Dirty data: spring-cleaning for your contact list

Messy address bookI recently posted about spring-cleaning your computer. Now, how about spring-cleaning your electronic address book? In our fast-paced world, with people changing jobs and moving around, contact lists quickly go out-of-date.

Several tools are available online to help. They use the Internet and email to keep in touch and request address updates. If you’ve ever received an email from Plaxo.com or Accucard (Cardscan.net), you’ve seen exactly how this works. Set up an account, load your contacts, and on a regular schedule, the service emails everyone on the list to get updated contact information.

Two additional benefits: the service itself acts as an online backup of all your contacts, and you can view your contact list from any computer with an Internet connection.

The only major flaw? It relies on valid email addresses. There’s no way to get updated information if the email itself has changed. One last thing: unless you update settings, it will send out notices to EVERYONE on your list–including ex-boyfriends and old bosses!

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2 thoughts on “Dirty data: spring-cleaning for your contact list

  1. Plaxo actually saved all my contacts at one point after I had a server crash. Another thing that I like about it is that, if other people join Plaxo as members, then their information automatically updates in my database. Good observation, though , on the possible awkwardness. One time I sent a former employer notice on my mobile phone change.

    I read an article in Inc. that discussed different web-based email services. Do you have any experience with using those for your business? Email is the number one thing to go down in our office, so I thought about looking into that.

    Let me know

    Take care,

    Jeremy

  2. Absolutely! Google’s Gmail, via Google Apps, can be customized for your website’s URL. We use it ourselves and also for many clients. You get Google’s huge data centers and incredible reliability as well as a fantastic spam filter and great web interface. No worries if you use Outlook–it downloads just like any other email. Best of all–basic service, which is all most companies need, is FREE.

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