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Gmail Contacts – Address book application

Gmail Contacts

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.

Gmail Contacts is like an address book application

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.

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Make new Gmail 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.

Creating a Gmail Contacts group

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.

Grouping Gmail contacts – address book organization

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.

  • Slide 1
  • Slide 2
  • Slide 3
  • Slide 4
  • Slide 5
  • Slide 6
  • Slide 7
  • Slide 8
  • Slide 9
  • Slide 10
  1. Open the Gmail Contacts section by clicking the “Contacts” link on the left panel.
  2. The first column would have the three default groups while the second column lists the contacts – [Slide 1].
  3. To add a new contact, hit the top-left icon which brings up a blank form in the third column. You can create a new Gmail Contact by supplying just the email address, but I would advice inserting the name too.
    The form to add a new Contact is Gmail is pretty simple and you would probably be able to figure it out quickly. Just one note: The “add” links that you find beside some fields let you insert another column of the same type. For instance, if the Contact has a second email address, click the “add” link to get one more blank email field and then type it in – [Slide 2].
  4. There are two ways to make a Gmail Contacts Group. You can either create a blank one at the start or select a few contacts and then put them in a group.
  5. The straightforward way to make a Group is to click the “New Group” icon – [Slide 3]. Enter the name of the group in the small window that pops up and click “OK” – [Slide 4]. The newly added Group is listed in the first column – [Slide 5].
  6. This group is, however, empty. To add contacts, select them from the second column and then pick the group name from the drop down – [Slide 6].
  7. A success message at the top informs you that the contacts have been ‘moved’ to the specified group – [Slide 7].
  8. An alternate way to create a Gmail Contacts Group is to first select the contacts [Slide 8], then click the “New Group” icon and type in the group name in the pop-up – [Slide 9].
  9. A new group will be created and with all the contacts you had selected – [Slide 10].

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.

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