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How to I get my Outlook contacts under control?
December 18, 2008 8:00 AM   Subscribe

How to I get my Outlook contacts under control?

I've never been a fan of how any version of Outlook handles its contacts, from the funky autocomplete in email to the tediousness of making mass edits to many contacts.

Concerning Outlook 2007...

* Is there any way to easily make a change to a particular field and apply it to many contacts without having to go into each one individually?
* Is there a way to directly connect the autocomplete when entering an email address to my contacts rather than the funky cache? For example, Apple Mail and Gmail do this.
* Is there a a way to make a "smart" group of contacts based on specific criteria?
* What other tips, tricks, tools do you have for managing contacts?

Thanks!
posted by colecovizion to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
* Is there any way to easily make a change to a particular field and apply it to many contacts without having to go into each one individually?

Export CSV,open in Excel (or openoffice) and make change to column. Reimport to outlook.

These questions are very application specific and/or very google.com
posted by ezekieldas at 9:38 AM on December 18, 2008


I detest Outlook partly because of it's insane handling of contacts. For example it allows you to set nicknames, but doesn't use these to match contacts in a directory. Hate it. Wish I could help more, only suggestion I have is to use some third party program to do the edits (sync contacts between Outlook and Gmail, for example, doing the necessary edits in Gmail then re-syncing - that sort of thing).

Also, what the hell is wrong with an application-specific question if you have an application-specific problem? Answers are great, but don't be a dick about it.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:13 AM on December 18, 2008


Current view> outlook data view, and add the column that you want to have mass-edited. You should at that point be able to right click and mass edit that field. Which one did you want to mess with?
posted by 8dot3 at 12:36 PM on December 18, 2008


Oh, and definitely making a 'smart' view of contacts based on criteria is all about creating groups based on the filter, which you can access by: view>current view>customize current view. I do not believe that these groups will truly be 'smart', as in: the criteria is set when you filter and sort the first time only; any subsequent contacts with the qualifying criteria will not automatically be added to that group dynamically.
posted by 8dot3 at 12:51 PM on December 18, 2008


I've never been a fan of how any version of Outlook handles anything. Any particular reason why a proper mail client is out of the question?
posted by flabdablet at 5:09 PM on December 18, 2008


Thanks for the feedback.

ezekieldas - Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a solution via Google that is as elegant as I want it. I thought by now there would be some sort of program that would work natively with Outlook to fix its craptacular handling of contacts.

flabdablet - I wish I could use a different program, but it is for work and they only allow Outlook.

The CSV might be the best option, I just wish it was more native. I'll have to try the suggestions 8dot3. Thanks!
posted by colecovizion at 9:22 PM on December 18, 2008


I'm loath to suggest the obvious, but you could use categories and group address (distribution) lists?

Depending on structure requirements, this might be either over-complication, or overly complicated to initiate...

Could you be more specific about what you need / need to accomplish?
posted by DrtyBlvd at 4:04 AM on December 19, 2008


Loads of hints 'n' tips here at Slipstick.com, along with add-ins etc. Invaluable resource, that one.
posted by DrtyBlvd at 4:48 AM on December 19, 2008


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