How to Clean Up Your Phone Number Formatting With Scrubly

Vintage AT&T National Telephone Directory phonebook

How do you format phone numbers when you type or write them? Do you use dashes between the numbers? What about periods? Or do you just run all the numbers together into one line? However you prefer your numbers formatted, there are quite a few other people that don’t do it the same way, so when you get their contact information you’re stuck with their method.

Aside from being irritating, this means that if you have numbers without any spaces in them you can easily copy down a number incorrectly, leaving room for errors when sharing numbers with coworkers or clients.

Along with clearing up duplicate contacts in your address book, Scrubly can standardize the phone number formatting for all your contacts, making it quick and easy to see whom you’re calling and to get the number right every time. Here’s how to do it.

1. Upload Your Contacts to Scrubly

The first step is to get your contacts onto the Scrubly servers. There are a few ways to go about this.

The easiest is to link your email/contacts account directly to Scrubly. This works if you have Outlook for Windows, Mac Contacts or Gmail/Google Apps.

Scrubly software Setup window, Step 1

Method #2 is to export your contacts as a file and upload the file to Scrubly. This works if you’re exporting a CSV from Outlook or a vCard file (VCF) from the Mac or Google.

Once your contacts are uploaded to Scrubly, you can move on to Step 2 and start the scrubbing process.

2. Complete the Scrubbing Process

While there are two levels of scrubbing you can apply to your address book, formatting your numbers is only done during the Deep Scrub. If you’re just looking to format your phone numbers you can skip over much of the scrubbing process, but since you’re here you might as well do it, right?

Scrubly software window showing Express Scrub and Deep Scrub options

Once the Deep Scrub is complete, it’s time for Contact Shining. This is the step where your phone numbers get formatted. All you have to do is choose the format you want.

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

3. Choose Your Phone Number Formatting Options

Once the scrubbing process is complete, you get the chance to format your phone numbers. Scrubly currently offers five methods for phone number formatting, as seen below.

Scrubly window showing phone number formatting options

It’s worth noting that this method only works on 10-digit phone numbers, including international numbers that happen to be 10 digits long. If you have international numbers longer than 10 digits, they will not be formatted. If you have any other numbers that aren’t 10 digits long, they will also be skipped.

After your phone numbers are formatted, the final step is getting your contacts back to your computer.

Scrubly window showing Scrubbing Completed

4. Download Contacts

Depending on how you uploaded your contacts to Scrubly, you’ll have to follow the steps to download them once again. The only warning here is that if you exported your contacts as a file, you’ll need to clear out your contacts list BEFORE importing the file yourself. If you connected via Google or Outlook for Windows, Scrubly will do this step for you.

Once your contacts are in place on your machine, check them for the newly formatted phone numbers. You should now see all of your phone numbers displayed exactly how you want.

Scrubly social-sharing menu.

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