Contacts App Tips & Lessons
Mac Lessons for Contacts13 Lessons
20+ Tips on Managing Your Contacts on the Mac
Contacts Interface Overview
Add and Edit Contacts on the Mac
Mark Cards as My Card and as a Company
Add Fields and Edit Templates
Change the Display and Sort Order
Merge Contacts on the Mac
Delete and Remove Duplicate Contacts on the Mac
Show Birthdays in Calendar
Print Labels, Envelopes, and Lists for Contacts on the Mac
Create Contact Groups (lists on Ventura and newer)
Add Gmail, Exchange, and other Accounts
Share and Export Contacts
- 20+ Tips on Managing Your Contacts on the Mac
iPad Lessons for Contacts6 Lessons
iPhone Lessons for Contacts9 Lessons
Contacts App vs. Phone App
Add, Edit, and Delete Contacts on the iPhone
Link Multiple Contacts Together on the iPhone
Set Display Order and Sort Order on Contacts
Favorite Contacts in the Phone App
Share Contacts on the iPhone
Access Contacts from other Apps on your iPhone
Create a Medical ID on your iPhone
Favorite Contacts on the iPhone
- Contacts App vs. Phone App
Restoring Lessons for Contacts1 Lesson
20+ Tips on Managing Your Contacts on the Mac
Start learning how to effectively manage your contacts on your Mac today with this video on Contacts!
Whether you’re new to using Contacts on your Mac or just looking to improve your skills, my tutorial has something for everyone. This lesson includes over 20 tips on managing your contacts. It was recorded with macOS Ventura, but most of the tips also work with older versions of macOS. Start learning how to effectively manage your contacts on your Mac today with this video on Contacts!
00:00 – Introduction
00:38 – Contacts App Location
00:57 – A Look at the Contacts App Interface
02:18 – Hide the Contacts App Sidebar
02:38 – Contacts App in Full Screen
03:18 – Add a Contact Card
03:43 – Mark a Contact Card as a Company
04:36 – Change Field Labels for a Contact
05:21 – Add Multiple Accounts for Contacts
07:37 – Move Contact Cards between Accounts
08:29 – Mark as My Card
09:27 – Edit a Contact Card
09:46 – Add New Fields to a Contact Card
10:06 – Add the Nickname Field
11:05 – Search for a Contact
11:15 – Find and Merge Duplicates
12:20 – Change Display Name and Sort Order
13:52 – Set the Default Account for New Contact Cards
14:18 – Manage Accounts in the Contacts App
14:32 – Edit Contact Card Templates
15:23 – Create and Edit Lists for Contacts
16:25 – Create a List from a Selection of Contacts
16:55 – Create Smart Lists for Contacts
17:46 – Edit a Smart list
18:08 – Send an Email to Lists
18:33 – Print to Envelopes and Labels
19:41 – Sharing a Contact
20:17 – Export your Contacts
21:08 – Conclusion
So I’m on my Mac here, and I’m using MacOS Vinter. Let’s go and open up my contacts app. I have it down here. In my dock. The contacts app is located just in your Applications folder. So you can go to your Applications folder and find it as well. But by default, it is located in your doc, I click on it.
Let’s first look at the interface. Now over on the left, we have our different lists this was previously called groups. When I click on the list, we have all of the different names in there. I’m going to go over this shortly in the video. But basically, we have our lists on the side. And then when we go over to the right, we have the individual contacts, you can see I have a few duplicates here.
When I select any one of these contacts, I can see all of the details for that contact, we can have multiple email addresses multiple mailing addresses, as well as multiple phone Numbers, I want to add a photo to it, I can go and add a photo to it. And then if I want to contact them, all I have to do is just click on any one of these buttons. Now in order to contact them, I do have to have the appropriate information in there, you’re going to see that video is grayed out why is video grayed out, because there’s no way to contact this person via video. But I do have their email address so I can email them. If I want to edit this contact, I click on edit. More on that later. I can also share this. And then if I want to create a new contact, I tap on the plus we can hide the sidebar to hide the sidebar, we just go up under View in the menu bar. And then what you’re going to see is hide lists I selected. And now the lists are no longer showing. To show them again, I just go back up under View. And then we go to show lists.
