Keeping up with…everyone

One of the features of the Motorola Droid (and other Google phones I guess) is that you can use your Gmail contacts as your phone contacts. I talked about importing my old phone contacts before but one of the results was a plethora of duplicate contacts and overlapping contacts.

For instance, I usually had one phone contact for couples and used the pink phone icon for the wife and the blue phone icon for the husband. This made it easy to search and since my old phone had a 99 contact limit, I saved room for more contacts.

Of course, when merged with my Gmail contacts, there’s a lot of editing involved but nothing too difficult. That is, until I discover how many phone numbers I have for certain people. There are even cases where I have an entry for Bob and Carol Smith as well as Carol and Bob Smith – but there are different numbers between them.

That’s why this past Sunday, I spent several hours combing through my Gmail reviewing every contact I have for accuracy and repetition. What I discovered was that Gmail remembers too many contacts.

As it turns out, if you send or receive someone an email , Gmail seems to keep them as a contact, even if it was only once. I had several contacts from craigslist postings and customer support emails. And while those are easy enough to identify for removable, the other contacts typically had names or appeared worth keeping.

The real difficulty for me is that my wife and I share our Gmail account so many of those contacts could be people she knows and wants to keep. In fact, we use our one Gmail account to handle several different email addresses from personal accounts to the websites I manage. Thus we had over 900 contacts to sort through. I can only imagine what those power users have to deal with.

I haven’t finished sorting through the list but I did make great progress. Soon I’ll start asking people for more info like birthdays, street address, webpages, etc so my contact list is more complete and easier to maintain. But for now, I have 791 contacts still to go. Check that, 789.

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