How to Organize and Group Contacts in Gmail, Android, Apple Contacts, and LinkedIn
Manage your relationships better with groups!
Between everyone we email, our LinkedIn connections, Facebook friends, phone contacts, and more, we're managing more digital contacts than ever! Managing these many people, addresses, phone numbers, and personal details can be overwhelming. Organizing contacts into groups is a simple and effective way to improve your relationship management – or even just remember how you know various people!
In this blog post, we'll look at an overview of how to group contacts in Gmail, Android, Apple Contacts, and Linkedin, and we'll also share a few example types of contact groups that can be helpful to have as you move forward.
Group Contacts in Gmail
Gmail makes it easy to group contacts in your account so that you can easily manage and contact them. Gmail’s group contact feature allows you to add and remove contacts from groups with just a few clicks. Once you've created a group, you can quickly send messages to multiple contacts at once, without having to individually select each contact.
To create a group of contacts in Gmail on your computer:
- Open the Google contacts page by clicking the 9 dot Google Apps icon in the top right of your Gmail acount.
- Click the "+" button to the right of "Labels" in the left sidebar. Name the group you are creating. You may want to start with a placeholder group until you know what groups you'd like to set up. You can always delete it later!
- Select the contacts you'd like to add to your group and click the label icon on the top action bar to add them to your group.
Done! You can now use your group to easily contact a group of people in Gmail across your devices.
Group Contacts in Android
Similar to Gmail, Android makes it really easy for you to group your contacts to keep them tidy, organized, and easy to contact.
To create a group of contacts in Android:
- Open the Android Contacts app.
- Tap "Menu" in the top left of the application.
- Select "Create a Label" and name your group.
- Add contacts to your group, either one at a time (by tapping and selecting "Contact +") or in bulk (by holding "Contact +" and then tapping "Contacts > Add").
Done! You can now easily manage your Android contacts.
Group Contacts in Apple
Apple also makes it easy to divide your contacts into helpful groups that can help you stay organized and recall how you know various contacts and which of your contacts know each other.
To create a group of contacts in Apple:
- Open the Apple Contacts app.
- Select "Lists" in the very top left of the app.
- Tap "Add List" and name your list.
- Select the contacts you'd like to add to your group.
Not too bad, right?
Group Contacts in LinkedIn
Unfortunately LinkedIn no longer has an explicit grouping/tagging function in its core product. However, you are able to achieve many of the same things with its advanced search function.
To use advanced search:
- Select "My Network" at the top, and then "Connections" on the left.
- Choose "Search with Filters".
- Filter your contacts by location, company, connections, school, industry, and much more.
Although you cannot create saved groups in LinkedIn, you can achieve many of the same goals with advanced search!
Group Contacts across Platforms
In addition to having groups of contacts in each of your platforms, it can be helpful to have groups of contacts that include people from across platforms. For example, you may have a "potential business client" group in Apple Contacts and Gmail, and an advanced search configured in LinkedIn. But, it would be helpful to look at all these contacts in the same place.
Several apps have arisen in the last few years to solve this problem for both the personal and professional user. Most of the apps are categorized as Personal CRMs, or PRMs. These apps have some of the same features and characteristics as Customer Relationship Managers, except they are more flexible and can be used for both personal and professional relationships. They are typically focused much more on nurturing and developing relationships, not making sales.
In addition to pulling in your contacts from across various platforms, these products are equipped with numerous features and settings to help you manage your relationships better (notes, reminders, reconnect prompts, life updates, and more), and they serve as a single source of truth for your relationships across multiple platforms and devices. They also usually have a powerful group function that allows you to organize groups of contacts that come from LinkedIn, email, calendar, social media, and more. Some of the more popular Personal CRMs are our own product, Clay, as well as Hippo, Dex, and Monica.
As you evaluate Personal CRMs, make sure to read their privacy policies and make sure their security parameters work for you. You may also want to make sure that they protect your data from being used to advertise by a third-party.
Helpful Groups to Have
Now that you know how to create groups, it's time to strategize what types of groups you'd like to create. Here are some examples of ways to structure groups to help you get started. Feel free to create many groups, you can always delete them later.
- Geography: Many people find it helpful to have a list of who they know in various cities or regions. Whether you find yourself on a business trip to a specific city, or you want to introduce friends who live close to one another, it's helpful to know who you know in certain places.
- Context: It can be helpful to sort relationships by how you met them – be it college, past employer, neighborhood, kid's sports team, groups can help you remember details about each relationships, as well as which of your contacts likely know each other, too.
- Reconnect Cadence: It's a great practice to stay in touch with relationships routinely. Since different types of relationships need different amounts of outreach, you can create groups of people you'd like to contact monthly, quarterly, every 6 months, etc. Some Personal CRMs (like Clay!) allow you to set reminders to get back in touch with groups on a recurring basis.
Creating groups of contacts is a wonderful way to improve your relationship management. Whether you create groups within each platform where you have contacts or use a Personal CRM or another tool, you'll be well on your way to better, more thoughtful relationships.