Is your contacts list a mess? Give this a try!

Updated: Jul 22, 2019

I have hundreds of contacts between my phone, email accounts, and CRM. Addresses are in a spreadsheet I use for Christmas Cards, and somehow rarely make it to my phone. Phone numbers are in my phone, but the email addresses are not always there. My CRM is in pretty good shape but doesn’t have most of my personal contacts. So what is one to do when they want to merge everything into one comprehensive list?


I have hundreds of contacts between my phone, email accounts, and CRM. Addresses are in a spreadsheet I use for Christmas Cards, and somehow rarely make it to my phone. Phone numbers are in my phone, but the email addresses are not always there. My CRM is in pretty good shape but doesn’t have most of my personal contacts. So what is one to do when they want to merge everything into one comprehensive list?


There are several third-party apps on the market that solve this problem, but I didn’t want to have to pay for something and didn’t trust the free ones with my information. After a lot of trial and error that resulted in contacts getting wiped from various locations (pro tip: always backup before you delete!), I finally found at least one method that mostly works.


The iPhone does not provide a way to delete or merge contacts with a simple click. It’s about 5-10 clicks and a lot of scrolling, and I just don’t have the patience. So I switched to the contacts app in iCloud. BUT, it only had my iCloud contacts and none of the Google contacts that were showing up on my phone.


So I switched over to Google. Google helpfully identifies duplicates and lets you merge them. It’s not perfect, so take a few minutes to back up all of your contacts before you start. We have a guide for how to export your contacts here.


Next, I identified all of the duplicates and a few that the system missed, merged them and cleaned up anything the system messed up, such as adopting the wrong spelling of a name.


Next, I took my exported iCloud contacts list and imported it. Here is the other benefit to Google: it lets you import a CSV or a VCard, which is the format that Apple uses. Apple does not support importing a CSV. Really, folks, why can’t you all play nice together?!


Once my list was uploaded, I went through the identified duplicates again to merge any contacts that were imported twice.

Finally, I uploaded my Christmas Card mailing list and the mailing list from my wedding. Voila, I had all of my contacts emails, phone numbers, and addresses in one place!


It’s not a perfect process and does require a little time, but it does mostly work. I have found a few numbers or emails missing, but could quickly fill them in using the backups I created.


In an ideal world, all of our systems would integrate seamlessly, but until then, we have these solutions.

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© Forget Me Not AI, Inc., 2019 - Patent Pending