Google Contacts annoyance

Google Contacts is allegedly getting an upgrade.  It has apparently been rolled out to the basic (sorry) GMail customers and will soon be with us Google Apps customers.  I’m never sure whether to be honoured that upgrades always seem to be road-tested by the lesser GMail brethren, or to be annoyed that they get them first.  Either way, I can bear little influence.

The upgrade will make contacts more usable, allegedly.  But as far as I’ve read, I don’t think it will solve my biggest gripe.

You see, I like order in my digital world.  I like my photos to be tagged and geolocated.  I like my invoices to be consistent.  And I like my contacts to be pure.  They are always saved as “Surname, Forename” (even my grandma, for Doherty, Pete’s sake).

Whenever I email someone new, either actively or as a response to an incoming email, they automatically appear in the All Contacts bucket, but don’t make it into the My Contacts bucket.  That’s good, because I don’t want what might be stray contacts making their way into the sanctity that is the My Contacts bucket.  But only by undertaking a comparison of the All Contacts bucket to the My Contacts bucket can I figure out what these wretched new contacts are, to make a decision as to whether to formalise them or bin them.

So on an ad hoc basis, I export My Contacts, export All Contacts, load both into Excel, do some vlookup jiggery-pokery and identify the delta.  I then go through those contacts one by one deciding whether to delete them or formalise them by transferring them to My Contacts and adding the necessary metadata (Surname, Forename etc.).

Frustrating isn’t the word, but it’ll do.

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