Tara Swords


4 Apps to Manage Your Contacts

Whether you run a small business out of your house like I do, have a powerful professional network you don't want to lose track of, or just have lots of friends and family, you might benefit from managing your contacts better.

I've found plenty of options, ranging from basic apps that keep everything synced to sophisticated apps that bring new features to your phone's built-in address book.

Here's a quick overview of how the cloud can make it easier to organize -- and make better use of -- your contacts:

Try a Basic Cloud Syncing Service

A service like MoveMyContacts lets you store your address book in a centralized location and automatically sync it across multiple devices. So if you decide to change phones or service providers, you don't have to retype everything manually; just download your contact database from MoveMyContacts. This is a huge time-saver. It's also handy if your phone is ever lost or stolen, so you don't have to post one of those embarrassing "I lost my phone -- send me your number!" updates on Facebook.

Services such as Apple's MobileMe (which will soon be replaced by iCloud) offer a similar function. A change to a contact on one device will automatically populate to all of your devices, so you don't have to worry about it.

Download Apps for Your Smartphone

If you're looking for more than simple syncing, more sophisticated apps can amp up the function of your existing address book. For example, Groups for iPhone lets you combine multiple people into a group and give it a unique name. Create a group called "Soccer," add all of your teammates, then compose a single email or text message to everyone at once to ask where you're meeting up after Sunday's game.

Business users may prefer an app like Gist, which includes plugins for Outlook, Gmail and Salesforce.com, and integrates real-time social media feeds. In other words, you can pull up your coworker's contact info in your address book and see what he just tweeted and posted to Facebook -- if you care!


Image Credit: http://gist.com/