the management of email , perhaps, we usually leave something abandoned is the contact management . Desktop applications like Thunderbird or Gmail services like frequently collect, automatically, email addresses to which we send messages (either typing in the recipient field or answering their emails) but despite this collection gives us much things (to autocomplete addresses) not think we can consider it a good management of our portfolio of contacts .

Why not a good contact management system? Given that, thanks to the cloud, we often maintain a single database to synchronize contacts with clients (mobile devices and desktop applications), I think we can save a lot of time if, from the start, put some order into the store and maintain information on all of our devices, the same information and also follow a fixed pattern.

A good repository of contacts is that, among other things, can be used on Android, thanks to support CardDAV we can use in iOS devices and, for example, if we use Thunderbird on the desktop there are extensions that allow us to synchronize with the service Google. Therefore, it is worth spending a few hours (or minutes, everything depends on the number of contacts we manage) to organize all the contacts we have collected and that we use regularly distinguish (we exchanged emails, call us by phone or exchanged messages through WhatsApp) to unify all the information we have dispersed (phone book, paper diaries, collected addresses in Thunderbird, Gmail addresses taken, etc).

In this sense, Gmail offers some utilities that can help us in this task since we can export all your contacts to a CSV file and process it with LibreOffice Calc or Excel and add data we have written on paper or combine it with other information . In fact, the CSV can be an interesting “swap file” if we want to extract all the information we have in Thunderbird or Outlook as Gmail also supports importing contacts in CSV files.

Contacts If you want to use as a repository for centralizing the management of contacts, import data desktop client can be a good starting point because, from Gmail, we can use the tool to join contacts and merge we have repeated ( if we see that it can complement the information from both chips) or directly delete those leftover us. Moreover, unless we go through the list of contacts resulting Gmail offers an automatic process to locate and combine duplicate contacts (a process in which we suggest to perform combinations).

Clearly this process, especially if we take enough time in active collecting data, can take a long time but, in my opinion, is an investment of time because maintaining a single centralized repository helps productivity win only because we must find in one place that also will be available on all devices and customers who use it.

Professionally, the portfolio management of contacts is very important to locate suppliers or partners when starting a new project or simply organize a series of meetings to present our portfolio of products.

The contact management is a task perhaps worthwhile to point in the list of New Year’s resolutions.

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