Google Contacts is an excellent program for keeping track of your contacts on your computer and on your cell phone. When you sync Google with your cell phone, whenever you add or edit a contact, the changes will appear on both your phone and on your computer, almost instantaneously.
Now let’s review how to use Google Contacts effectively.
When you open the web page for Google Contacts, you will see the word “Search” at the top of the page with a magnifying glass icon to its left. This is where you search for a contact. Just type in a name or part of a name in the Search box, and every individual in your contacts that has those letters in their name or in their email address, will show up on a list that you can click on to see that person’s contact information. Additionally, if you type in a word or part of a word and hit the Enter key on your keyboard, every contact that has those letters listed anywhere in their contact information will show up on a list that you can click on to see that person’s contact information. For example, if you type in a street name, every contact that lives on that street will show up on a list.
When you click on the three dots in the upper right corner of the Google Contacts web page, and click on “Change column order,” you will see the current column order for displaying your contacts. When you click on a column name, you can drag it up or down to change the column order. There are five columns that can be displayed, and there are seven column categories that you can choose from: Name, Email, Phone number, Address, Labels, Job title & company, and Birthday. When you click on the down arrow to the right of a column name, you have the option of interchanging that column with another column category.
Create a Google Contact
To create a contact, in the upper left corner of the Google Contacts web page, click on the plus icon with the words “Create contact.” When the “Create new contact” page opens, you can fill in the person’s First name, Last name, Company, Job title, Email, Phone, and Notes.
When you type in the email address, a Label field will appear to the right, where you can indicate whether the email address is for Home, Work, or Other. If you want to add another email address, just click on the plus icon to add it. You can continue to add more email addresses by clicking on the plus icon again. Use this same process to add phone numbers.
“Notes” is a great space for you to put information about this contact that doesn’t have a specific field for you to put in that information.
To delete any entries you have made, just click on the circled X to the right of that entry.
When you click on “More fields,” there are more fields for you to add information about this contact.
After you have created a new contact, saved it, and then reopened it, all of the numbers and letters that are colored blue are now links. So if you click on the email address, Gmail will open with an email addressed to this person. If you click on that contact’s phone number, Google will call that number for you using Google Hangouts and your computer’s microphone. When you click on an address, Google Maps will open, showing you that address on a map. You can then get directions to that address, and even see a close-up satellite view of the location.
Google Contact Interactions
When you scroll down in Google Contacts, you will see an “Interactions” section. Here you will see a list of all the emails and texts that you sent to this person over the past three months. When you click on a specific email or text, it will open so that you can see what you what was written in that email or text, and all of the attachments will also be visible.
When you open a contact, you can “star” that contact by clicking on the star icon in the upper right corner. This will place that contact in the “Starred Contacts” list, which appears above all of the other contacts for easy access.
When you open a contact, you can edit that contact by clicking on the pencil icon in the upper right corner.
Assign Google Contact Labels
When you open a contact, you can assign a label to that contact. Click on the three dots in the upper right corner, and pick the label or labels that you want this contact listed under. Labels are a great way for you to categorize your contacts for easy searching. For example, let’s say that you are trying to find a contact that is one of your health providers, but you can’t remember their name. If you had set up a label for Health Providers, then you would just scroll through that list to find their name. If you don’t have a label set up, then you would have to search through every name in your contacts to try and locate this person.
For me, I have a label for my referral networking group. Then when I want to email all of the members or just some of the members, I just start the email by clicking on “To,” followed by my clicking on the label for my referral networking group. All of my referral network members now show up, and I can choose all of them or some of them to email. This saves a lot of time, and now that I can see all of the people in that label, it is not likely that I will leave a member off of the email I am preparing to send. All I have to do is click on “Select All,” or I can click on each name that I want to add to the email.
To create a label, click on “Create label” on the left side of your screen under “Duplicates.” Then just type in the name of the label, and click “Save.” To rename a label, move your cursor over the label you want to rename, and then click on the pencil icon to the right of the label name. Rename it, and click “Save.”
To delete a label, click on the label you want to delete, and then you will see all of the contacts under that label. Click on a contact to see which label or labels you have assigned this contact to. This information will appear under the contact’s name. If the label you are going to delete is the only label you have assigned to this contact, then I suggest that you pick another label for this contact before deleting this label. Otherwise this contact will not have a label once you have deleted the only label assigned to this contact. To add another label to this contact, click on the three dots in the upper right corner, and choose another label or labels. Once you have done this for all of the contacts under the label you are going to delete, you then move your cursor over the label you plan to delete, and you click on the garbage pail icon to the right of the label to delete it.
Sometimes by accident, you may create duplicate contacts. To find and combine any duplicate contacts, click on “Duplicates” on the left side of your screen below “Contacts.” There you will see all of the duplicate contacts. You now have the option to combine all of the information from multiple contacts into one contact.
To get to Settings, scroll down the left side of the screen, and “Settings” will be listed under “More.” This is where you indicate whether you want your contacts to be sorted by first or last name.
Below “Settings,” is “Help.” This is where you can search for answers to questions you have about using Google Contacts.