Forum Thread

Personal contacts database?

1,553 299 December 26, 2017 at 12:40 PM
Every year after the Christmas cards get sent out I start thinking about a better solution for contacts management. Right now our addresses are stored in a word doc set up as a 33-up template for labels. Would really like to manage this better with to include extra columns, for instance birthdays, include phone numbers, columns to indicate card recipient vs home business contacts, etc. Of course ability to import into a label template/.mail merge etc.

Anyone have any good solutions for a contacts manager with the above requirements that can be stored locally and doesn't require a DBA certification? I tried the usual searches but a lot of the offerings seem way overkill, like geared toward sales contact management or LDAP/mail server.

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#2
Google Contacts would be an online option and what I would use personally. You can export them to Excel.
Microsoft Access or Libre Office Base would be local options. I have never used Base but both Access and Base will require some knowlege on how these programs work, how to create forms etc.
Plain old spreadsheets would also work and be easier for the average person to use.
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Quote from DenMan
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Every year after the Christmas cards get sent out I start thinking about a better solution for contacts management. Right now our addresses are stored in a word doc set up as a 33-up template for labels. Would really like to manage this better with to include extra columns, for instance birthdays, include phone numbers, columns to indicate card recipient vs home business contacts, etc. Of course ability to import into a label template/.mail merge etc.

Anyone have any good solutions for a contacts manager with the above requirements that can be stored locally and doesn't require a DBA certification? I tried the usual searches but a lot of the offerings seem way overkill, like geared toward sales contact management or LDAP/mail server.
There are many options. The choice depends on what software, os, and online services you use.

Google, iCloud, and Outlook.com all have an address book function.

On windows you can generate labels using the people app or mail merge labels from outlook or a spreadsheet.

On a mac you can make labels using the contacts app.

You can also make labels using google docs, google contacts, and a template from avery.
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Yeah I guess a little info on what ecosystem I'm in would help. Thought of google contacts for this and explored the options there since I'm android based but I want something that can be used by the family.

I'm a windows user so I guess I could look into the people app. Kind of wary of being "locked in" to one ecosystem though. Maybe I need to brush up on my access/base skills or just go the old excel/calc route.

This might be just what I'm looking for! Thanks dude2000!
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Last edited by DenMan December 27, 2017 at 01:33 AM.
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Quote from DenMan
:
Yeah I guess a little info on what ecosystem I'm in would help. Thought of google contacts for this and explored the options there since I'm android based but I want something that can be used by the family.

I'm a windows user so I guess I could look into the people app. Kind of wary of being "locked in" to one ecosystem though. Maybe I need to brush up on my access/base skills or just go the old excel/calc route.



This might be just what I'm looking for! Thanks dude2000!
create a sheet in google docs and share it with the family. you can create a form so that family can add contacts. the sheet can be exported as a CSV and imported by whatever people use for their email.

I'd stay out of access. not everyone has it or wants to pay for it. not to mention that if you are emailing the database around and people start tweaking it you will end up with many different versions of it.
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Quote from DenMan
:
Yeah I guess a little info on what ecosystem I'm in would help. Thought of google contacts for this and explored the options there since I'm android based but I want something that can be used by the family.

I'm a windows user so I guess I could look into the people app. Kind of wary of being "locked in" to one ecosystem though. Maybe I need to brush up on my access/base skills or just go the old excel/calc route.



This might be just what I'm looking for! Thanks dude2000!
I'm assuming your current system is just addresses that were manually typed onto a label template.

To convert this to a spreadsheet here's what I'd do:
-Save a copy of the file as a .txt document.
-If there's only 1 return between each person in the txt file either add a second return or a ; after each entry
-Find a text editor that will let you do a find and replace all for returns. In notepad++ you can do it by searching for \n or \r with the extended option enabled. Replace all returns with commas
-turn on word wrap in your text editor and figure out what differentiates the addresses, it could be ",," or ",,," or ";". Do another find and replace to clean the file up more. The goal is to create a csv file with each field separated by comments and each row of your spreadsheet separated by a return or other punctuation like a ;
You'll have to figure out what this requires but it could be something like find ",," replace with \n (in n++, some editors may let you copy and paste a return into find/replace).
-Do any additional manual cleanup including things like separating out first and last name, city, state, zip if you want. Do this by adding additional commas to the strings of text but be consistent all records should have the same number of commas.
-save the file as .csv and import into excel.

NOTE: Excel likes to treat zipcodes as numbers. This is a problem because it eliminates leading zeros, make sure the zip code column is set to be formatted as text.
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