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How many email address fields should each contact have?

Discussion in 'Outlook and Exchange Polls' started by Forum Admin, Apr 5, 2011.


How many email address fields should be on Outlook Contact forms?

  1. 3. It's enough for almost all of my contacts - I don't want too many in my address book.

    1 vote(s)
  2. 5. Three isn't quite enough for me.

    2 vote(s)
  3. 10. I prefer putting all the addresses in the address book, not in the notes field.

    0 vote(s)
  4. 20. I might need them in an emergency.

    1 vote(s)
  5. Unlimited. I don't want to list addresses in the notes field.

    6 vote(s)
  1. Forum Admin

    Forum Admin

    Senior Member
    We lost the results to the poll when we changed forum software and the new software doesn't allow anonymous voting. Sorry. (I'm working on changing that.)

    If you previously voted and can vote again, go ahead.


    -------------We get more than a few complaints about Outlook only having 3 email address fields. How many should Outlook have before it gets to be too many or too confusing?

    I think 3 is about right. My reasoning, based on how many addresses friends and others should have on file for me:

    I have 4 addresses I use for business and personal. One address is delivered to the same mailbox as one of the others (which is then used for replies), so it's just 3 mailboxes. I check these mailboxes multiple times a day and friends or business partners should be using these addresses. I'm not going to send them a vcard containing more than 3 addresses. They should not have a contact for me containing more than these 3 addresses. I prefer they use just one address - a few people that have all 3 will send email to all 3 addresses and it just creates "clutter".

    I have something like 15 other addresses - some I use for testing, others for specific purposes. Anyone who uses these addresses is looking for help with a problem - they are not friends or business partners. If a potential business partner uses one of these addresses, i reply from my "real" business address and tell them to use it in the future. I might check these mailboxes daily, if i remember, and rarely check them on weekends or holidays (unless I'm really bored). No one should have more than one of these addresses in a contact.

    My friends, family, and business associates should never email me using any of those 15 addresses. I don't want them in a vcard i might send to people or synced to my smart phone. (I use Outlook Notes to keep track of the addresses, passwords, and server configs for each domain, not my Outlook contact.)

    What about devices that use addresses - like evernote, kindle and smart phones? I have a contact for my kindle, called Diane's Kindle. Only i should be using it and i want it easy to find and identify. My blackberry has 3 email addresses and 2 SMS - a blackberry address, 2 verizon email, the phone# or the BB pin for SMS/MMS. No one needs the BB and VZW addresses as my personal and business mail is delivered to the BB. It's contact is called Diane's BB.

    How many different addresses should be synced to a phone? I only want the ones I might send mail to, so its limited to a contacts personal address and/or business.

    What about friends who have more than 3 email addresses? I enter the extras in the notes field for reference. I'm highly unlikely to ever send email to those extra addresses and don't need them in the address book or on my phone. If i have the parents and their kids email addresses, i want a separate contact for the kid (if i need the address in the address book, otherwise, it goes into the notes field. It's way too easy to accidentally send mail to the wrong person and a separate contact in the kid's name can help prevent a problem. Plus, I can use categories to filter and hide the kid's contact. (Same line of thinking applies to cell phone numbers.)
  2. max1967


    I waffled between 3 and 5 and settled on 3 because I don't want addresses I never send mail to in the address book. (I use the To button when i address email much too often.)

    I have some friends with addresses on every service and they don't use most of them for email, so why should I fill my address book with useless addresses? It makes more sense to use the 4 user fields or notes for these addresses. Some of the addresses are used with IM and similar services, but the addresses are remembered by the service so I don't need them listed in Outlook.

    I might prefer more IM fields and web address fields (especially web address fields). Linkedin, facebook, myspace web addresses, and for Skye, icq and other messenger services. This begs another line of thought: where do you draw the line on what service gets its own field? Facebook is hot, myspace is not. ICQ is so "yesterday". When something better comes along and facebook is history, would Microsoft remove the facebook field and add the hot new service? (assuming it had that field to begin with) Urls are hyperlinked in the notes field so its not a big deal to add clickable links to a contacts facebook or Linkedin profile, or to their blogs.
  3. TrevorD


    Outlook currently has 19 (!!) available telephone number fields, which seems excessive.

