Google Contacts Needs Work

Last weekend I spent 8 hours organizing Google Contacts. Cleaning up my 2000+ contacts in Google took some work! Yes you read right, 8 hours. How is Google behind such a poorly conceived app? Don’t get me wrong, if there was anything else better to unify and organize my contacts, I’d be using that instead of griping in this post. There’s isn’t (yet). And please don’t recommend Rainmaker to me, that application suffers from an ugly user experience.

Google Contacts Can Be Bigger Than Gmail

Google Contacts needs workI understand that Google Contacts hasn’t had much attention. It was kind of an “afterthought” as part of Gmail, and it was barely two years ago that Google Contacts got its own standalone page. The numerous guides on how to use Google Contacts properly is an indicator of its many quirks, and annoyances. When is Google going to realize that Google Contacts deserves its own team and own blog, because a contact manager is more important than the medium with which we use to communicate.

Annoying Google Contacts Issues

Here are some behaviors of Google Contacts that drive me up a wall:

  1. Don’t auto add email addresses as new contacts when I “Reply All” to an email. Do you know how many “Mom” contacts I have now? If a friend sends a pic to her family and friends and I respond to it, it does not make her Mom my contact.
  2. @ signs aren’t part of a person’s name unless I’m a rapper. When I’m merging two contacts be smarter. Why the heck would you EVER take a string with the “@” sign as the name, over their actual name which you discarded?
  3. Don’t add an email as a contact just because I emailed them once. No sophistication or planning done here, eh? So many annoying scenarios here:
    1. If I make a spelling mistake, I get a message failure from the Postmaster, I have to resend an email (and btw this is another annoying one). Except I also have to delete that spelling mistake because it will show up at least 3 or 4 more times in the auto complete along with the correct email address when I compose a new message to them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stared at the auto complete options going, “oh crap, which one was it again?”
    2. Sometimes you’re emailing someone off Craigslist or some temporary thing. Immediately I’d implement this rule. Don’t add the person as a contact unless they’ve also replied or emailed you once too. So there has be a two way exchange before Google Contacts considers them my Contact.
  4. Don’t add an email as a contact just because they’ve emailed ME. Similar to #3. This has got to stop. And you can add some obvious filters too. Email addresses that have the phrases “postmaster” or “do-not-reply” are NOT contacts I need saved in my address book. Ignore them and never add them to my Contacts.

I’m waiting for either a killer startup to come along and surprise me with an awesome personal contact manager, or wait for Google to buck up and gives Google Contacts more than a twitter account that hasn’t been active since June!

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3 Responses to “Google Contacts Needs Work”

  1. Nami Dadlani December 7, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

    I agree!! It drives me crazy how many random contacts I have to go through and delete because gmail has decided to auto add any email address that have had either email me or sent an email to. Argh!!!!!

  2. Anonymous December 8, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    I discovered another one while sending out my announcement for Flow Simple. When you send an email to a group, it doesn’t just send out a message to the “primary” email address. It send it out to ALL associated email addresses of the contact. LAME…

  3. Leslie A. Joy January 11, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    Google Contacts automatically adding things from Postmaster and Do-Not-Reply is my biggest problem with them. I hate it. I honestly don’t even use Google Contacts because I got so frustrated at the 8-hours-to-clean-it-up-problem. I use a text document to keep track of my clients/editors information and store it in a folder. There’s no syncing and it’s not as convenient, but it keeps me from getting ready to throw my computer at a wall due t frustration with Google Contacts.

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