7 Signs You Need to Clean Up Your Contact List

Address book with corrections and additions scribbled all over the pages

Contact lists are the lifeblood of most professionals. The old adage “It’s not what you know, but who you know” is even truer today. Gone are the days of handwritten phone numbers and collections of business cards. From address books in Outlook and OS X to those in Gmail and Google Apps, the contact list is now king.

When working well, they’re a seamless part of your workflow. Great as they are, though, even digital contact lists are bound to get messy, with duplicate contacts, junk contacts, and incomplete information. When these warning signs pop up, you need to take action so your list doesn’t get too unwieldy.

Check out these seven signs that you need to clean up your contact list and see if any of them apply to you. If even one does, it’s time to get your contact list into shape and working again, and Scrubly is here to help. Try Scrubly for free by clicking here.

1. You spend more time finding the right contact than sending the email.

Your time is valuable. So why waste time looking through a contact list full of duplicates and incomplete information? Did you list your new client as Jim or James? Was that Robert or Bob? Or did you quickly save his or her email address without a name?

All of these mysteries lead to one thing: You spend more time looking for the right contact than the action you want to take with it! Clean up your contact list so everyone has one entry, and each entry contains all the information you need. Simple.

Ink sketch of Rolodex and laptop

2. People roll their eyes when you start looking for a contact to send them.

When your coworker asks you for a vendor’s phone number and sees you pull your phone out to start looking, do they prepare themselves for a long wait? Do they expect it’ll take you two or three tries to get them the right information?

Not having a clean and scrubbed contact list means you’ll have a hard time sharing contact information with friends, family, and coworkers. If you have a company’s contact info spread across three entries, each with vital information in it, you’re doing a disservice to anyone that needs that info. Get all that information into one tidy place so it’s one click to send it to anyone.

3. You only know a few hundred people, but your address book has over 1,000.

Have you ever looked at your contact list to find it contains far more people than you think you know? There are four entries for your friend Bob, one for every business he has an email address for. Your mom has three nearly identical entries. Don’t even get us started on how many of the same contact you have for work.

It’s enough to drive you crazy. Removing duplicates gets your contact list down to a reasonable level and helps you see a true representation of how many contacts you have.

4. This guy is in more contact pictures than anyone else.

Anonymous contact silhouette icon
Look familiar? If this guy or someone like him is next to most of your contacts, you’ve got a problem. There’s a spot for a user picture in your phone and desktop contact lists for a good reason. Why not use it?

Scrubly not only cleans up your contacts, but it also syncs your contacts with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn so your contacts get tons of extra information added to them. User pictures are one of the best. Now you don’t have to be creepy and ask a contact for his or her picture for your address book. Just sync up with Scrubly’s Social Connector and it’s all automatic.

Duplicate contacts killing your productivity? See how Scrubly can help in this 100-second video.

5. You know your coworker has LinkedIn, but you can’t find his account.

Social media is about far more than posting pictures of your lunch. It’s a source of constant communication with friends and family, as well as a great way to stay in touch with customers, coworkers, and potential clients. Knowing a person’s social media information is vital to helping you stay in touch, but if you don’t have it readily at hand, it’s not that useful, is it?

Scrubly can clean up your contact list and update your contacts with all the available information from LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook so you know how to get in touch with your contacts quickly and easily. Best of all, you don’t have to ask someone you’ve known for years what their social media info is and seem disorganized. It’s all there waiting for you.

6. Your have more junk contacts than actual contacts.

Email providers like Gmail are great because they record every contact you’ve emailed with, whether it was just a quick question or long back-and-forth replies. The downside to this is that it can create junk contacts pretty quickly. Now instead of having a solid, concise list of your contacts you have everyone you’ve ever replied to mixed in, making for a real mess.

Trim your contact list down by removing these junk contacts or merging them with existing contacts they should have been with in the first place. Scrubly helps you do both, cutting down a long list of just email addresses into something you can actually read and use.

7. Phone numbers in your address book are formatted 10 different ways.

Some people use dots to separate phone numbers, while others use dashes. There’s the parentheses-around-the-area-code crowd, and some who like all the numbers shoved together. Since we all have our own preferences, contacts that you’ve copy/pasted and been sent will most likely be formatted slightly differently, making your list of phone numbers look insane.

It’s your contacts list, so phone numbers should all look the way you want them to, no matter where they came from. Part of Scrubly’s contact-scrubbing process formats all of your 10-digit phone numbers the way you choose, making your list clean and orderly.

Scrubly social-sharing menu.

Scrubly sign-up.