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Help! How to organise multiple phone lists

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  • Help! How to organise multiple phone lists

    Hi, sorry to ask such a basic question -

    I have tons of phone / contacts lists scattered throughout my office.

    Different projects, family, ongoing clinets etc.

    I need a way to organise these so i can access what i want easily. I also want it to be transportable, maybe even printable?

    I dont have a palm or similar, so I am tossing between ms excel and ms outlook contacts. But i dont think Contacts will give me much functionality, or allow for easy printing of the contacts i want.

    I also want to upgrade my personal friends data base, it is apile of scrap paper at the moment. sigh.

    If anyone has any experience here, i would greatly appreciate some guidance.

    OK, Fingers crossed


  • #2
    An excellent question!

    Personally, I keep all my contacts in a spreadsheet on my laptop, which I print off occasionally.

    For your situation, I recommend a physical address book. It's portable, easy to update, and very secure. It also doesn't need batteries or any boot time, it doesn't crash, and it's difficult to completely erase with the wrong keystroke. Even better, it often takes people less time to find an address in a physical phone book than in a digital one (even using search).


    • #3
      What Brent said.

      Personally, I keep a paper address book, for a bunch of reasons. I've also used MS Contacts, and it's a pain in the proverbial: the search is quixotic, and I'm frequently cursing it because it behaves anomalously. But then, I'm a Mac user, and I've been spoiled by having one of the nicest search functions and smoothest interfaces known to man.

      If you must use software to store all your contact information, a spreadsheet is the best way to go (aside from a couple of custom apps, perhaps). Simple, easily set up, prints nicely, and you can do some cool things with it.


      • #4
        Since you're already using Outlook. . .

        Why not create subfolders within your Outlook Contacts? I currently have one called "Personal". The contents of a contacts folder can be printed (five different print styles) or exported (to an Excel or Access file, among other choices).


        • #5
          Thanks folks for your time in responding.

          I am wearily putting everything into MS Outlook contacts - there does seem to be a fair degree of functionality available. And backing it up seems pretty easy.

          But yeah, pen and paper is still hard to be in some instances - but pnpaper is crap for email addresses - in my view

          Thanks again



          • #6
            Originally posted by jason View Post
            pnpaper is crap for email addresses
            Why do you think that?


            • #7
              Originally posted by Brent View Post
              Why do you think that?
              Paper is ok for collecting email addresses, but the convenience of linking address book and email program is just too high to ignore. On a mac, it's just seamless.


              • #8
                Originally posted by jason View Post
                I am wearily putting everything into MS Outlook contacts - there does seem to be a fair degree of functionality available. And backing it up seems pretty easy.
                And if you want battery free portability print it off onto a suitable size of paper and put it into a ring binder. That way you have a print version to carry with you, and you get the benefits of having it on your computer.


                • #9
                  Time and Chaos

                  I have been using it for several years and it is very functional, flexible, handles multiple databases, journals, e-mail clients, tasks, and can associate files to the contact, realtionships between contacts. To get the same benefits, I had to add the Business Contact Manager and as it is a separate database than Outlook, have 3 databases to maintain where with T&C, there is only one and then Outlook is still feature lacking. Only reason I may stay with it is due to it tying into an accounting program and if I can figure out how to produce a decent invoice, it will tie in to bookkeeping and invoicing that right now T&C will produce a good invoice easily through the Legal Billing Module does not tie into any accounting system.


                  • #10
                    I never fully appreciated keeping all my contacts (in categories) in Outlook until I got my new blackberry - The numbers at my fingertips (well blackberry) are amazing!


                    • #11
                      Scanning business cards

                      I receive a lot of business cards and it's too tedious to manually enter them into Outlook. I nstread I use Corex Cardscan.

                      I quickly scan the cards using my own scanner. Using this application, it is much quicker to search for contacts than searching with Outlook.

                      If I need to mail contact, I copy and paste the address from Cardscan. If it's a regular contact I transfer the details to Outlook with a one click button in Cardscan.

                      Accuracy of OCR is about 80% but I find I only really need to correct errors when I need to pass the contact details onto someone else, or for a postal mailing list.