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Introduction

Google Contacts is a free contact management tool that is part of the Google Workspace family of web applications. It's popular among small businesses because it's included with Google Apps and works well alongside Google's other apps. Both for commercial and personal purposes.

Google Contacts is a service that allows you to store and manage contact information for your organization. It is part of GSuite, which also includes Gmail and Google Calendar. Google Contacts is free to use and can be used in conjunction with other applications for business email and scheduling.

How can you use Google Contacts to manage your business' contact information? In this guide, we'll examine best practices for Google Contacts.

What is Google Contacts?

Simply put, Google Contacts is a contact management system that is developed by Google. It is also available as an Android Mobile Application, a Web App, or you can also see it on the sidebar of Gmail as a part of Google Workspace. 

Google Contacts originated as a Gmail feature called Google Sync in 2007, and was later released as the standalone Android app for Nexus devices in 2010. It was made available to all devices with the latest version of Android in 2015. A web app was released the same year, featuring a redesigned user interface that returned to Gmail in 2020, now part of Google Workspace.

Why use Google Contacts?

Already using Google Contacts? I bet you are, even if you don’t realize it. But now that we’re on a quest of incorporating Google Contacts into our business routine and making the most out of it, let’s evaluate whether it’s worth the hype or not. 

Spoiler alert: It is. 

Here are some of the things you can do in Google Contacts to improve your productivity.

  • Create, store, and organize the contact information of everyone associated with you and your organization.
  • Create groups to manage every part of people in different departments at once.
  • Backup and sync your contacts with Gmail to update them regularly and correctly.
  • Look up and share contact information easily for anyone within your company.
  • Import and export your contacts safely.

In case you are wondering or confused about how to import contacts from Google Contacts, you can refer to this detailed guide on importing contacts from Google Contacts.

However, this is not a complete list of uses for Google Contacts. With its flawless integration with the rest of the Google Workspace Applications. You can elevate the productivity and effectiveness of your Gmail and Google Calendar accounts as well as that of any other Google-centric services you may use to communicate with others. 

When combined with Contact Management Systems (CMS) like ContactBook and PieSync from Hubspot, your results are optimized to be truly remarkable—and a pleasure to manage.

How does Google Contacts work?

Google Contacts mostly works backstage to keep your contacts on Gmail up-to-date and well-organized. For a fact, it is more than just an address book. 

Google Contacts has evolved well enough to offer you multiple fields of information and segmentation options to manage and organize your contact data — both on your mobile devices and emails as well. 

Contacts are pulled automatically to Google Contacts from your Gmail, but it also gives you the right to edit, enrich, and create new contacts manually. 

Below we are going to learn how Google Contacts work in various ways.

Organizing Your Contacts

You can add labels to your contacts. Yes. You can label your contacts in groups that make sense for your organization or team. 

For Example, ‘Unengaged Customer’, ‘New Leads’, ‘Customers’, ‘Sales Team’, and ‘Marketing Team’.

Therefore, adding labels to your contacts or group of contacts can segregate the professional and personal contacts on the Google Contacts account to make sure there is no confusion or that they don’t get mixed up. 

On the Google Contacts’ homepage, these labels appear on the left-hand sidebar. It makes it easy for you to visualize which contacts are in which group. It also displays how many contacts are in each group. 

In addition to visualizing the labels, you can also review all contacts, contacts that are frequently contacted, other contacts, and contacts that can be fixed or merged. 

Contacts VS Other Contacts

You might notice that you can see ‘Contacts’ on the sidebar and ‘Other Contacts’ at the very bottom. But what is the difference between these two majorly?

So on Contacts, you can see the contacts that you have added manually or those contacts that were added to Google Contacts via integration of CMS (Contact Management System) or contact sync. 

However, if you have emailed someone and don’t have them saved as contacts, then Google Contacts automatically saves their email in your ‘Other Contacts’ group. So in case next time you wish to email them, their email address will automatically showcase on your Gmail as an autofill feature. 

You can also transfer the contacts from ‘Other Contacts’ to ‘Contacts’. Why should you do that?  Because in the future if you ever sync your Google Contacts database to other applications then only the contacts stored in ‘Contacts’ will be synced. 

