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MacBook Air Portable Genius, 4th Edition by Paul McFedries

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Managing Your Contacts

One of the paradoxes of modern life is that as your contact information becomes more important, you store less and less of that information in the easiest database system of them all — your memory. That is, instead of memorizing phone numbers like you used to, you now store your contact info electronically. When you think about it, this isn’t exactly surprising because it’s not just a landline number that you have to remember for each person anymore. It might also be a cell number, an instant-message handle, an e-mail address, a website, a Twitter username, or a physical address.

That’s a lot to remember, so it makes sense to go the electronic route. For most Mac users, “electronic” means the Contacts application. Initially, this app seems basic enough, but it’s actually loaded with useful features that can help you organize and get the most out of the contact- management side of your life.

Saving a person’s contact information

Entering a person’s contact data by hand into a new Contacts card is tedious at the best of times, so it helps if you can find a faster way to do it. For example, if you can cajole a contact into sending his or her contact data electronically, you can add that data with just a couple of mouse moves.

What do I mean when I talk about sending contact data electronically? Long ago, the world’s contact-management gurus came up with a standard file format for contact data: the vCard. It’s a kind of digital business card that exists as a ...

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