How to Get the Most Out of Gmail Contacts

Whether you know it or not, by using Gmail Contacts as your address book, you can create a database of information that goes far beyond phone numbers and email addresses. Of course, you need to have a Gmail account first, and if you haven’t done that yet, click here to learn how to do that.

  • Go to Gmail.
  • In the top left, click on the little arrow to see the drop down menu.
  • Click on Contacts.

Pick a contact you know very well like a close friend or family member that is either already in Contacts or that you need to enter. If the contact was previously entered, click on the name to open to the information. If you need to enter as a new contact, click New Contact.

  • Enter the name as first name space last name. If you want to add a prefix, suffix or middle name, click on the three little dots beside the name field for more entry fields.
  • To enter a company name and title for your contact, click on Add at the bottom of the page and select Title and company. You can also add a nickname or phonetic name for your contact.
  • For each of the other contact information fields that you use, move your mouse over the label, such as Email or Address. Click on the arrow that appears to better specify the information, such as Work, Home or Custom to create your own label name.
  • To add a second, third or more email, phone number, etc., click on Add at the bottom and select the type of field you want to add.
  • To add names of a spouse, children, parents, etc. for a contact, click on Add and then Relationship. Hover the mouse on the label, click on the arrow and select a specific relationship.
  • For remembering contacts’ birthdays and anniversaries that will show up on Google Calendar, be sure to enter them through the Birthday field.

Google lets you organize your contacts into Groups, which makes it so much easier to email specific sets of people like clubs, family, friends, etc. Remember that each contact can be assigned to multiple groups.

There are two ways to create Groups and assign your contacts to them:

From the left sidebar

  • From the Contacts screen, move the mouse to the left sidebar and scroll down to click on New Group.
  • Enter the name of your Group and click OK.
  • Create as many Groups as you need.

To assign contacts to your Groups:

  • If you know how to drag and drop, you can drag and drop a contact from your list of contacts onto a Group name in the left sidebar.

I prefer this way:

  • Check the boxes beside the contacts you are grouping.
  • Click on the Groups tab at the top of your contacts list (it has three little circles as heads).
  • Check the boxes for the Groups you’re assigning.
  • Click Apply.

On the fly

When you think of a Group you’d like to create, if you’re on the listed contacts screen:

  • Check the boxes beside the contacts you will initially add to the new Group.
  • Click on the Groups tab at the top of the contacts list.
  • Click Create New.
  • Enter a new Group name.
  • Click OK.

If you are on one contact’s information page:

  • Click on the Groups tab at the top of the contact.
  • Click Create New.
  • Enter a new Group name.
  • Click OK.

How to email to two addresses for one contact in a group

Some of your contacts may need to be emailed to both work and home email addresses. This is how you “tell” your Gmail Contacts Group that you want to do that:

  • Click on the contact with two email addresses.
  • At the top of that contact’s page will be listed the groups assigned to the contact.
  • Click on the arrow beside the selected Group name.
  • The email addresses for that contact will be shown.
  • Check the boxes beside the email addresses that you will send to when you email to that Group.

When you compose an email for a Group, simply begin typing the Group name in the To: field. Select the Group name from Gmail’s suggestions. All of the email addresses will automatically be entered in the To: field.

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