Saturday, August 04, 2012

If I Don't Contact You

Once a year, generally over the summer, I clean out my contact list in my e-mail accounts. They accumulate faster than a hummingbird flaps its wings. To add to the misery, I have multiple accounts. One is my personal Gmail account and then there is a school Gmail account. Add to these our info business account, my personal business account, this Gmail account for my blog; then there is another Gmail account for "storage" and finally, one just to house the updated contact lists once they are culled. 

In the last week, I decided to begin my summer task. Fortunately, I only use 2 Gmail accounts for actually e-mailing, so these contact lists are downloaded separately and then uploaded into my account that will house the final draft. Gmail is great in that it will find and merge duplicates saving hours with that otherwise horrendous task.

Still, after all the merging and deleting, I still had 879 individual contacts to go through. This has to be a multi-day process as my attention span is not that long to keep at it to completion. Generally I manage to spend 3-4 hours for each go at it, before my eyes or brain melts into the heat of the day.I go through ever name that is not ringing a bell at first glance to see if I made some notation that is not showing in the contact list. 

Aside from the hassle of having 14 Katalins drop down to choose from when sending an e-mail, because I have an Android smart phone, it downloads all of the contacts from 2 of my Gmail accounts and stores them in my phone for easy access later. You have no idea how heavy it can be carrying around 879 contacts with all of their associated information.

Today I sent out 259 e-mails with this note:

Sorry to bother you, but I am cleaning out my E-mail contacts and found you there. Sad to say, the memory is slipping and with some embarrassment, I cannot remember why I have you in the contacts to begin with. Perhaps it was saved automatically when you happened to write me?

Anyway, I am going to delete you, but if I should know you, please respond to this e-mail by refreshing my memory. My face will turn red, but I will enter you back into the contacts with a  memo this time around.

It could have been via any of these e-mails that we connected

Once again, sorry for the intrusion,

The side benefit of this is that I eliminated dozens of addresses for those whose e-mails were no longer being used. I am now down to the most significant 429 contacts. If you don't hear from me, you were deleted, so write again. 

Now if I just stop my phone from syncing with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest, I won't get a back ache from carrying it around.

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