Therefore briefly, ‘Contacts’ is your actual contact list to use and edit. While ‘Other Contacts’ holds everyone you have ever contracted with via Gmail so that you don’t have to keep memorizing their email addresses. 

Merging Contacts

It is not abnormal to come across duplicate contacts in Gmail or Google Contacts when your Google Contacts are synced and integrated with multiple platforms like Contact Management Systems.

Having duplicate contacts also means that you may have multiple contact records that belong to the same person which implies that these different contacts store different bits of information under one name. 

Well, fortunately, Google Contacts has a convenient option to merge and fix contacts. It automatically identifies contact records that might be duplicated and shows them under the option of ‘Merge & Fix’ on Google Contacts. This option is visible on the left side of the menu bar. 

Follow the steps below to learn how to ‘Merge & Fix’ contacts.

  • On your left, you will see an option ‘Merge & Fix’; click that option.
  • Now, you’ll see a series of duplicated contacts. 
  • You can either select all or manually select the ones you want to merge. 
  • Once selected, you can click on the option ‘Merge All’.

How to edit Google Contacts?

In this ever-evolving world, everyone keeps changing something or the other. Some change phones, whereas some change numbers. 

And how to keep up with people changing numbers who are associated with you or your business. By updating them. May it be manually or automatically. 

The question remains the same. How to edit Google Contacts? 

To edit and update a contact’s information (email, address, phone number, etc) you can click on them        and then update any and every information on your contact. Just don't forget to ‘Save Changes’. 


Apart from just updating contact numbers for your contacts, you can do some advance editing as well with the help of Google Contacts. 

Undo Changes

Mistakes happen, particularly when updating your contacts. Fortunately, Google Contacts makes it easy to undo changes by clicking on the settings icon in the top right corner of the screen and clicking on Undo Changes. 

After you have chosen a time from which to revert, the system will ask you to verify a time before proceeding with the undo.



Contacts Directory

If your organization uses G Suite/Google Workspace and Google Contacts, then you will be able to see an option on the left-hand side of the sidebar that you do not have on your personal Google Contacts account: the Contact Directory.

Now when you go to this Contact Directory, you will notice certain contacts that you have not entered. So how did they end up there?

So basically, this directory is a list of users and email addresses under your organization’s domain. This is how Google auto-completes the email addresses of your colleagues and schedules meetings with anyone in your organization, even when you have never emailed them before. 

It's the system administrator that controls which email addresses are visible in the directory. They also hold the right to remove contacts. 

What are Contact Groups?

If you are like most of the people out there who use Gmail, then it is likely that your contact list has a variety of contacts in it, including your friends, family members, classmates, colleagues, business partners, and more. 

The size of this list has grown since it includes not only all of the people with whom you have corresponded via email and phone but also those with whom you have corresponded via Google Voice or Google Chat. 

Fortunately, a feature in Gmail called labeling allows you to organize your contacts into specific groups—family members, friends, co-workers, business associates—which makes it easier to access the contact information that you need.

Groups - To be precise, creating groups on Google Contacts is a piece of cake. And how to create groups on Google Contact?

  • Go to Google Contacts.
  • Log in with the Gmail account you use. 
  • After logging in, go to the menu section on the left-hand side of the screen.
  • Click on ‘Groups’.
  • And then choose ‘New Group’ to create the new group you want. 

How to Import and Export Contacts?

Importing Contacts

When you log into your Google Contacts, at the top of the screen is a link to import contacts. At that screen, click Upload .csv or .vCard File and choose the files from which you’d like to import contacts. 

Steps to follow.

  • On your computer, go to Google Contacts.
  • At the left, click Import.
  • Click Select File.
  • Choose your file.
  • Click Import.

Give your contacts a label so that you can easily find them in your list of contacts. 

Keep in mind that you can only upload 3000 contacts per singular session. So if you have a lot of contacts and need to migrate to Google, make sure you export your contacts into multiple files, each limited to 3000 contacts.

Exporting Contacts

With having Google Contacts, it doesn’t only have data incoming but also requires exporting contacts. If you wish to have a neat file with all your contacts that have accumulated over the years, for example, to put it in a Contact Management System, you can export it in just a couple of clicks. 

