Organizing and Cleaning-up Your Electronic Address Book
Organizing and Cleaning-up Your Electronic Address Book By:
Janet L. Hall
(Editors Note: This article includes instructions for Outlook
Express, Netscape Communicator, AOL, and ACT! users).
Has your online address book become unmanageable?
Do you ever look at all the email addresses and wonder, "Who are
all these people?"
Do you have difficulty locating someone in your address book
that you need to send mail to NOW?
Do you know you can sort your addresses by first and last name,
name, email address and more?
Set a date and time with yourself that you will do the following
exercises to organize and clean-up your electronic address book.
First you want to go and view your address book, see what kind
of shape it's in.
Mine, for example, had 755 email addresses. Some had first name,
some last, but most of them just had email addresses. One reason
for that is that I have selected the option to automatically add
the email address of anyone that sends me email (I've since
turned this option off). I also found numerous duplicates and
people that I didn't even know, let alone communicate with.
First let me demonstrate all the different ways you can view or
sort your address book:
OUTLOOK EXPRESS Users:
>>Open Outlook Express >>CLICK Tools at the top of screen
>>CLICK Address Book
A new window opens and you are presented with your Address Book.
Notice the columns have headings of NAME, E-MAIL Address,
Business Phone, and Home Phone. Note: Don't worry if yours are a
>>Place your mouse pointer at the top of the E-Mail Address
column and CLICK. Now all your E-Mail addresses will be sorted
in either ascending or descending order. CLICK again, and the
Each column can be sorted in ascending or descending order by
placing your pointer on the top of the column you want to sort
by and CLICKING. You can also do this by CLICKING on VIEW (while
in your address book) and CLICK Sort By.
Now, you can simply arrow down through each E-Mail address,
deleting or editing as you go.
To DELETE an E-Mail Address:
>>CLICK on the "person" to highlight and CLICK Delete at the top
of screen or the DELete key on your keyboard.
To EDIT an E-Mail Address:
>>Double CLICK on the "person" and CLICK on the NAME Tab to edit
Now you might be like me, and not want to sit in front of the
computer screen to edit and delete, although you will have to do
this eventually. When I was cleaning up mine, I was getting
ready to go to the doctors where I knew I would have to sit and
wait. So I Exported my address book, printed it out, and did my
editing on paper while sitting at the doctors. When I came back
to my office I simply went through my edited list, deleting and
editing my address book on the screen.
To EXPORT your address book:
>>While in your E-Mail Program, CLICK File and CLICK Export
>>CLICK Address Book >>CLICK on Text File (Comma Separated
Values) >>CLICK Export >>CLICK Browse (This is to locate what
folder you are going to store it in; I use TEST, and to assign
it a name; I use address book) >>CLICK SAVE
Now go and open the new file, it will be in EXCEL, adjust the
columns and print out.
Basically you use the same steps to sort as an Outlook Express
user; however, the wording is slightly different:
>>CLICK on Communicator >>CLICK on Address Book You will have
more columns and you can even add more columns to sort on by
clicking the side arrows at the bottom of your address book. You
can also use VIEW. I did not see an Export Function in Netscape.
I used a friend's AOL account to check out AOL's email functions
and found the email addresses were already sorted in ascending
order. I did not find a way to sort or export. However you can
edit and delete.
More then an E-Mail program, yet you can sort by CLICKING on
EDIT and then CLICK SORT. You can sort your people up to three
different ways, either in ascending or descending order. To
EXPORT, go to FILE, CLICK Data Exchange, CLICK Export and follow
the wizard instructions.
Organizing Mass E-Mails:
If you find that you need to send the same mail message to
several people all the time, such as a team at work, or a
committee you're on, you can put them in a Group (Outlook
Express, AOL, and ACT!) or List (Netscape) so you don't have to
look for or type their E-Mail address all the time.
Create a group in Outlook Express:
>>Open your E-Mail program >>CLICK on TOOLS >>CLICK on Address
Book >>CLICK on NEW and CLICK NEW GROUP Name your Group (this is
what you will type into the TO: when you want to send them all
the same E-Mail). Now just follow the instructions on your
screen and start adding the people you want to be in this group.
AOL, ACT!, and Netscape programs have similar steps for creating
groups. If you are using one of these programs, check out their
HELP feature if you need help creating groups.
I have found that most E-Mail programs contain the above basic
functions for organizing your E-Mail addresses; however, it
would be next to impossible to try and include them all here.
You can discover what your E-Mail program can do by checking out
their HELP Section and you just might stumble across some neat
"stuff." ~~~~~ Janet L. Hall is a Professional Organizer,
Speaker, and Author. She is the owner of OverHall Consulting,
and Organizing By Phone. Subscribe to her FREE organizing
newsletter at http://www.overhall.com/newsletter.htm or visit
her web site at http://www.overhall.com
Copyright 2001 by OverHall Consulting P.O. Box 263, Port
Republic, MD 20676 All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted to
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