Apps

Five utilities for managing your contacts

Here are five third-party utilities for managing your contacts.

Contacts

Although many operating systems offer built-in mechanisms for managing contacts, there are a number of third party utilities available that offer capabilities beyond those that might be built into the OS or into popular applications such as Outlook. This article provides a variety of contact management applications and utilities.

This article is also available as a TechRepublic Screenshot Gallery.

Five apps

1.  ScheduFlow

ScheduFlow is a utility that is probably best suited to schedule management. It sells for $99.95 (USD), but a free trial version is available for download. SchedulFlow's calendaring functionality is at least somewhat similar to that of Microsoft Outlook (Figure A). 

Figure A

Figure A

SchedulFlow's calendar is similar to Microsoft Outlook. 

Although ScheduFlow’s primary emphasis is on scheduling, it does have a nice contact database that allows you to maintain client lists and to compile a variety of information for each contact (Figure B). You can easily find Client entries through the search feature, create custom fields for contacts, and export contact data to a CSV file or a few other formats (but the software cannot directly export contact data to Outlook or other common applications).

Figure B

Figure B

You can compile a variety of information for each contact.

2.  Xobni

Xobni is a free utility that is designed to be a replacement for Outlook’s built in search functionality (Figure C). The software indexes the full contents of your mailbox so that messages and contacts can be easily searched.

Figure C

Figure C

Using the Xobni utility. 

The Xobni interface appears in place of the reading pane. When you enter a name into the search box, Xobni displays matching names from your contact list. Clicking on an individual contact (Figure D) causes the software to display messages from that contact.

Figure D

Figure D

Contact list in Xobni.

3.  Easy Address Book

Easy Address Book is a free utility for managing your contacts. Essentially, Easy Address Book is an extremely lightweight address book application. Although the application isn’t feature rich, it is simple and works well.

Figure E

Figure E

Easy Address Book contact window.

Easy Address Book allows you to add, modify, or delete contacts. There's also an option to create an E-mail mailing list based on the contents of the contact database. You can also add password protection.

Figure F

Figure F

Easy Address Book password protection.

4.  Outlook Duplicate Remover

Outlook Duplicate Remover is a utility for removing duplicate contacts from Microsoft Outlook. It sells for $29.95 (USD), but a limited trial version is available for download. When installed, this utility embeds itself into the Outlook toolbar, and it provides a very simple wizard that is used to search for duplicate contacts.

Figure G

Figure G

Outlook Duplicate Remover for Microsoft Outlook.

Although the utility is used to search for (and merge) duplicate contacts, it can also locate junk contacts. Junk contacts are those contacts for which no valid information, such as an address or phone number, exists.

Figure H

Figure H

Outlook Duplicate Remover junk contacts.

5.  E-Z Contact Book

E-Z Contact Book is a free utility for keeping track of all your contacts (Figure I). Although the name of this utility is similar to the Easy Address Book application discussed above, the two utilities are actually quite different.

Figure I

Figure I

E-Z Contact Book.

E-Z Contact Book is meant to be easy to use but relatively full featured. Some of its features (Figure J) include contact grouping, birthday reminders, data import and export (for Outlook, vcard, etc.), and the ability to find addresses in Google Maps.

Figure J

Figure J

E-Z Contact Book features.
What apps do you use to manage your business contacts? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.

7 comments
jlsims
jlsims

I would be more than happy, thrilled, in fact, if there was a way to continue using the "Cardfile" utility that came with Windows 3.1.  I have continued to use it but it will not work on Windows 7 or 64-bit machines.

Gisabun
Gisabun

Seriously, don't you find E-Z Contact Book and Easy Address Book amateurish in looking? I'm surprised the makers of ScheduFlow haven't been sued for "look and feel". Outlook Duplicate Remover is actually quite useless since [at least with more recent versions], if you already have a contact with the same name [or similar?] Outlook will warn you. For Xobni, search has improved with Outlook 2010 and 2013 that doesn't really warrant an add-on.

DFagerstrom
DFagerstrom

I seem to recall that many Info Select fans were also fans of a product we use here--EccoPro4.011, true 32-bit..  Outlining, calendar, hotlinking, x-referencing, *basic* project handling [crude GANTT], autodialing for my desk phone. Last updated Aug, 1997. I recently did cursory testing without problems under Windows 8 Developer Preview.    The app is now effectively in public domain.

EcocPro runs fast, is hard to crash.  For my office it  operates a 12-meg data file that manages 3000 names and histories. Am running it now under Win2003.  The app just now popped a reminder-alarm for a conference call. 

Disclosure: I do not consult for users.   

mrw
mrw

None of these even come close to what the old Info Select product could do. Unfortunately, it seems to be going by the wayside since the original developer left the picture. Sometimes "progress"....isn't.

bobcglewis
bobcglewis

How many of these 'innovations' are not available on standard Outlook in some close form or other?

grh
grh

@Gisabunprobably because they were written by programmers who just wanted it to do the job. Passing it to a design herbert would have made it pretty but I guess they couldn't be arsed.

SnappyD3
SnappyD3

@mrw  Take a look at AllMyNotes from vladonai software.  This replaced my Tornado/Infoselect program.  There is no bloatware, and there is a free version for minimal users.

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