How do I work with my Gmail Google Contacts?
Dave, I'm more than a bit confused about Google Mail. How do I find my Gmail list of contacts? And, while I'm at it, can I add new contacts directly?
Considering how much effort Google has put into Google Mail (aka "Gmail") with its many additions and capabilities, including tight integration with other Google services, it's quite surprising that the company seems to have completely ignored any sort of address book or contact manager. There's one associated with Gmail, but it's terrible, confusing, and remarkably ugly, particularly compared to elegant solutions like the Contacts app from Apple.
Still, we all work within the confines and constraints we have and it's perhaps a bit ungrateful to complain that the terrific free Gmail application, with its zillion petabytes of storage (I exaggerate just a bit), isn't the best product on the market for managing a large contact list.
Instead, let's practice thankfulness and instead talk about what you can do and how you can get to the Google Gmail Contact Manager and add someone.
To start out, there's rather a hidden-in-plain-sight Gmail menu that you need to access. I always forget it when I'm working with Contacts, so you're not alone in this. Here's what you see on the top left when logged in to your Gmail account:
See where it says "Gmail"? Notice there's a tiny triangle pointing downward. Surprise, there's actually a menu there! Click on the triangle and a few choices appear:
You're right. Click on "Contacts" and you're in the Gmail Contact Manager. Down the left side you'll see lots of lists, particularly if you're an active member of the Google Plus community, as I am:
What I like is that it keeps track of who you email most frequently and offers up a "Most Contacted" list. For me, it's 20 people (oddly including myself):
Click on any of the list names to select them: to see who is in my "Most Contacted" list, I simply click on it:
I've hidden various info to protect my friend's privacy, but notice that you can see what Google Plus circles I have them in too.
To add someone, click on the "New Contact" button on the top left of the Google Contact Manager window that you're already looking at. You'll get a set of standard fields to fill in:
What might not be obvious is that "Add" at the bottom opens up a ton of additional fields you can specify, including URL, birthday, and much more. Click on it:
Helpful. Now if Google could just assign someone to creating a visually attractive interface to the contact manager, it might be useful too. As it is, I think most people completely ignore it and just assume Gmail has a crude address book. Which is too bad.
More Useful Google Gmail Help Articles:
✔ Can I delete individual messages in a Gmail thread?
I'm not much of a Gmail fan because of the annoying threading feature -- is there a way to turn it off? --...✔ How do I forward a Gmail mail message?
Hey Dave! After I read my gmail messages, I want to forward to another person. How do I forward messages in Gmail?...✔ Possible to add a GMail search box to my site?
I'm curious: I know you've shown the necessary HTML code to add a search box on my site for Google, Yahoo, eBay, Pinterest,...✔ How to search smart in Google's Gmail?
I've been using Gmail for years now, and have a huge archive of messages. Very helpful, but sometimes when I'm slogging through hundreds...✔ How do I send a Gmail invite to a friend? [revised]
Please send an invitation to join gmail to my friend at [[redacted]] The invitation box does not appear on my Gmail. It used...
Let's stay in touch!
Sign up for my weekly AskDaveTaylor Newsletter and you'll receive even more tech and gadget help right to your inbox, along with exclusive news and industry updates. It's good stuff. I promise!
I do have a comment, now that you mention it!
Check This Out Too...
Look for Answers
All Our Categories
Apple iPad Help
Articles and Reviews
Auctions and Online Shopping
Blogs and Blogging
Building Web Site Traffic
Business and Management
Computer and Internet Basics
d) None of the Above
Google Gmail Help
Google Plus Help
Industry News and Trade Shows
iPhone and Cell Phone Help
iPod, Sony PSP and MP3 Player Help
Kindle Fire Help
Mac OS X Help
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Shell Script Programming
Tech Support Video Help
The Writing Business
Twitter, LinkedIn and Social Network Help
Unix and Linux Help
Video Game Tips and Help
Windows PC Help
Find Me on Google+
ADT on G+