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.
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).
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).
You can compile a variety of information for each contact.
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.
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.
Contact list in Xobni.
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.
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
Easy Address Book password protection.
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.
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.
Outlook Duplicate Remover junk contacts.
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.
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
E-Z Contact Book features.
What apps do you use to manage your business contacts? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.