Frank Anderson

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The search for all-in-one contact management tools

I always seem to be shopping around for something that doesn’t quite exist — but maybe it’s out there.  For quite a while now, I’ve been looking for an online tool that will sync together all my contacts from Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other sources.  So far, I’ve experimented with a few but none seems to meet my expectations.  Here’s what I would like such a system to do:

Sync all my contacts from multiple sources (understanding the recent restrictions imposed by facebook – but a field where facebook contact links could be manually added, would be an acceptable alternative)
Pull publicly available information into my contacts
Allow profile photos to be added from URL
Demonstrate the connections between different contacts (for example, if each is a member of an organization, an option to display all members)
Be available across multiple devices
Be affordable
Accept over 2000 contacts

Here’s what I’ve looked at so far:

  • Google Contacts Preview:  (How long will it remain in “preview” mode? )  It’s great for Android users like me, because I never have to worry about losing the contacts on my phone.  Plus you can merge duplicates, import and export, and edit contacts in your browser.  But  while there are custom fields, there is no syncing with Twitter and Facebook.
  • Some phones such as HTC will sync all your contacts, but there is no online component.  And now that I’ve moved on to Samsung, that’s no longer an option.
  • Brewster/FullContact:  FullContact gobbled up Brewster a few months ago.   After trying it, I can say I am impressed with the amount of data it can find and display for me.  But sadly, facebook has eliminated itself altogether from the equation.  I can’t even plug in a facebook link.   Well-written review here.
  • Cloze:  Appears to sync all the contacts, but not completely, as some of my contacts’ social media links are not appearing.  It has a lot of other features such as reminders, but I need full integration so this might not be the one.
  • Contacts+:  Syncs all your contacts but is only available as an app, so you can’t manage the contacts from your computer.
  • Zoho:  According to reviews it has a very clean contact manager, but the free version limits you to 500 contacts, whereafter you pay $15/month.

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the link! Totally agree with you, I’ve been searching for something a little more than a basic contact list and a little less (expensive) than a full-fledged CRM system, and they just don’t seem to exist. My main goal is to get some type of solid networking system together, and there are plenty of little tools that can help (like using Evernote to take pictures of business cards, combined with LinkedIn integration) but nothing that really lets you totally bring it to an effective network-management level unless you’re willing to pay $50/month.

    • ExecutiveDirector

      May 17, 2016 at 7:34 am

      I appreciate the response Brian. I would be willing to pay for such a system if it did exist. Let me know if you find something that works!

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