And how to do so? How to export Google Contacts?

  • Go to Google Contacts.
  • Select one of the following: A single contact: Check the box next to the contact name. ...
  • In the top left, click More actions. Export.
  • To back up your contacts, select Google CSV.
  • To save your file, click Export.

Export formats supported by Google Contacts are. CSV and vCard.

Sync Google Contacts with Android

How to sync Google Contacts with Android? Follow the steps below to do so.

  • On your Android phone or tablet, open the "Settings" app.
  • Tap Google and then Settings for Google apps.
  • And then click 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 account you’d like your contacts to be saved in. 

Your contacts can only be automatically saved to one Google Account. 

Sync Google Contacts with iOS

How to sync Google Contacts with iOS? Follow the steps below to do so.

  • On your iPhone or iPad, open the Settings app.
  • Tap Contacts. You might need to scroll down.
  • Tap Add account. 
  • In case you've already synced a Google Account to your device, tap Accounts.
  • Tap Add Account  and then  Google.
  • Follow the instructions to sign in to your Google Account.
  • Choose which Google apps to sync with your device. 
  • You can update these settings at any time.
  • Tap Save.

Your contacts can only be automatically saved to one Google Account. 

How to manage and share Google Contacts?

To enhance productivity, businesspeople frequently outsource work to others; in the world of business, frequently implies sharing connections. 

As a result, business people need to know when to turn to others for help; in our case, giving access to contacts. It turns out that sharing Google Contacts is easy!

Although there are a few requirements like:

  • The administrator of Contact Directory will have to enable contact sharing. 
  • You can share contacts only with people residing in the same domain as you. 
  • Only a PC or a laptop must be used to access the delegated contacts and not a phone or tablet.

Once all the requirements stated above are met, you can start to share contacts by clicking 'Invite Delegate' in the 'Delegate Access' section of Settings. 

Also, remember that whenever you give access to contacts to your delegates, you can type in up to 25 names at once, separated by commas.

Two of the most common ways to share contacts in Google are through sending them as email attachments or sending them via Google Drive. While the former is the most natural way of sharing, it is not the most productive one. 

Since we are interested in improving productivity, let's look into alternative methods of contact-sharing other than Google Contacts. One of the quickest and easiest ways is approaching its business style - with a Contact Management System. 

This type of comprehensive solution allows multiple people to collaborate on the same project at once, even if they are not working on the same page. The benefit of using a Contact Management System is that you can access your contacts from any computer within seconds!

Contact Management Systems offer a quick and easy way to manage and organize contacts. Some of the most popular Contact Management Systems other than Google Contacts are ContactBook, Contacts+, and Piesync by Hubspot.

Out of all of the platforms mentioned, ContactBook seems to be the comprehensive solution for managing and sharing your contacts. How?

Because it offers a platform that:

  • Gets all your contacts in one place by centralizing data.
  • Adds notes, reminders, documents, labels and more to keep your address book organized.
  • Lets you access contacts anywhere and everywhere with the help of its cloud storage system. 
  • Has a clutter-free address book with a friendly user interface. 
  • Easiest import and export, backup and sync, and sharing with other platforms. 
  • Makes communication and collaboration easier within and outside the team.

ContactBook offers so much more than the points stated above. To know more about it check this out

How to backup Google Contacts?

You belong to one of the sides of the world. Which are: Android or iOS. Don't worry, in any case, it is possible for you to backup Google Contacts.

Android

When we talk about Android, If your Android device contains a cache of contacts, you are indeed lucky. Most likely, these contacts are automatically backing up to your Google Contacts without you having to intervene. You can ensure everything is working properly by checking your Settings; System backup should be on with Google Contacts synchronized with Contacts.

You can also follow the steps below to ensure backup: 

  • Open the "Settings" app on your Android phone or tablet.
  • Tap Google
  • Then Tap Settings for Google apps 
  • Then tap Google Contacts sync
  • And then, sync device contacts 
  • Automatically back up & sync device contacts.
  • Turn on Automatically back up & sync device contacts.
  • Pick the account you’d like your contacts to be saved in. 

