Contact Management

After spending several hours today going through my contacts, merging and deleting checking back across multiple services and updating information I thought I would write down my thoughts on all this for you, the internet viewer. First off let me say that I have been through just about every contact manager, software and website and have by far found Google contacts to be the easiest for contact consolidation. Outlook while it is excellent for many things and is great for viewing and searching contacts it has a horrible time merging. There is no good built in way to merge contacts together. Sure you can open them up two at a time and copy and paste info. Sure you could export to a spreadsheet or get an outlook plugin and clutter up your install but there is no built in way to do this. Google contacts http://www.contacts.google.com for those of you who have a Google account, will let you just select two contacts and click the “merge these x contacts…” which then takes you to a screen with the two merged together, no information is lost, anything that’s identical is omitted, you can even merge 5 or 10 or 20 contacts together. This saves a ton of time and energy and by far gets my vote for this particular function.

I would like to see some improvements to contact managers in general and my situation is more complicated then most, I have multiple businesses and therefor multiple locations where contacts are stored but I like them as much as possible to be clean and without duplicates in my phone. I would really like to see someone come up with some kind of contact manager that can sort your contacts by more advanced criteria to allow you to make a determination about their need to stay in your address book. For instance with over 900 contacts in my phone there are probably a very large handful that I may have not contacted in several years. It would be great to see a service be able to clean up your contacts by time. Another issue I constantly face is multiple contacts all over the place without any synchronization between them. I have contacts from Facebook, Twitter, Exchange, Gmail and now Google+(Gmail and G+ are synced together so that’s nice) all running around with different information and only my phone with HTC Sense seems to be able to combine them together showing me all the best information, why is it that my desktop can’t do that?

Anyway enough of my contact complaints. Anyone have any solutions? I would be very appreciative to find them.