Home Forums Technology Help to organize telephone/contact list

This topic contains 15 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  djk 7 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #159669


    I have an organizational problem with my address book and I am hoping somebody can give me some ideas on how to make it easier to manage. For years I had my addresses written down, until things went electronic. Then I had all of my contacts and addresses in an Excel sheet, which was easy to access and follow. This worked until I realized I had the same file on my home computer and work computer, thus creating problems. Somebody’s information could be updated on one file and not on another, whilst on the other file maybe somebody else’s info was changed, and I would never know which version really was the complete updated one. I even tried putting just one file on a USB key, but could never remember which key it was on. I don’t have an I-phone, and although I am computer savvy I don’t find the idea of updating and having this info on my phone to be a great idea. I went back to writing my info in my Filofax, because at least I know where the info is when I need it. But it still doesn’t feel like it is as user-friendly as it should be.
    How do you all manage it? Do you have any particular programs or apps or methods that might work for me?

  • #201235


    Help to organize telephone/contact list

    If the paper system works for you, stay with it!
    For me, an electronic system only works if I can enter things once and know that the information will end up everywhere I need it. I first went electronic with a Palm, which I synched to my work and my home computers. I then decided that I really shouldn’t be using the work machine for things like that!
    Now I have an iPad, a Mac and a Blackberry. The iMAc and iPad stay in synch automatically, but I still have to manually connect the Blackberry ever so often.
    If your phone will not support such features (or you don’t want it to) then paper is probably still your best friend.
    My wife, who has the same computing set up as me, still uses her Filofax


  • #201236


    Help to organize telephone/contact list

    Email yourself the latest version, to both your home and work addresses. Problem solved, you could label the file with the date so you know you have the latest version.

  • #201239


    Help to organize telephone/contact list

    I have a pay-as-you-go phone, so don’t have the ability to synch across all my systems – nor do I want or need to. I still use an old-fashioned address book, I still dial phone numbers each time when using my land line. Some rare numbers are programmed into my cell phone, turned on mostly when traveling. If an address book works for you, there’s no reason to change. I just throw mine into my baggage when I travel, in case I need the info.

  • #201245


    Help to organize telephone/contact list

    I use Outlook for everything but I have the luxury of a central work server that synchs my phone, iPad and desktop almost in real time. I have the contacts file backed up elsewhere in case I change jobs or there is a major server failure. I recently spent 1.5 days reconciling my personal (yahoo) email with my paper address book (now gone) and my central Outlook contacts. It was painful but really worth it. I can also export the Outlook contacts into VCards or even a simple Excel spreadsheet which is then uploadable into other programs if needed.

  • #201247


    Help to organize telephone/contact list

    Back in the day, I had a Franklin Planner that served as my master reference. Everything went in there. I photocopied my address pages every couple of months to have a backup.

    When I got a Palm in ~1999, that replaced the Franklin Planner for the same function.

    Now I use the Address Book program in my Mac, which syncs to my iPhone and iPad via iCloud. Backups are hourly via Time Machine and also daily via Mozy, just part of all the other backups I do. I can’t *imagine* going back to a paper system.

    If you stick with paper, make sure you make a photocopy of your essential data every once in a while. Nothing worse than having your book stolen and no backup.

    And don’t rely on a USB jump drive without a frequent backup. They are *notoriously* prone to failure — and loss, as you found out.

    If you want to use a single Excel spreadsheet, create a Dropbox account (or similar) so you can access one file from anywhere.

  • #201248


    Help to organize telephone/contact list

    You can also convert the spreadsheet to a google doc. Then you will be able to access and modify it from any device that gets internet. It would be linked to your email account.

  • #201251


    Help to organize telephone/contact list

    another vote for Google Doc. h and i use it to keep joint calendars and such. it’s worked very well for us.

  • #201254


    Help to organize telephone/contact list

    i work on three computers (at home, uni and in the office) and i put all my documents into the dropbox (.com). it stores the files, or just one single file, locally on your computers and also on a server on the internet. if you change the file, you save it and it automatically syncs with the server. when you are at the second computer it automatically provides the newest version for you. it so simple to use and it made my life so much easier.

  • #201259


    Help to organize telephone/contact list

    i use gmail, evernote and an iphone.

  • #201261


    Help to organize telephone/contact list

    Address Book on iMac, iPad and iPhone.
    Runbox for emailing and Thunderbird importing (IMAP) to the iMac, Mail to the iPhone and iPad.
    I haven’t connected those two because turns out I rarely email to the contacts in the Address Book and so far it’s been sufficient to add manually into Runbox.

  • #201334


    Help to organize telephone/contact list

    Hi MixinItaly,

    I asked the same question about 3 months ago, you can check the replies I got on this link: https://unclutterer.com/discuss/topic/contacts

    I still didn’t come up with a perfect system, but I decided to have one main address book – and that is in my Yahoo contacts. It syncs with my Facebook contacts as well (although, I don’t really need all of them) and it can merge any duplicates.

    It syncs with my iPhone contacts (although, I HATE using iPHone as a phone, it is such a lousy phone, but it is so convenient for other stuff) and my iPad contacts.

    The Yahoo contact lists can be exported and it prints nicely should I ever need a hard copy. I am in process of updating basic info on people – like birthdays, anniversaies or other notes I want to rememebr about that particular person (this parts syncs nicely with my iPhone and iPad. I think the feature works with Android phones as well. I wish Nokia would come up with a better smartphone, I love using it as a phone, but they had lousy other features)

    Anyway, so one master list that syncs is what I am doing now.

    I also found this nice software and was thinking about getting it but decided to leave it for the moment (don’t want to make a huge project out of this) and it doesn’t sync with Yahoo yet – only Google. http://www.beiley.com/habook/index.html

  • #205483


    Help to organize telephone/contact list

    If you have a gmail account, enter your entire address list into contacts. Then, you can sync your list across all of your devices as well as printing out a paper copy. Better yet, it’s stored on Googles servers so if your computer takes a dump you won’t loose your information. I have my list entered this way and it instantly is available on my laptop, iPad, iPod, and Android smart phone. If I make a change, it will change on all of the devices.

  • #205636


    Help to organize telephone/contact list

    I second kjm3579’s response. Gmail makes it very easy to access the information across all platforms and you don’t have to worry about losing information in the event that your computer breaks, fire, etc.

  • #205717


    Help to organize telephone/contact list

    Hello I am asking the same question but with a twist hoping to get some input. I am in direct sales for 2 different company and trying to figure out a good way to do this. I also use multiple email accounts for different business so need some address in that email contact program and some in others. I need a revamp!!

    I have a iPhone and iMac (I use a dymo label writter)
    I have a Google account / I have a yahoo account / I have a icloud account

    I have some contacts that are for leads for one of the companies but not the other and have some contact that are for both so I am not sure how to keep them straight!! Any suggestions would be helpful.

    One of the reasons that I mentioned the iMac and the label writter is the dymo will only print from the address book on mac. So I need them to sync with both my computer and iphone. However when I am looking for a number I have just a ton of people who I have no idea who they are (some are the leads for direct sales companies) so my address book is huge!

  • #205720


    Help to organize telephone/contact list

    My address book is nowhere near as complicated as yours but I do deal with several companies and all my contacts therein. On my iPhone address book, where I enter all data as it’s always with me, I create a 2 or 3-letter company code which goes before the individual’s name. All contacts from company AB are therefore grouped, as are those from company LJ. The client name is still searchable without the code.

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