Spring Cleaning For Your Contacts

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How many names and numbers do you have in your phones contact list. Due to the modern convenience of transferring numbers to your new device automatically instead of having to manually reenter them every couple of years, you’ve probably accumulated several hundred if not thousands of contacts in your list. Let me ask you this. If you have numbers in your phone that you have no intention of ever contacting, I mean like ever, why are you saving them. Phone numbers are not like tickets at Chuck E. Cheese that you can trade in for a prize at some point. Contact information only has value if you use it.

Now that Spring has sprung again, it’s the perfect opportunity to perform some cleanup of your contact lists after you’ve finished scrubbing your house. The first step is to go through your entire list. Do you even remember who this person is? If not, Delete. Is this person someone you would like to have a conversation with in the future or refer to someone else? No, Delete. I mean, think about it, why would you want to keep the contact info of someone you will never talk to again (and maybe never talked to in the first place) in your phone? That’s like keeping food you hate in the fridge, just in case you decide to like it in the future. If someone is on the fence, go ahead and keep them, but make sure you have a reason.

While you are going through the list take this opportunity to make notes on the contacts you keep. As the years go by you’ll learn that memory is not the best source of truth and taking notes can prevent you from calling the wrong Ray in the future. Also, moving forward, as this culling will become a regular spring ritual, start taking notes when you first enter the contact info in your phone. The note can be as short as you want, but make sure you say something in the notes section that will jog your memory when you scan your list.

Now, that you have cleaned out the obvious no-calls, let’s get organized. Start back at the top and add a category in the notes section. What I do is label each contact with a one word description like Legal, Teacher, Painter etc. This does not replace the rest of the description, it just allows me to do a quick search based on the keyword. If I, or someone I know needs a lawyer, I can quickly search for that term in my contact list and see a quick list of folks I can call or recommend.

Now comes the fun part. Take your freshly scrubbed list and actually contact everyone in it. You may be surprised by the number of wrong numbers and bouncing emails. But more importantly you’ll find that your contacts are quite pleasantly surprised to hear from you and wish to remain in touch. Now that you have a clean and organized contact list, that will be much easier to do.

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