If you still remember, the old version of Gmail had an arrow icon next to its logo. Two items would appear when you click this icon: Contacts and Tasks. If you wanted to manage your contacts, you could simply select the Contacts option. Managing contacts could be done from the Gmail dashboard. But today, managing contacts in Gmail have to be done via a separate app as Google has split up Gmail and Contacts.
Basically, if you receive an email from a new sender, Gmail saves the record of the contact. However, you need to add the contact manually to make it available on your contact list.
Managing contacts will give many benefits. In addition to making it easier for you to find someone’s contact when you need one, managing contacts is great if you have a habit of sending an email to multiple recipients at once.
How to manage contacts in Gmail
As mentioned, managing Gmail contacts cannot be done from the Gmail dashboard. Instead, you can manage your contacts via Google Contacts. No worries, everything is synced in Google. Gmail and Google Contacts are connected to each other. You can access contacts saved in Google Contacts from Gmail. Conversely, you can also send an email to a saved contact directly from Google Contacts.
To start managing your contacts, go to Google Contacts by clicking the Google Apps menu on the Gmail dashboard and select Contacts.
- Adding a new contact
To add a new contact in Google Contacts, you can click the Create contact button on the upper-left corner.
Enter the name, company, job title, email address, and phone number to the respective fields and click the Save button. If you need to add more items, you can click the Show more button to open more fields.
Alternatively, you can also add a new contact from the Gmail dashboard. Hover your mouse over the name of the sender and click Add to Contacts.
- Editing contacts
If there are new items you need to add to an existing contact, you can edit the contact by hovering your mouse over the contact and click the pencil icon. This will open the editing window where you can add a new item to the contact or replace the existing items.
- Deleting contacts
To delete an existing contact, hover your mouse over the contact you want to delete. Click the three-dot icon on the right-most and select Delete.
If you want to delete multiple contacts at once, you can tick the accounts you want to delete (hover your mouse over the contact to show the checkbox). Once the contacts are ticked, click the three-dot icon on the top side and select Delete.
- Creating a label
You can create labels to put together contacts by a certain parameter. For instance, you can create a “teammates” label to put together contacts of your teammates. To add a new label, you can click Create label on the left panel.
To add contacts to an existing label, you can tick the contacts you want to add to a label. Once ticked, click the icon next to the envelope icon and select a label you want to add the contacts to.
If you want to rename or delete a label, simply select the label you want to rename/delete and select your preferred action.
To remove a contact from a label, select the label you want to remove the contact from. Hover your mouse over the contact you want to remove, click the three-dot icon and select Remove from label.
How to send an email from Google Contacts
We said that you can send an email from Google Contacts. To do so, hover your mouse over the email address of the contact you want to an email to. This will open a Gmail Composer window. Or, if you want to send an email to multiple contacts, tick the contacts you want to send the email to and click the envelope icon.
How to export/import contacts
Google Contacts allows you to either export or import contacts. This is great if you want to use a more advanced email client for business as the features offered by Gmail are limited enough for business use. Google Contacts support CSV and vCard formats. To export contacts, select the contacts you want to export (by ticking them) and can click Export on the left panel.
Select your preferred format and click the Export button. If you want to export all contacts, you can simply select My Contacts from the dropdown menu. You can also select contacts on a label.
To import contacts from another platform to Google Contacts, simply click Import on the left panel. Select the CSV or vCard file of the contacts you want to import and click the Import button.
The bottom line
You can use Gmail normally without managing your contacts. However, managing your contacts will give some benefits especially if you use Gmail for business. Gmail basically saves every new contact you have communicated with, yet it doesn’t add the contact to your contact list until you add it manually. You can see all the contacts you have communicated with by clicking Other contacts on the bottom side of the left panel on Google Contacts.