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Tech Talk Thursday: Using Outlook to Organize Contacts

Microsoft Outlook is an awesome tool for email and time management, but if you have yet to begin using Outlook for organizing contacts then you are missing out on one of its best features! There are some great benefits to using an electronic tool like Outlook to organize your contacts rather than that stack of business cards or an old-school notebook. For one, it’s easier to find that contact you need when you need it, and if you sync Outlook to your smart phone then you’ll have your contacts with you wherever you (and your phone) go.

I work with many clients whose email inboxes are flooded with hundreds – even thousands – of messages. Upon further investigation, it turns out that at least part of the reason why is that they are using the inbox as a storage place for contacts they don’t want to lose. If this sounds like you, why not try using Contacts instead?

To begin, simply drag and drop and email message onto the Contacts folder and a new contacts will be automatically created using the name and address of the sender. You can include additional information like a phone number, mailing address, web site, and even a note about how you know the contact. The email from that individual that you dragged over will be stored in the “notes” section of the contact, so if you needed additional details that it contained, its now there for you, associated with that contact and you can return to your inbox and delete the email. Want to simultaneously create the contact AND remove the email from your inbox without having to go back and delete it manually? If so, instead of dragging the email to contacts (which creates a copy fo the email in that notes section of the contact), simple right click, choose “move to folder”, choose “contacts” (if “contacts” is not right there for you then choose “other” and then scroll to choose “contacts’). This will move the email, instead of create a copy of it and in doing so, it will leave your inbox and exist only in the contact itself.

If you don’t have time to process all of your contacts right now, create a new folder called Contacts to Add, and move those messages out of your Inbox until you can block the time to process them.

Tell us, how do you like to organize your contacts?


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