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#26 – Clean out Google Contacts List

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I guess I’m doing a lot of these tech list items because the strike puts a real damper on the more creative endeavors. Plus, they’re easy and a fantastic procrastination tool. 🙂

I have been a Gmail addict from very early on. My brother invited me years ago during the beta phase. It’s amazing, it’s an efficiency machine and the best way to do email. Google Reader is a part of my daily internet habit as well. So, you can imagine how happy I was when Google Reader opened up a “sharing” feature to enable sharing RSS stories with my contacts. Er, ALL my contacts.

That’s right. The sharing feature is all or nothing. So if I want to share a weird, fringe story with my brother, I have to share it with every Gmail contact in my contact list, or share it with no one. And the lovely part is that Gmail’s programmed to automatically add every email correspondence to my contact list. Every email. There’s no way to turn that feature off either! So I have hundreds and hundreds of emails, from my grandpa to info@furniturecompany.com in my contact list. Every mail from every friend of a friend’s mass mail list even! And if I don’t want them to be able to read my RSS shared items, I have to remove their email TOTALLY from my Gmail contact list, losing their info forever! Google, why??!!

I decided to go through and clean out a few letters a day from the contact list, removing the random ones, and adding the other ones to mailing lists, so I can form some mailing lists for The Guild and such. It was horrible. The interface is slow, awful, I can’t say worse things about this contact list thing. You can’t choose to add contacts to a Group from an email, so you physically have to go into the contact list after an email and search for the email contact, THEN click on it and add it to a mailing list. OMG. So, in reality, the cleaning out was kind of a waste of time, because every email from now on will be added, unless I go in and REMOVE it after I email some random info@joeblow.com, which is torture considering the delay in response when you’re actually in the contact list. I’m begging Google, get something better, please!

The thing is, I was hoping to transfer a lot of info to Google contacts and use it as an address manager. I have been using Palm Desktop for years. Considering the fact I haven’t owned a Palm Pilot or Treo for over 4 years, it’s pathetic I still store stuff in that 1990’s interface. But, I haven’t looked into transferring until now.

What address managers do you guys use? Ah well, cross off #26. 🙂

  • Omer

    I used Outlook for years on my PC (which I still have for gaming), now I’m 100% Address Book, iCal, Mail, and iPhone on my Mac. My emails, contacts, address books, schedule, everything is 100% synced. It is awesome.

  • Omer

    I do have a little bit going with my Google mail contacts but so far I haven’t felt compelled to export my entire contact and calendar files over to it as I really see no advantage to doing that over what I have right now.

  • Soma

    “Google, why??!!”

    i scream that everytime i realize that some of their
    stuff does NOT like opera..

    and im sorry google.. opera was my first love..

    you were somewhere down further.. but definitely top 10..

    probably in between my MX1000Laser and my expresso machine..

  • nate

    I used my mac address book then synch everything to my mobilephone and ipod touch. I then back them up regularly to my ftp account, mozy and external hd. Oh, and to my gmail account too. I had a very bad experience on losing datas that’s why I’m a little paranoid.

  • Virginia

    I just use whatever scrap of paper and writing utensil I can find, then end up tossing it into a pile on my desk. Does that count?

  • My address management system is chaotic, to say the least. I keep a few items on my cellphone, some on my Palm Tungsten (and hence Palm Desktop), some on each of my Yahoo email accounts, and some on Mozilla Thunderbird.

    I suspect that there’s a certain degree of duplication, so if I lost any two of these items I’d still be able to recreate the list, but it’s not ideal.

    I’m tempted to buy a little notebook and write them all out by hand. Go, nostalgia!!

  • It’s indiscriminate, yeah, but I don’t understand how it compromises EVERYONE in one’s address book. How can anyone see your shared items if they’re not using gmail or google reader?

  • I’m a huge fan of Gmail, but I try not to use the web interface. Instead, I use Thunderbird as my client, and now that Gmail has IMAP I don’t have to log onto the web interface at all (with POP I had to go on and clean out my inbox every so often and archive things).

    Try it out, it’s worth it and easy to use – setting up contact lists are a breeze.

    Thunderbird: http://en-us.www.mozilla.com/en-US/thunderbird/
    Gmail IMAP setup: http://lifehacker.com/software/geek-to-live/turn-thunderbird-into-the-ultimate-gmail-imap-client-314574.php

  • Luke Youngblood

    I highly recommend a Mac and iPhone. The combination of iCal, Contacts, and Mail.app is truly amazing for managing all of your scheduling, people you know, and email.

    Also, a cool thing on the iPhone is that when you add a new contact to your address book, it only takes 1 tap to take a pretty decent picture of them (2 megapixel) and it is added to their contact automatically. The pictures of your contacts are even sync’d with your Mac at home. Then, to make things even cooler, Bluetooth integration means that when that person calls you, you see their picture on your iPhone, and it also pops up with the caller ID and contact picture on your Mac.

    I can’t say enough good things about how Apple has solved the “contact overload” problems we deal with in this internet enabled era.

  • Reegor

    iPhone is doubtless a nice way to integrate, but there are cheaper phones that don’t require Verizone and do the same thing. I recently got a Palm Centro ($100 from Sprint – basically a low-cost Treo), and it has excellent integration with iCal and Address Book on the Mac. Even photos of people.

    I figure this will hold me until iPhone becomes available on other cellular companies and goes through a few revs.

    Admittedly, I don’t expect email integration to go as easily as it does on iPhone.

  • never trusted them email storing capabilities, they treat you like dummies and do everything for you. it is good to a certain point.
    (can’t please anyone)..

    sometimes, tho, it is best to trust the older technologies because they are easier to use and less of them special features.

    horray for pen and paper! (hahaha)

    that’s my 2.50$

  • Still using an IBM Workpad – which is a Palm V, only better looking ’cause it’s black. 😀

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