Gmail lets you store some data of the people you correspond with in what is called the “Gmail Contacts“. This is like a basic version of the address book application used by programs such as Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail. On this page, I will provide a quick introduction to Gmail Contacts (Address Book) and some of its features so that you are able to save time and increase productivity.
To open the Gmail Contacts section, click the “Contacts” link in the left panel. You’ll see the list of Contact Groups in the first column and the name / email of your contacts in the second. Let us see how we can create a new contact.
Click the “New Contact” icon to get a blank form. You don’t need to fill all the fields of this form to create a new contact – an email address and name are enough. If the contact has more than one email address, click the small “add” link to insert a new blank field. You can also have a custom field inserted in this form. Anyway, once you’ve entered all the information, hit the “Save” button to add the new contact to your Gmail address book.
Gmail contacts can also be segregated into groups – and yes, a particular individual can be part of two or more groups. How are Gmail Contacts groups useful? They save quite a bit of time when you plan to send emails frequently to the same bunch of people. Instead of adding individuals one by one in the Cc or Bcc fields (as detailed in how to send email to multiple recipients), you only need to specify the group name. Though it can be quite an arduous task segregating hundreds of Gmail Contacts into groups, remember the effort has to be put only once. The convenience that results from having this information organized far outweighs the time you invest.
There are three groups already made in the Gmail Contacts section – “Friends“, “Family” and “Coworkers“. You can also create more – custom groups. Below are the steps to do this – please refer screenshots when in doubt.
As I had mentioned before, the most important benefit of having groups of Gmail Contacts is the ease with which you would be able to send messages to multiple recipients (all the contacts in a group). For instructions, refer how to send a group email in Gmail.
The email system invented by Ray Tomlinson at ARPA wasn't considered important. It was not a directive of the defence organization and Tomlinson was very hushed-up about it. He told a colleague "Don't tell anyone! This isn't what we're supposed to be working on." [more...]