Cleaning Your Contacts
One of Gmail’s “features” can leave you with extra entries in your Contacts list. Gmail has a (debatably) nice feature that automatically adds to your Contacts list the email addresses of those to whom you send emails. While this can be helpful at times, just remember that EVERY unique email address you send to gets auto-added.
Log into your Gmail account and click on the “Contacts” link at the top of any Gmail page. A window will open displaying any Contacts you may have. Any you have manually edited will typically have a “Name” and possibly a “Note” associated with it. By default, any Contact Gmail auto-adds and is unedited will not contain any “name” or “note” information, just the email address. Visually scan down the list and look for any that fall into this category. If you find one, determine what to do with it: Delete is, Edit it, or leave it alone. Obviously what you do with it is up to you,
New feature! Import Contacts
For the best explanation of just how to Import Contacts, log into your Gmail account, click on Contacts, and click on the new “Import Contacts” link at the top of the Contacts screen.
But what can you import and how do you import? Gmail will let you import address books into Contacts from Yahoo!, Orkut, Outlook, and pretty much any other service by uploading CSV (Comma Separated Value) files to your Gmail account. You can even manually edit and create CVS files for importing using Microsoft Excel.
Just remember that currently, Gmail’s Contacts fields are limited to just “Name”, “Email Address”, and “Notes”. According to the Help screen, all other fields will be imported into the Notes field.
Find Your Unread Messages
Want a quick and easy way to view all of your “Unread” messages? If you have assigned Labels and archived unread messages, finding them later can sometines be challenging. Simply create a Gmail Label named “Unread”, and you will see all of your unread mail in that folder. Though there are other ways to display unread messages, the nice thing about this method is that it displays the number of unread messages right in the Label list.
Creating a Pseudo Address Group!
Although Gmail doesn’t currently support Groups in your Contacts, you can simulate a Group list by doing the following:
Create a new Contact
In the “Name” field, enter the name of your Group (eg “My Friends”)
In the “E-mail” field, enter your list of email addresses in the following format
Improved and New Contacts Features!
The “Contacts” function has been enhanced to provide some additional functionality, and now adopts the familiar Gmail interface.
Gmail now displays a “Contacts” link in the left column under the “standard views” (Inbox, Starred, etc.) and just above the Labels. Clicking on the link brings up a nicely formatted display that matches the style of the rest og GMail. It displays the contact name, email address, Note, and any additional information (see below). At the top are two “tabs” that display “Frequently Mailed” and “All Contacts”. I don’t know what the criteria for “Frequently Mailed” is, but it does contain the most-used contacts.
Here are some new or expanded features:
Clicking on a contact displays the contact information as well as “Recent Conversations” associated with that contact. Clicking on one of these entries opens it normally with all options available. Very nice.
ADD MORE CONTACT INFO
Clicking on “Edit” allows you to update the basic contact information (Names, Email Address, Note). But there’s a new link: “Add More Contact Info” which lets you add additional “Sections” of information. For example, by default there are “Personal” and “Work” sections defined. Each section contains a Section Name field, Two user-selectable “fields” and an “Address” block. Each User Field has a drop-down label containing the following selectable labels: Phone, Mobile, FAX, Pager, Email, IM, Company, Title, Other. You can also add additional fields as needed.
Near the top of the Contacts screen is a Search field and a “Search Contacts” button. Entering text into this field and clicking the button returns all contacts that BEGINS WITH the text. This is important to know because it will search ALL contact fields (even the :extended fields) for words beginning with the entered text. For example, entering “Ste” would return “Stephanie”, “Steve”, and “Stewart” but entering “phani” would not return “Stephanie”. Obviously, it would be nice to have extended search capabilities, but this is an excellent start!
Google Gmail Minibrowser
“The Google Deskbar includes a minibrowser that you can use to quickly open your Gmail account in convenient window that automatically hides and can be accessed with a keyboard shortcut. Read on for more information about this tool…
The Google Deskbar is a little Google search tool for Windows taskbar. It can do most of the Google searches using shortcut keys too. (See the link for a picture.) It also include Google’s “Minibrowser” which is fast and cute. If you press Ctrl-Alt-G—by default, you can turn it off—you’ll go right to the bar. Typing a search, by default, will open in the mini browser—again you can turn it off if you want or have it use your default browser (Firefox, etc).
So here’s the tip: Go to Options > Customized Searches > Add. Name it “Gmail” and put in the url: https://gmail.google.com/gmail. For the shortcut I used Ctrl M. So if I press Ctrl alt G, then Ctrl M, instant GMail window in the Google Minibrowser! Awesome.
(Google Desktop isn’t included in the default searches either. (Yet!) But you can also add it in the customize dialogue to search your desktop just as easily. Since the minibrowser vanishes automatically it’s tres convenient to find a file!)