After going through my phone, I realized that there are hundreds of contacts I haven’t spoken to in years. Many of them are out of date, have nicknames that don’t mean anything to me anymore or I simply don’t remember them. I decided that for me to run my life and businesses successful, I had to get my contacts organized and consolidated into one easy to manage location.
I also take notes from any calls / meetings I have with folks and want to be able to record these directly to my contact records. But this is a separate problem and will be addressed in a later post.
- Primary – Organize and Consolidate all my contacts into one easy to manage location.
- Secondary – Be able to access and update information via my cell phone. (coming soon)
- Secondary – Be able to add notes and comments to each contact and link them to calendar events. (coming soon)
Like all good internet junkies, I began my research on how to consolidate everything on Google.
I love how there’s 22MM+ results for this topic. Great. Apparently, I’m not the only one with this problem.
I decided to take the approach found on 99u with their “Complete Guide to Organizing Your Contacts & Building Quality Relationships.”
The first part of the guide was what I wanted which broke out 5 steps:
- Export your contacts – from phone, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc…
- Create a back-up (just in case) on your desktop
- Import them into Google Contacts – using the contacts manager tool
- Use ‘Find & Merge Duplicates’ – one of the options that allow you to quickly consolidate everything
I went from 1800+ contacts to roughly 1100. Cut out about 40% of the work. Nice feature.
- Manually Update the rest – unfortunately, you’ll still have to spend a few days manually updating / editing the rest.
PRO TIP: Do a few letters of the alphabet at a time in 30 minute sittings to avoid going crazy. Able to finish all my contacts within about 5 hours over the course of a week.
These are the steps that I’m taking to consolidate and organize my phone contacts. Fairly straight forward, but very time consuming. I plan to spend the next two days sorting out contacts this way. By no means easy, but hopefully will be very rewarding.
2/13/16 – I’ve just spent over an hour trying to get all my contacts into Google’s contact manager. Facebook no longer allows you to export contact info, but I’m searching for a work around.
LinkedIn was fairly straight forward. And now I’m dreading all the nicknames I put into my phone. Manually merging contacts is the WORST!
As I was going through the contacts, I realized that I was missing info that I know that I had on my phone. Turns out my phone contacts aren’t all sync’d with my Google Account. I’ve updated the steps above with an article on how to export your phone contacts. Here’s the link again just in case you missed it. Probably the easiest migration step and everyone should do this. It’s like backing up your phone to the cloud, just in case your phone get run over by a construction truck.
2/15/16 – Time consuming, but worth it. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to outsource this job, but in the end, you know details about these contacts that no body else does. You’d probably spend more time teaching someone to do this then doing it yourself.
In the end, this helped me to build the foundation for my life and business. Relationships are everything. With this aspect organized, I’m able to:
- Layer CRM systems on top of my Google Contacts;
- Identify all my floating e-mail addresses;
- and begin Eliminating Unnecessary E-mail Subscriptions.