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Cleaning up your messy contacts listIf you use Google Contacts but have never thought to clean it up, you might be shocked by what you find. 

And if you have thought about cleaning it up, but don't know where to start or are unsure of what tools are available, the process can be daunting. Let's fix that and get it back under control.

Ways to clean up your Google Contacts

  1. Find and Merge Duplicated contacts

To automatically find duplicate contacts in your Google Contacts list, click Merge & Fix on the left sidebar. Here, you'll see suggestions for contacts to merge into one, like two contacts who have the same name or email address. After clicking Merge all, more suggestions will appear if there are many duplicates in your list. For example, you might see new details for people you email frequently. If a contact you regularly email has their phone number in their email signature, Google Contacts will recommend you add the number too.

  1. Syncing Google Contacts

To keep your Google Contacts up to date, you should use the automatic synchronization tool available via Google APIs. This tool enables you to import and export your contacts without needing to switch between your tools. However, this tool cannot be used for exporting or importing event data, deal data, or Trello card data. If you need to do this, consider working with trigger-action automation tools instead.

Using Google Contacts integration is a much more seamless way to sync contact information across your software stack than doing CSV imports and exports or other types of data-syncing. Once you set up contact sharing, it immediately starts syncing automatically. You do need to provide a service account with access to your Google Contacts. Once you've done that, the sync happens without any further input.

Automatically sync contact, lead, and company data from Google Contacts to create a more streamlined, efficient solution than importing or exporting contact data.

Steps to turn on syncing for your Google Contacts:

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone
  • Go to Contacts, scroll down
  • Tap Add account/if yo have syned a Google Account to your device just tap Accounts.
  • Tap Add account  and then  Google.
  • You’ll have to follow the instructions to sign in to your Google Account.
  • You can now choose which Google apps to sync with your device. 
  • You can update these settings at any time.
  • Tap Save.
  • To start syncing, open your iPhone's Contacts app.

  1. Categorize contacts with label

This is a very easy technique to use, and it's so good I can’t believe you haven't already figured it out. Labels are such a useful tool, and they've likely been there all along, waiting for you to use them. 

If you don't know what I'm talking about, open the Contacts app and go to your contacts list. Check out the left-hand side of the screen. There will be a list of labels. If you tap on one of those labels, that'll show you all the contacts that have been assigned that label. You can also add new labels from this screen.

Using labels within the Contacts app allows you to create, manage, and organize groups of contacts. Labels can be applied to individual contacts or used in conjunction with other labels to create a hierarchy. For example, you may create the label "friends" and then apply it to friends you have in New York, Houston, and San Francisco. This allows you quickly find your friends' contact information when traveling.

Steps to add labels in Google Contacts:

  • Go to the Google Contacts.
  • Go to the left section named "Labels"
  • Then click Create label.
  • Type a name or labe
  • Click Save.

  1. Backup Contacts

Losing your contacts is fully stressful enough, so imagine also being unable to contact all your work contacts again, or texting without asking first, or not being sure who is texting you even if you ask. 

This is why it’s important to back up your contacts and restore them from a CSV or vCard file should you lose your phone. There are two ways to backup your Android contacts via Google Contacts: either in the Google Contacts app itself if you have an Android device with Lollipop or later, or by exporting them in a CSV file and uploading them to Google Contacts. 

You can do the same thing on iOS devices running iOS 10.3 and above by creating a backup on iCloud and then restoring it in Google Contacts.

Steps to Back up & sync device contacts by saving them as Google contacts:

  • Open the "Settings" app on your Android phone or tablet.
  • Tap Google and then Settings for Google apps
  • Then Google Contacts sync and then Also sync device contacts and then Automatically back up & sync device contacts.
  • Turn on Automatically back up & sync device contacts.
  • Pick the Googlr account you’d like your contacts to be saved in. 
  • Note that your contacts can only be automatically saved to one Google Account. 

  1. Clean Up Contact Names

Here's how to clean up your messy contacts list. Google Contacts is a handy way to organize the people in your life, no matter which platforms you use, with shared groups, favorite labels, and custom filters. But over time, your digital contacts book can become a mess.

 If opening your Google Contacts list makes you recoil in horror, you can take action to clean up your contacts list and make it more usable. Here's what you should do.

Now that your contact list is full of people with whom you actually talk, you should begin to review those entries. Look for duplicate names and other issues, refining each entry until each one clearly identifies one person. Because Siri and similar apps rely on name entries, it's important to have an unambiguous name for each contact.

Some of the issues that you may face are:

  • Contacts with no last name listed
  • Contacts with only an initial instead of a full first or last name
  • Multiple contacts with the same name
  • Entries from ancient contact books when you couldn't save multiple numbers per contact, such as "[Name] Cell" or "[Name] Work"
  • People whose last names have changed, perhaps after they got married
  • Any other unclear entries

Editorial Team

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