Skip to main content

Multiple methods for managing Outlook contacts

In this article we will be looking at different ways to manage Outlook Contacts. Using Contacts makes it much easier to find a certain person or group of people to email or telephone. With Contacts, there's no need to waste time looking for contact information, it's all there at your fingertips. Managing your Contacts helps speed up this process as it provides a number of ways to group and narrow down the search for your contacts. Using Contacts saves a lot of time, which could otherwise be spent on doing something important.

Begin with Import Existing Contacts to add your existing email addresses and other contact details from another email service like Hotmail, Yahoo!, or Gmail, from a previous version of Outlook, or even from a mobile phone. Outlook can import contacts from many different sources.

Click File, Open and then Import. This will launch the Import and Export Wizard. Within the Wizard, click Import From Another Program Or File if you are importing from Excel or a Word table, for example, or from a previous version of Outlook. If you are importing from a different email address (such as Hotmail, Yahoo! or Gmail) then click Import Internet Mail and Addresses instead.

Tip: Outlook accepts a range of contact formats. If your contacts don't import smoothly, take a look at the email service or phone you are trying to import from. You should find an Export Contacts option, which will offer a choice of formats to store your contacts in. Try to match the export format of your device or email service to one of the formats on Outlook's list. If there are no direct matches then Comma Separate Values (CSV) is a common alternative.

After Exporting your contacts, save the file to your computer's desktop and then go to the Outlook Import and Export Wizard. Within the Wizard, click Next, then browse until you find the file you saved to your desktop. Select the file and click OK to import the contacts.

Another way to fill your Outlook Contacts Address Book is to add new contacts. To create a new entry in your Outlook Address Book, select the Contacts Tab at the bottom left-hand side of the screen. Next, click New Contact at the top left-hand side of the screen. Type the contact details into the relevant information fields. There are also a number of drop-down menus you can use to change the information field headings, in case you would prefer to replace a certain piece of information with something else. Extra data such as birthdays, or a customer ranking, can also be added into the contact details..

The third way to fill your Address Book with contacts is via Suggested Contacts. At the top left-hand side of the screen there is an option called Suggested Contacts, these are contacts Outlook has automatically recorded for you. Outlook records anyone who has been in contact with you recently and adds them to Suggested Contacts, if they are not already a contact. The details automatically saved include name and email addresses. To add someone to your Address Book, drag and drop the Contact card from Suggested Contacts into the Contacts Folder.

The fourth method of adding contacts to your Address Book is via Create Contact Groups. This is particularly helpful if you regularly email the same group of colleagues or friends, or several different groups of people. If you contact one or more groups regularly you can create a group for them within your Contacts folder. To do this go to New Contact Group and give the group you are creating a memorable name, then click the Add Members button. A drop-down menu will come up listing the contacts from your Address Book. Double-click the name of anyone you wish to add to the group. When you're finished click OK and then Save and Close. Whenever you want to email that group of people in future, you just enter the name of the group into the To: field of your Outlook message. Your message will then be sent to every contact within that group.

These four methods of adding Contacts to your Outlook Address Book and managing them will make a huge difference to how you work in the future. Once you have gone through the initial process of setting everything up and preparing your groups, you will have a system that runs seamlessly and makes your life a lot easier.