Managing Your Contacts
In the era of social networks, it's not clear how to manage your address book. Until now...
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Get-It-Done Guy listener Andrew writes in:
I'm very curious about how you manage your address book. I've got way too many contacts now and it's becoming unmanageable - not to mention trying to manage contacts across my personal and work emails, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. What do you use, Get-It-Done Guy?"
Handling contacts used to be done with a little black book, where we inscribed the names, addresses, and phone numbers of our friends. We would add code symbols to tell us who was nice, who was naughty, and who was so desperate they’d go with me to the high school dance. The book would fill up, and we’d copy it into a new book by hand. We might even “accidentally” forget to copy certain entries. All my exes may live in Texas, but I wouldn’t know because they didn’t make the cut.
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The computer age put our little black book online! Now we could search, print, group contacts, and stuff like that. And we could add names forever! Life was good.
Then networks appeared. We could share contacts with our assistant, boyfriend, girlfriend, spousal equivalent, and/or polyamorous family unit. Now life was even better, except we sometimes forgot that we had also just shared notes that we’d only intended for ourselves. Notes like “Lesley is a total bore, so never schedule long meetings.” Oops.
Then the Palm Pilot appeared and let us sync contacts between our desktop and handheld. Life was pretty much perfect.
Then came the internet and smartphones. For a few brief, shining moments, we synced our smartphones and contact books over the internet. Then every frickin’ web site in existence decided it wanted to become the center of our world of contacts. Now it’s a mess. But all is not lost! You can still straighten things out.