Best practices for managing contacts?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by EricT43, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. EricT43 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    #1
    Hi everyone. I just recently got an iPhone, and in order to take advantage of some of the cool features of it, I've learned that it's important to have a detailed and well-maintained contacts database.

    Here's my problem - between Gmail, Hotmail, my Exchange account at work, the address book on OS X, and my Outlook client, I've got a total mess on my hands. When I look for contacts on my iPhone, I sometimes see several listings for the same person, each with different bits of information.

    It seems that I will have to buckle down and rebuild from scratch. Ideally I'd like all my personal contacts in a single place that I control, and all my work contacts on my Exchange account.

    What would you guys recommend that I use for my personal contacts? The OS X address book? That will sync with my iPhone, I think. But I don't think it will sync with my Outlook, will it? If I put them in on Outlook, how would I get them to sync with my phone?

    :confused::confused::confused:
     
  2. EricT43 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    #2
    After some research and testing, I believe I've come upon a workable solution. First, I had to turn off contact syncing in iCloud, which would be redundant.

    1. Exchange will be my master source of work contacts. They sync to my iPhone via the Exchange account, and to my Outlook 2011 for Mac client the same way. They also sync to my Address Book, because I have the same Exchange account set up in Apple Mail as well.

    2. Gmail will be the master source of personal contacts. They sync to my iPhone via Google Sync, where you set up, in addition to the normal Gmail account, an Exchange account that only syncs contacts and calendar. I only use Exchange for my calendar, so for now I only sync the contacts.

    3. Gmail contacts indirectly sync to Outlook 2011. First, I set Address Book to sync with Gmail. Then, Outlook 2011 can be configured to sync contacts with the Address Book. So when using Outlook 2011 with my Gmail account, I will indirectly have access to all my Gmail contacts.

    I would really prefer to use Mail instead of Outlook to make things simpler, but unfortunately it doesn't work well with Gmail. For those of you that have tried it, you probably know that Mail adds labels to Gmail messages, which is kind of annoying when you're using the web client.
     
  3. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #3
    I think your solution is a good idea, but I tend to keep my Exchange contacts (work) completely separate, and only use Outlook for the work stuff. One less thing to coordinate. YMMV.

    I use Mail with Gmail and haven't had the "problem" you describe. Gmail is IMAP, so Mail is designed to be able to add labels to Gmail. And vice versa. I must be missing something because I've never had it put a label on something that I didn't want there.

    Rob
     
  4. EricT43 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    #4
    Rob, thanks for your feedback. Were you saying that you use Outlook only for work, and use a different mail/contact/calendar client for your personal stuff? Seems like a good approach to me, I will consider that. I like the convenience of having everything together, but there are certainly advantages in keeping them completely seperated.

    As far as IMAP issues, I noticed that I have a label in Gmail called "Deleted Messages", which contains messages that I have probably deleted in Mail.app. It looks like when I delete something in Mail, it is actually archiving and applying the "Deleted Messages" label in Gmail. I would like those messages to go to Gmail's "Trash". Any idea how to accomplish that?

    I'm getting something similar with "Sent Messages" and "Junk E-mail".
     
  5. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #5
    Gmail really removes labels and doesn't do anything but dump stuff into an archive (all mail) when you "move" it from a folder. They have some help files that explain the process. Labels you set up in the web browser will automatically show up as folders in Mail.

    Rob
     
  6. EricT43 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    #6
    The issue that I'm having is that Gmail is applying labels based on actions I am taking on the Mail client.

    For example:
    1. I receive an email that is sent to me and a couple other people.
    2. I read it and delete it from Mail.
    3. Later on, someone replies to the message.
    4. Now in Gmail, I see the reply, threaded along with the original message, and now the thread has a "Deleted Items" label on it.
     
  7. gyorpb macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    #7
    That is because some messages in the thread are in the Deleted Items folder. If you set up Mail to use the correct GMail labels for the standard folders (Sent, Trash, Drafts and Junk), and you set the correct IMAP folder prefix ([Google Mail]), things work just fine.

    It is GMail that insists on doing things in convoluted ways, all designed to discourage the actual deletion of emails, since GMail is first and foremost a data mining system for Google, and only a free email service as an afterthought. In other words: you need to apply a few settings in GMail to make it behave as a proper IMAP server.

    .tsooJ
     
  8. EricT43 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    #8
    Thanks for the reply, I will review those Mail settings when I get home tonight.
     
  9. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a

    dianeoforegon

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Location:
    Oregon
    #9
    You have to drag to the Gmail Trash folder to actually delete. If they go to Deleted Messages folder, I think you would then need to go into your browser and move to Trash.

    ----------

    I use [Gmail] as IMAP root folder. Just tried [Google Mail] and it removed all the default folders. YMMV
     
  10. gyorpb macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    #10
    Yeah, like I said, GMail is incredibly weird in its IMAP implementation. I have several GMail/Google Apps accounts and they all behave slightly differently.

    It's that they offer a plethora of free tools and a rather spiffy web interface, or I would have ditched them for different email provider that offers more rigid standards compliance.

    Right now, I'm battling their calendar and contacts syncing interfaces. They don't seem to work quite as expected, either.

    .tsooJ
     
  11. EricT43 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    #11
    I was able to finally get things working. I didn't mention it previously, but I decided to use Mail instead of Outlook 2011. It keeps things a bit simpler for me, and Mail/iCal/Address Books does everything I need.

    I fixed the label issue by telling Mail to use the Gmail trash/sent/spam folders for that account, instead of the built-in folders.

    Right now I only use my Exchange calendar for work and personal appointments. At work I use Google calendar sync to keep my Google calendar and Exchange calendar sync'd, so I can make updates on either one. iCal syncs with my Google account, so I have all three synchronized.

    All of my personal contacts are now in Gmail, and Address Book syncs with that. My iPhone also syncs contacts with Gmail, via a seperate Exchange-type account that only syncs contacts. When I'm at work, I use the Gmail web interface to access those contacts.

    It would be awesome if Gmail offered a way to connect like an Exchange account so that mail, contacts, and calendar could all be sync'd together, but until then, this seems like the best solution.
     

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