Now when we click on the green button here, it does open up in full screen. And past versions of contacts, this did not open up in full screen. So when I click on this, you’re gonna see that it goes into full screen, I click on the green dot again to go back to our windowed mode. Also, when I click on the red dye here, what it used to do is not quit the app will now when I click on the red button here, it does quit out of context. So those are a couple of changes. If you’re used to an older version of context, I’m going to open it back up. So that’s a look at the interface. Now let’s take a look at how we add contacts, it’s pretty simple. All we have to do is just go down to the plus here and when I click on the plus, I can go and add a new contact. From here, I just go and add all of the details. So let’s go and type in a name here.
And we will go Jim Reese, I could put in a company name here. And then if it is a company, I can also select this that this is a company. When I do that, what it’ll do is it’ll put the company name over in the main area here. So let’s just say that he worked for Apple. And when I click on done here, what it’s going to do is put Jim’s name there. But now when I go on to edit this and I say that this is a company card, watch what happens to this name here. Company done, we can see a change to Apple. So if you’d rather have a contact be referred by the company name, all you have to do is just go and market as a company. I’m going to uncheck that.
You’re going to see that we have multiple fields here. So I can go and add a mobile phone a home phone, and if I select it, I can also change the label of that field. So if they have a phone at a second house or maybe a cottage what I can do is I can go and customize this and name the field.
Now this only names that for this specific case Contact, It doesn’t change it for everyone else. When you are done editing a contact or adding a contact, what you do is you just click on done here, you can also go up to File in the menu bar and go to new card, that’s what they’re called is contact cards, or what I could do as I could use the keyboard shortcut command in.
Now when you add a contact, what you can do is you can add it to a specific account. And what do I mean by that? Well, if we look here, you’re gonna see that I have my iCloud connected. And then I also have dance tutorials connected. This is through Google. So what I’m able to do is add a contact to either one of these accounts, how do we go and add these accounts? Well, basically, all we have to do is just go up under contacts here. And then you’re going to see accounts. When I select accounts here, what it’s going to do is open up my system settings. This is the old System Preferences, and then it brings me over to internet accounts, I go and add the account, this is where we go and normally add an email address. Or maybe if you have a Gmail account or an Exchange account, you can add it in here. While when you add an account, what you can do is you can tell it, what services you want to use. Most accounts have multiple services. In other words, Gmail is going to be able to create contacts or organize your contacts exchange will be able to do the same thing. AOL, we can keep notes with AOL, we can keep contacts within our AOL account, just like we can with iCloud. So what we’re able to do here is select which of these services we want to use. So if you have contacts in your Gmail, what you want to do is you want to make sure that you turn contacts on. If you don’t use Gmail for your contacts, then you can just turn this off, when you turn this off, what it will do is it’ll remove it from the side here. That’s typically how I have mine set. I only have one account where I keep all of my contacts, I keep them in iCloud. So all of these other services that I have, what I would do is I would turn off contacts, I would turn off calendar.
If you do keep all of your contacts in Gmail and not in iCloud, you can also do the same thing here. I have iCloud here. And what I’m able to do is turn off contacts, and then I can just use Gmail for my contacts. So we can keep separate accounts.
And when we add separate accounts, they’re going to be located on the left side here. If you want to move anyone to a specific account, all you have to do is just drag it. So let’s say Jim here is in my Dan’s tutorials, all I do is just drag it, you’re gonna see we have a green plus there. And now, Jim is in my Dan’s tutorials account. Now it did have a plus there, which means it’s duplicating it. So what I will have to do is go back over to my iCloud here, and I’ll have to delete it here. Otherwise, I’m going to have him in two different areas there. So if you want to keep it relatively simple, what you’ll want to do when you move them to a new account, when you move a name to a new account or a different account, make sure you go and delete it from the old account. Otherwise, you may end up with duplicates.
That’s typically why I will only use one account. Actually, I just turn this off, as I said earlier.Now when you create a card, what you need to do is mark one of those contact cards as my card. This is the card that your Mac uses when it needs to fill out an address on a form maybe or on the internet and needs to fill out an address. It’s going to use the information from your card. How do we know which card is your card? Well, you’re gonna see it has a little icon here. This means that this card Danwon sync is marked as my cart. Let’s say that this is actually Beth’s computer. So I need to mark hers as her card her name as her card. All I do is just select it. And then we go up under card here. And when we do that, you’re going to see make this my card. And if I select this, it’s going to use her address her phone number, her email address for when we need to fill out any forms.