    I therefore voted for 10 e-mail fields, altho' I really think 5 ought to be enough.

    But if it thinks it needs telephone fields for Business 1 & 2, Home 1 & 2, Assistant, Company, ..., then there ought to be a corresponding number of e-mail addresses.

    In any event, if one has a combined Outlook entry for, say, friend and spouse, and they both have home & work e-mail addresses, then that is a minimum of 4. If, say, they are relatives and have 2 children, each with their own e-mail addresses, then that makes 6.

    So, somewhere between 5 & 10 is not unreasonable. I already have several contacts where I could certainly use more.
  4. Judithdrive


    Many of my contacts have the same problem as I do—I have 14 email addresses: my work, my home, the address people use from my web site, a gmail account, because it handles calendars and contacts better, a hotmail account for instant messaging with my family, because that's what they use, one to send documents to my Kindle, a .vtext address for texting my mobile phone, one to send documents to my Readdle app, one for the Read It Later app, the un-rememberable address my ISP assigned me, one that redirects to both me and my wife, an old one for a list subscription that I never got around to changing, and two X.400 addresses for work-related functions.

    If I say 14 is sufficient, then what about in a year when they think up more uses for email?
  5. Diane Poremsky

    Diane Poremsky

    Senior Member
    Do people who have a contact for you in their Outlook need all those addresses in your contact card? How many people need to have your x400 address? Do they also need your 13 other addresses?

    Do you need to have your friend's kindle, Read it later, or readdle addresses on their contact card in your outlook? Do you give everyone all of your addresses or just one or two you check most often?
  6. Judithdrive


    No, my contacts don't need all of them. Some need these, and some need those. But I need all of them. I'm the only user of some of them, but I need to keep them somewhere. Keeping them in my contact info would be clean and easy if it had the room.
  7. larry


    Senior Member

    Maybe a special "owners card" with extra address fields would be useful, but I use a method similar to the one described by slipstick for extra addresses - separate contact cards for the addresses I send to (no kindle here, but my digital picture frame has an email address and its own contact) and I keep the ones I don't send to in their own contact folder for reference. I don't have that folder enabled as an address book, so my address book is not polluted by my own addresses. It also doesn't sync to my smartphone. I keep the server info and passwords in each contacts note field (and what sites I used them on). I have one contact per domain and if I have more than 3 addresses in a domain, I put the extras in notes field. I could easily move them to Outlook's Notes (the yellow ones), but I've used the contacts for years.

    I have so many addresses because I (stupidly) made a bunch of different addresses over the years for different purposes so I could tell who was selling my address. This was in the days before good spam filters when I had to try every free email service that came along. Most of my geek friends did the same so it didn't seem so stupid at the time, but now managing the accounts is a nuisance. :( I should dump all and just use my gmail address for all the junk but that, too, takes effort. :D
  8. Forum Admin

    Forum Admin

    Senior Member
    Hmmm... an owners contact form is a good idea -

    http://www.slipstick.com/contacts/_oft/owner_contact.oft [use Save target as then copy it to %appdata%\Microsoft\Templates (in Win7 or Vista)-

    To use the form, go to Home tab, click New Items, click More Items, and then click Choose Form. In the Look In list, click User Templates in the File System, and then select and open the template. ]

    The extra addresses are on a new page, with a field for notes about each address. If you forward the contact as a vcard, these fields won't be included. (if you forward as an outlook contact, they will be included).

    The addresses are not included in the address book - they are for reference only.

    If you need addresses to be listed in the address book (such as addresses for ereaders, phones, etc) you'll need to make a new contact. Use the device name as the contact name so outlook won't try to match duplicate contacts and mess up the contact you use as a vcard.
  9. AprilD


    I need more email fields, and I want specific fields that store social networking data. I do not want to put much in unstructured notes where it is difficult to find and can't easily be exported and used in other applications. I think the Social Connector is fabulous, but the contact card interface is out of date. It needs a whole new section for social contact information, so that we can put that into named fields. Since there are so many social sites, it could have a similar interface to the email setup, such that I enter the name of the service as well as the address. It would be nice if the top sites like Twitter and LinkedIn had their own fields, but I'll take anything over the darned Notes.

