Thursday, December 2, 2010

Create subgroups of contacts in Outlook

If you have a lot of contacts in your Outlook Contacts, you may wonder what you could do to try to organize those entries. One suggestion would be to create subfolders of contacts so you can group them together so you have multiple smaller groups, which should make it easier to locate a contact. You could always just use the search feature as well, but if you're looking to organize your contacts here is a way to do it.

1. Open Outlook and go into Contacts

2. Click on File->New->Folder...

3. Choose "Contact Items" in the Folder Contains drop-down (it should be there by default), give the subgroup a name, then pick where to store it in your mailbox. I would suggest creating it as a subfolder of your Contacts folder.

4. You'll see the new contact group in the My Contacts section, and you can add contacts to your new subgroup by either creating new within the group or dragging existing contacts into it.

Now you can click on the Group to quickly find the contacts you placed in it. If you'd like to use this group to find contacts while composing an email, there is another step you must take to make it available as an address book list.

1. Right-click your newly created subgroup and go to Properties

2. Click on the "Outlook Address Book" tab and check the box that says "Show this folder as an e-mail Address Book", then click OK

3. Now your subgroup will show up as a selectable Address Book for you to use when adding recipients to an email or calendar invitation

If you noticed the different icons on the contact groups within Contacts, you're in luck because I have the answer for you. This distinguishes where the group exists. If it has the hand holding a contact card, that means it is synchronized with the Exchange server, such as Contacts and ContactsSubgroup in the screenshot above. The ones with blue arrows are contact lists I have open from another Exchange account, and in the screenshot they are from the Administrator mailbox. If the icon is just a contact card, this means it is locally stored within a .pst file. If you're looking to use the subgroup from Outlook, webmail, a mobile device, etc, you will have to make sure to create your subgroup in your Exchange account so you get the hand holding a contact card icon. Otherwise you won't be able to use the group within webmail or your mobile device, but they will be available on the computer running Outlook where you created the group.

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