Your contacts can only be automatically saved to one Google Account. 

iPhone

If you are an avid Apple user, setting up Google Contacts sync should be easy for you. First, you will need to download the Google Drive app from your App Store. Once you have enabled backup in Settings, any contacts that currently exist on your device will automatically be imported into Google Contacts. For the final step in this process, simply add your Gmail account in the account section of Settings and ensure contacts backup is enabled.

You can also follow the steps below to ensure backup:

  • On your iPhone or iPad, go to the Settings app.
  • Scroll down and tap Contacts. 
  • Tap Add account. 
  • In case, if you've already synced a Google Account to your device, tap Accounts.
  • Tap Add Account and then go to Google.
  • Follow the instructions and sign in to your Google Account.
  • Choose which Google apps to sync with your device. 
  • Note that you can update these settings at any time.
  • Tap Save.

And you are done with backing up your Google Contacts on iPhone. 

How to integrate Google Contacts with other Applications?

Connecting Google Contacts with other systems is easy. Here's how to connect your contacts to one of these services. It's possible to connect your Google Contacts with other tools you're using to store contact data. 

Google Contacts integrates with many popular online services, including Google Calendar and Google Maps, as well as many email service providers.

For example, you can connect Google Contacts with other tools from Google or outside the company's ecosystem. Let's take a look at how these integrations work.

Syncing Google Contacts With Other Google Apps

By creating and maintaining your Google Contacts list, you can then access that information on any of your Google apps.

To do this, simply go to your Gmail account or your Google Account home and then click on the icon with nine dots in the top right corner. 

By using apps like Calendar, Tasks, and Google Docs, you can have access to all of your contacts' contact information at any time. 

With just one click, you can schedule an appointment with a colleague or simply schedule a meeting—and all you'll need is their email address.

Google Maps

Integrating Google Contacts and Google Maps makes it easy to get directions to someone's house. If you are heading to a friend's house but can't remember how to get there, type their name in the search bar on Google Maps, and their address will automatically appear. 

If you are going to a client meeting in their office, you can easily find their address by typing their name into the search bar. 

This only works if there is a valid address attached to the contact record for that person, as well as when you are logged into the same Google account on both Google Maps and Google Contacts.

Google Calendar

Google Calendar lets you share your calendar with coworkers and guests. To set up a meeting in Google Calendar, you can begin typing the name of someone who's already in your Google Contacts list. 

For example, type in "Carrie" and your contacts will automatically appear as suggestions. If you have contacts outside your organization, simply add them to Google Contacts first and then create a meeting. 

You can even create meetings with internal contacts without needing their email addresses by going to the directory within the Contacts app. 

If a contact has a birthday on their Google Contacts profile, it will also show up on your Google Calendar. This only works if you have included a birthdate for them on Google Contacts.

For internal contacts, start typing their name in the 'Add Guests' box and their contact information will automatically appear as suggestions. This only works if you have included an event for them on Google Contacts.

Integrating Google Contacts With Your Other Tools 

Google Contacts supports integration with apps that are part of the Google ecosystem and also with apps that store contact data separately. 

You can import and export contact data in CSV format and integrate contacts stored in separate sources using third-party integration apps. Learn more about importing and exporting contacts, as well as managing contact information from different sources.

Importing and Exporting Via CSV Files

Google Contacts offers an automated method of exporting contact information in the form of CSV files. 

When you visit your Google Contacts page, you will see the options to export your contacts as CSV files on the left-hand sidebar. There are three methods available when it comes to exporting your contacts: Google CSV files, Excel files hosted by Microsoft (email clients such as Outlook), and vCard files. 

You do not necessarily need to export your entire contact database on Google Contacts — you can choose to only export a certain subset of your contacts, such as those labeled 'Work'.

Conclusion

We hope you got everything you need to know about Google Contacts. However, Google Contacts work even more productively and better with great integrations like Contact Management Systems like ContactBook. 

Everything we talked about in this blog regarding importing contacts, exporting contacts, email addresses, merging duplicates, contacts app, editing and managing phone numbers, contact list and directory, contacts group, google apps, integrations, and so much more works as a comprehensive guide to google contacts for you.

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