    I feel sure that these additional fields would make a fantastic addition to Outlook 2010 that could be pushed with a service pack. Or actually an update today would be fine with me, and let's not forget Business Contact Manager, which needs this feature update yesterday!

    Hmmn... Does this mean I am a data pig?
  10. mailscaled


    Data is money in my world. The more forms the better, it's as simple as that.
  11. MarkAtHome


    I have no problem with the default of three, but there should be an option to dynamically increase that number as need arises.

    At the email pulldown menu, have an additional choice, something like "Add E-mail 4?". If clicked that would become "E-mail 4", and then after that "Add E-mail 5?", etc. The change could be contact-specific or global.
  12. jrom5


    I totally agree. Microsoft SERIOUSLY needs to make an update to this feature. One of the MOST annoying things about outlook.

    Here is the ULTIMATE SOLUTION:

    At the pulldown, have a choice to "Add Email 4" or "Add Email 5" just like said above.

    Then, have a simple little checkbox that says "Do Not Show Email in Address Book" for any of the emails I have in my list (e.g., 1-5), so I don't have to see a certain email of someone's showing up when I am composing an email and then searching for an address.

    BUT, I can still have ANY old email of a friend or colleague stored with him as a contact (and linked to all the past emails I received from him). So, say now he works at a new place of work or business or simply decides to change his email, I can still know know ALL the past emails from any old email that came from this contact AND still choose the latest email (or the emails without the checkbox filled "Do Not Show Email in Address Book") when composing an email.

    Then, outlook can still use ALL the emails (e.g., 1-5) in the algorithms for the outlook social network connector analysis for this contact.

    WIN - WIN!!
  13. Starbuck


    Coming to this thread late... I agree with other postings. People these days have complex lives with lots of mailing addresses and lots of internet addresses - SMTP "e-mail" is just one of them. It's ridiculous in this decade to have only 3 mailing addresses, 3 e-mail addresses, 1 website, and 1 IM address. We can find any number of people who anecdotally say they only have 1, 2, or 3 of each, but coding to that subset of the audience completely disenfranchises everyone else. One contact might be good for you (generally speaking) as an individual, but that's irrelevant if you need to store information for some other individual who doesn't conform to your personal set of rules and therefore has more contact references.

    The concept of dynamic multivalued, multidimensional data is decades old, but most modern products still don't implement the concept. I agree with the idea to allow dynamic expansion of data as required. I don't want to have to create multiple contact records for a single individual, nor do I want to resort to storing addresses and metadata ("old work address", "phone address if out of town", "website for personal NPO", ...) in the Notes field.
  14. ChairPotato


    Yes, exactly! And a button to display a resizable popup window that displays/add/del/edit all the email addesses. All email addresses that are used by the contact in question are important because emails are fetched and displayed in the activities section. Email addresses should also be labeled like phone numbers are and the labels should be user defined, and unlimited, just like categories.

    I'm sure I'm not the only one who uses Outlook to keep purchase / registration information for things like software bought online. Contacts are created and emails are kept. Companies tend use different email addresses for each department and special ones for activities such as registration. Three is not enough. It should also be possible to use *@domain.* For example I have an ebay.com and ebay.ca account. Everything from *@ebay.* should be seen as activity for that contact. Same for Amazon… Sometimes you get a response from them from noreply@ or techsupport@ and besides not being convenient to enter them after the first one arrives, it (not being able to specify wildcards in email addresses) doesn’t help with setting up antispam tools or rules.

    I think the whole contact form is way out of date and practically obsolete. The above ideas apply to URLs - easy access to the site’s main page, forum, support tickets.. I could use many such bookmarks per contact.

    Phone number labels should be editable like categories and numbers should be unlimited with a resizable popup window to show/dial them.

    Same should be done for addresses, and a section added for directions.

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