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Organizing and Cleaning-up Your Electronic Address Book

Organizing and Cleaning-up Your Electronic Address BookBy: Janet L. Hall(Editors Note: This article includes instructions for Outlook Express, Netscape Communicator, AOL, and ACT! users).Has your onli...

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:


>>Open Outlook Express
>>CLICK Tools at the top of screen
>>CLICK Address Book

A new window opens and you are presented with your Address

Notice the columns have headings of NAME, E-MAIL Address,
Business Phone, and Home Phone. Note: Don't worry if yours are
a little different.

>>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
reverse happens.

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 any information.

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)

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
You can also use VIEW.
I did not see an Export Function in Netscape.

AOL Users:

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.

ACT! Users:

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 Address Book
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 or visit
her web site at

Copyright 2001 by OverHall Consulting
P.O. Box 263, Port Republic, MD 20676
All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted to reproduce,
copy, or distribute so long as article is kept intactArticle Submission, this
copyright notice and full information about contacting the
author is attached.

Article Tags: Electronic Address, Address Book, Outlook Express, Email Addresses, E-mail Address, Descending Order, E-mail Program

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