My Contacts are everywhere!

6183126_f260 So between multiple laptops (work, personal, Mac’s and Window’s), multiple mobile devices (iPhone 4, 4s, 5, Andriod, iPad, iPad2 & iPad3) and multiple email accounts (Gmail,  personal domains & work), I’ve got a huge collection of contacts – Old contacts, new contacts, duplicate, triplicate & empty contacts.

I’d create contacts that would disappear in days, and I have some contacts that I have nut used in 8 years.  So I decided to take action and cleanup my contacts.

How did this happen in the first place?

Gmail Auto Create

I currently have 5 Gmail-based email addresses, and one of the things I noticed is that they all have contact creation turned on by default (Settings > General):

So I thought that I found the root of all my problems, but if I turn this function off (I’ll add contacts myself), then the AutoFil function that I like about Gmail becomes unavailable – not the real problem.

Too Many Account Contacts

So when I look at my iPhone, and go into Mail, Contacts and Calendars, I noticed that all of my accounts have not just mail turned on, but contacts as well

so that means that I’m getting a mixture (and potential duplication) of contact records form various accounts.  Some of these accounts were very active at one time, and some were not.  Some had contact records added to them based on jobs, activities or other factors.  Long story short, having Contacts enabled for all of the accounts that are connected to my iPhone is a bad idea.

The Solution (for me…)

I’ve decided to leave the Contacts in my gmail.com account alone.  As much as I’d like to clean them up, there is no real need, and who knows when I’ll need that old contact information again.  But what I did do is turn off synchronizing contacts for all of my accounts except for one.  That is the account I’ll use to keep the contacts I need on my iPhone:

Now I can slowly rebuild a new contact list that is lean and clean, and makes it easy to email, text and even call people from my iPhone.

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