So you want to make sure that you have my card set to the correct contact. Let’s go and take a look at editing our contacts to edit a contact what we do is we let’s go ahead and click on gym here. What we do is we click on add it. And then from here, as I mentioned earlier, what we’re able to do is just go and change any one of these fields. We can also add new fields. When I click on the plus here you’re gonna see that I have the option to add different fields. So let’s say I have three different email addresses for a gym. I can just go and add another email address and then fill out that email. Maybe
We have a couple of different addresses for Jim, I can go on add another address field. Now let’s say you wanted to add a nickname. This is another field we do have more fields such as nickname. To do that, what we do is we go down to more fields here, and then you’re going to see we have more fields including nickname, I’d select this. And now I can go and enter in a nickname for Jim. Let’s just call him Jimbo. I’m a Rockford Files fan. So I’m just going to call Jim, Jimbo.
Now if I were to search for Jim Boyd pull up his contact, that’s his nickname. Now when you add a field, that only adds it to the current contact, it is not going to add this nickname to all of the other contacts. If I go over to Tim here, you’re gonna see that I do not have a nickname there, what I’d have to do is I’d have to go and edit it, and then click on the plus, go over two more fields, and then add the nickname.
Now, if you want to add a note to a contact, you can do that as well, you’re going to see that we have no here. Anything that we add for these fields will be searchable. And our search field here.
When you’re done added in, you just click on Done. Let’s look at how we can find duplicates and merge them, you’re gonna see that I have a few duplicates here. How do I find all of the duplicates? If I have 1000 records in here or contact cards in here? How can I find which ones are duplicate and merge them? Well, all I have to do is just go up under card here. And when I select this, I’m going to be able to look for duplicates. I selected this.
And then from here, it’s tells me that it found three duplicate cards. And what I’m able to do is merge those all together. Now what I would recommend doing is actually doing a duplicate search on the iPad or iPhone as a little bit better workflow for finding duplicates. This is basically just a one stop shopping, it’s just going to merge them together where with the iPad and iPhone, we’ll be able to see what information we are emerging. And then we can select which cards we want to merge together. So we do have a little bit more detail or more options with the iPad and iPhone with merging. I’m going to cancel here.
Now let’s take a look at how our names are displaying how we can change what is displayed, as well as how it is sorted. If we look at this, you’re going to see that it is first name last name, but it is sorted by last name. This is why the last name is bold. I actually like to have it sorted by the first name.
And by default, what I believe the Contacts app does is it actually lists it as last name and then the first name. So how do we change this around? Well, what we need to do is we need to go to our contacts, settings. This is the old preferences I selected.
And then from here, we need to go to general and under General, you’re going to see that we have chauffeur’s name. This is how it is going to show I haven’t shown before the last name, this is what I like to see, I like to see the first name before the last name.
If you like the last name first, you can go and change that. And then what it’ll do is it’ll put the last name first. I’m going to leave it at before the last name. So now it’s going to be first name. And then last name. The other thing that I like to do is I like to have it sorted by first name. So if I’m looking for my sister, Melissa, I can just go to the M’s, I’m looking for my sister Whitney, I can just go to the w’s. I’m looking for my friend Joe, I can just go to the J’s. To do that. We just go and select this and then we sort by first name. And now we can see it is sorted by first name. And we have the first name before the last name.
We can also set what our default account is when you create a new contact by default, what it’s going to do is go into my iCloud. Let’s say I did use my dance tutorials, my Gmail account for my contacts, what I can do is I can say use dance tutorials.
And then any new contact by default will go into that account and then I can go and drag it over to the other account, like I showed you earlier. While we’re in our settings here, you’re gonna see that we also can manage our different accounts here. So if I wanted to turn off an account, I can go and turn that off. It doesn’t remove it from the computer, it just turns off the context portion of it. I also have templates.
This is where I can go and add fields to the template. So if I did want to add another email address in here, all I have to do is just click on the plus. And we can see we’ve added another email address. Now when I create a contact, it’s going to add both of those fields in there so I can easily fill out two different email addresses. I want to add another phone number I can do that as well. I want to change the label Let’s go and change the label.
And being that this is a template, this is going to apply to all of my contact cards. We also have our V card. This is where we can set what format reason this is more for importing and exporting, I will just leave it at 3.0. And leave the export notes and V cards as well as the photos and V cards, basically just leave that alone there.
