Temporary phone address book?
October 7, 2010 7:04 AM   Subscribe

Cell phone and contacts - I can't be the only one who needs a kinda short-term or temporary contact phone address-book for those numbers I'm dealing with today or this week - but I don't want to add them to by regular address book.

I often need to phone someone today - they might not be in, so I call again later - or I leave a message and they call back later: I want to be reminded who they are (like a contact in my phone's address book reminds me). But these are contacts I don't want in my address book. Maybe it's a sales-person or a shop I'm calling to find out something - or it's a friend of a friend or the oil-change place telling me my car is ready.

How you YOU handle this ?

Numbers you have to track or remember to call short term (few days timescale). And remembering to do it.

(I use an Android phone these days - is there an app?)

posted by Xhris to Technology (15 answers total)
I have a dumb phone, so I just use an ever-growing .txt file on my laptop. Very important - don't forget to save your changes!
posted by WowLookStars at 7:08 AM on October 7, 2010

Keep an index card in your pocket. When you're done with it, throw it away.
posted by hermitosis at 7:20 AM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

You could put them in your phone with a t or * in front to remind you that they're temporary, and delete them regularly.
posted by insectosaurus at 7:21 AM on October 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

Yes, insectosaurus and I have a similar system. I put a "Z" in front of the contact so they go to the bottom of the list.

Or, I put their number in a reminder on my calendar app (on the Blackberry) and when the reminder pops up, I can just click on the number and the phone will dial it. I'm sure the Android must have something like that.
posted by cranberrymonger at 7:40 AM on October 7, 2010

I do something similar to what insectosaurus suggests. What has happened in the past is I've had a big pool of volunteers to organize, so I've added them to my phone as "vol Joe Smith" and "vol Jane Brown". That way, they're all grouped together so I can find people I don't know easily, have a label in case I forget who Joe Smith is when he calls, and can speed-deleted when the time comes (delete-ok-delete-ok-delete-ok).
posted by phunniemee at 7:41 AM on October 7, 2010

Why don't you want them in the contact list? You can always assign them to a "Temp" group, which means you can view just the Temp group to look at/call/delete your temporary contacts.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:42 AM on October 7, 2010

Not an Android user, but if you have a Notes app, why not put them in there? Just start a Note file called 'Temporary Contacts'. You might have a setting that allows your phone to identify phone numbers and make them into 'tap to call' links. This works on my iPhone.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:43 AM on October 7, 2010

Sort of a non-answer answer, but I handle it by adding them to my phone's address book. Other than taking up a few bytes of space, they don't seem to do me any harm. Every once in a while, if I'm feeling proactive, I go through and delete any entries that make me think "I'll never need this number again." Usually I'm right about that.

What is it about having an infrequently-used number in your address book that bothers you? Could this be solved by using search to locate contacts, rather than picking them from a long alphabetized list?
posted by mumkin at 7:44 AM on October 7, 2010

I just review my entire contact list from time to time. This is very easy to do on a computer if the phone is sync'd to an Exchange, Google or other account, which you should be able to do since you have an Android phone.

What I find useful, when reviewing, is to sort contacts by last modification date (in descending order). Likely anything that's been in there for a long time is meant to be permanent, and likely the temporary ones will have been created recently.
posted by randomstriker at 8:28 AM on October 7, 2010

i do what insectosauru, cranberrymonger & phunniemee do and add them to my contacts. then i delete them when i'm bored or have 5 mins (waiting for an appt, on the train, can't sleep).
posted by UltraD at 9:18 AM on October 7, 2010

I also just add them to my regular contacts. Sometimes I delete later, and sometimes I find the numbers come in handier than I'd expected (for example, the number for a restaurant that I put in for a one-time event and end up liking, so I conveniently already have their number the next time I want to make a reservation).
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:31 AM on October 7, 2010

My regular contacts are already out of control (about 1200 all together with a few hundred duplicates caused by sync programs being silly) so I'm trying to avoid adding more. But it's not out of the question.

Any more hints/tips/apps for not forgetting to call people back ? A common one for me is I call and get their voice-mail, I decide not to leave a message but instead decide to phone back back later - then I forget. Or we are talking and one party has to hang up for some reason - 'call you back in 20 mins' we say, but then another call comes in and then another and by then you're back in the car (or whatever) and have forgotten to call the first person back ...
posted by Xhris at 11:22 AM on October 7, 2010

1200 contacts? You're either incredibly social or incredibly disorganized -- the "few hundred duplicates" implies the latter. Just bite the bullet and purge, purge, purge.
posted by randomstriker at 4:17 PM on October 7, 2010

As others have mentioned, I prefix temporary contacts with a character, EXCEPT I make sure the character sorts to the beginning of the alphabet:

_Termite Control
_Sally (QC dept)
Alan Smithee
Blake Lively

That makes it easier to see & remove them when the "expiration date" is reached.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:06 PM on October 7, 2010

1200 contacts? You're either incredibly social or incredibly disorganized -- the "few hundred duplicates" implies the latter. Just bite the bullet and purge, purge, purge.

Or, randomstriker, incredibly organized. I never delete old contacts that *aren't* really temporary. 10yo work contacts have proven useful. My Outlook Contacts has almost 3000 entries, no dupes.

However, Xhris, if you do have dupes, these apps will kill them:




I have only used ODIR (the last link); it works well.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:11 PM on October 7, 2010

« Older Apps for Airports?   |   Berkeley Madonna + Ubuntu = ? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.