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Improving Contacts In OS X El Capitan

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, OS X | Posted on 27-11-2015

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Make Your OS X Contacts BetterHaving trouble with your contacts in Apple’s latest OS X update El Capitan? Trying to get to know your contacts better? With every new operating system Apple releases, there are changes and things you are going to have to tinker with. Here are some helpful tips for improving your contacts in OS X El Capitan.

Add Fields

One of the more useful things you will find in Contacts are Fields. Launch Contacts Preferences and then choose Template. Use the Add Field drop-down menu to add fields to your Contacts. You can add things like Twitter handles for contacts as they aren’t enabled by default. All you have to do is select Twitter in the drop-down list.

Birthday

You can use Contacts in conjunction with Automator in order to automate the sending of birthday greetings via email. This is useful for not only remembering birthdays but also for gaining a little insight into Automator and how it can help you in other ways.

Smart Groups Are The Best

You can create Smart Groups by going to File > New Smart Group. From here you can set up different parameters across the four search fields. You can add additional search filters by pressing the + button and you can use this to also create groups that will automatically be updated. This includes Card Contains Apple or Birthday Is In The Next Week. A majority of users don’t realize that Smart Groups is a thing though it can really help when working on a project or with a group.

Get Rid Of Duplications

Contact Books can easily become overloaded by data that we don’t necessarily need. This includes duplicates of contact addresses. In Contacts go to Card > Link Selected Cards from the Menu. This will minimize everything to a single listing.

Use Contacts Cleaner

Contacts Cleaner, which only costs $4.99 from the Mac App Store, is a fantastic tool that helps you fix problems. It will inform you about errors in your database, including duplicate addresses or bad phone numbers. In addition to that, it also offers to resolve problems for you and allows you to edit records if you want or need to fix problems manually.

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Suggested Contacts

In El Capitan, Mail can detect when you receive new information for a contact, allowing you to update the contact card from inside the mail app. It also identifies whenever a new person makes contact. You can find contact info in your Contacts app, which identifies itself as “Found in Mail”.

Siri

Nickname and Related Name are two fields that are very handy. Enable either of these and you will be able to define your relationship with contacts or give them nicknames. After you’ve assigned roles or names to your key contacts you can use Siri more effectively with your iOS device.

Organization

Try organizing your existing contacts into different groups using File > New Group. Create a name for the group and place the appropriate amount of contacts there. Then you can decide what the groups are for, i.e. friends, colleagues, family, etc… This makes it easier for you to find and manage your contacts.

Check Your Default Account

If you don’t seem to be getting regular updates to your Contacts then you should ensure that you have the correct default account configured across all of your Macs and devices. Open Contacts and go to Preferences > General and look for the lowest item in the list marked as Default Account. Set this to iCloud as this is where the new contacts will be added by default.

Links

Duplicate contacts can cause problems, especially when using multiple email accounts. You could very well see two entries for the same person in your address book, one for Gmail and another for iCloud. To eliminate this press Command and select the cards. Then choose Card > Link Selected Cards from the Menu. This will make them a single listing.

That’s really all there is to it. If you are having problems with your Contacts or you simply want to make them easier to navigate and more organized then follow these tips and you’ll have them all sorted out in no time!

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Comments (3)

+1 for Contact Cleaner!

I had serious issues with dup contacts after last update, but that did the job quickly. Thanks for the rec.

What would have been more helpful would be to provide the process for being able to actually “access” my contacts.

You can even use Contacts in combination with Automator to automate sending birthday greetings by email . This is a useful project to get into in order to gain insight into how Automator can help you in other ways.

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