Let’s take a closer look at our lists. This is our groups over here. To create a new list, all we have to do is just go up under file here. And then you’re going to see new list. I select it,
I go name my list. And then once I name it, I’m just going to call it new list here. What I need to do is I need to add my context. So how do I do that, I’ll basically just go to all of my contexts, actually, I can go up to all contexts here as well. I just dragged them in there, we’re gonna go with Beth. And let’s just go with Tim here. So now when I click on new list here, we can see we have those names in there. To remove them, all I have to do is just select it and delete it. And it’ll ask me if I want to remove it from the list, or just delete the contact. If you want to delete the contact, I would click on Delete. But in most cases, where you’re going to want to do is just remove it from the list. I selected this, and it removes back from that list. But it does not delete the contact. We can also create a list from a selection. So let’s say I wanted to create a new list with both here. And then I also want to select him, I hold down the Command key to select Tim and Beth. And now what I’m able to do is create a new list from this selection.
All I do is just go up under File, and you’re gonna see new list from selection I selected. And now it created that list. And we can see that we have those two names in there. We can also create a smart list, a smart list will add the context automatically.
We go up under file here, and then you’re going to see new smart list. Let’s I wanted to create a smart list with everyone that works at Apple. So they would have to have Apple as a company name or Apple as a nickname somewhere they have to have apple in their contact card. All I do is just go apple in here, I name it. And then I go card contains Apple
I can go and fine tune it if I wanted to. But I’m just gonna go with the card contains apple. I click on OK. And now I have my smart list here. And all of these cards here have apple in them somewhere it could be on a node, it could be in the name, it could be nickname.
To edit the Smartlist, we just control click on and you’re gonna see at Smartlist. And I can go and edit that smartlace. So let’s say I did want to fine tune it a little bit, maybe the company name needs to contain apple. Click on OK. And now we can see that these three contact cards have Apple as a company name. With our lists, we’re also able to mail to all of the people in that list. What you do is you go to the list. So I’m going to go to my new list here. And I Ctrl Click on it.
And you’re going to see send email to new list. So what this will do is this will open up my mail app, and then I’m able to send an email to everyone that’s in this list. Now let’s look at our printing options, we can print labels and envelopes pretty simple. All we have to do is just select our list. And then we go up under file here, we go over to our print. And you’re going to see we have a couple of options here. I can print envelopes, or what I can do is print mailing labels. If I wanted to print a list, I can also do that as well. So with envelopes here, I just select what type of envelope it is. And then I just go and print it, it’s going to print all of the names on an envelope around envelopes for that list that I have selected. If we want to print labels, I just go over to labels here, I select what type of label it is. And again, it’s going to print all of the contacts from that list that I have selected. So if you had a Christmas list, add every one that you want to print a Christmas card to add them to a list and then select that list and then you can easily print envelopes for those people for those people in that list.
Now what about sharing contacts? Well, it’s pretty easy to share a contact. Let’s say you wanted to share a contact with someone so I have my wife here and let’s say I wanted to share her contact someone. All I have to do is just select it, and then we go down to the share icon here.
or, and we select how we want to share it, I could email it to someone, I could message it to someone, I could even AirDrop it to someone. Once they get that content, the other person would be able to add it to their contacts. So they’re going to have all of the same information.
The last thing I want to show you is how you can export your contacts, you can also do that as well. So if you wanted to export this out for another contact program as an example, what you’ll need to do is just go up under file here, and then you’re going to see export. And then you can export it as a V card V card is basically the standard format. It’s an open source format for contacts. Most programs, most apps will be able to open up the card. So just exported out as V cards. And then the other app that you’re using will be able to import all of those contacts. If you want to export just a specific list, you can do that. Right now I have my family here selected. So when I go on export this, it’s only going to export the contacts in that family list. So that’s how we use contacts on the Mac with Mac OS Ventura. If you are using an older version of Mac OS, most of these features will still work on older versions of MacOS Apple really hasn’t changed too much in the context app that did change the name of our groups and older versions of contacts. When you grouped people together, you group them together as a group now it’s called a list. So there’s a few little changes like that, but for the most part, the Contacts app really hasn’t changed in several years. So that’s the Contacts app and how we can manage our contacts on the Mac. When we’re using Mac OS vintra