A recent life change is forcing me to become more organized, and to remove chaos from some areas.
One key area is my digital address book(s). Over the years, with my haphazard adoption of new technologies and platforms, it was inevitable that my growing list of contacts split among several services, would fester and be a moldering mess.
There are definite epochs in my contacts. The first significant epoch being when I got a gmail account in 2004. There, Google began collecting my interactions and creating “contacts”. This sort of happened organically, to support the gmail client.
Since I did little filling in of details, the vast majority of these contacts are little more than name and email addresses. Good for mailing, but not much else.
Add to this my personal domain (that you are reading this on silly), another gmail (google apps) account, and another set of contacts, equally chaotic, and thin on details.
Then in 2008 I joined the Smartphone revolution buying an original iPhone, and that became my go to device for managing contacts. This sync’d with the Mac “Contacts” application, so I had them on my desktop and on my phone. This is where I kept a bit more complete contacts, adding addresses and other information.
Somewhere along the line, Apple got smart, and allowed you to collect the various contacts from gmail and other services into the Contact application (and moved their repository to the iCloud service). This is helpful, and provides a central location to look at and manage contacts, and (hopefully) clean up the clutter.
Alas, 2 years, 3 or more repositories, and truly no rhyme or reason to my filing has caught up to me.
Today, I spent several hours first cleaning up my gmail contacts, and then organizing my icloud contacts. Now, I have a sane contact database (and quite a few more people I know than I would have thought).
The next challenge: My browser bookmarks. Shudder.