Organise your Microsoft Outlook Contacts

How much time is wasted searching for the correct email addresses when composing a message in Microsoft Outlook?  Here we will help you to organise your Microsoft Outlook Contacts and Address Book to make life simpler and save you time.

Creating a Microsoft Outlook Contact List

When you open the Microsoft Outlook Contacts folder, Outlook displays the contact list in the information viewer. The contact list contains names, phone numbers, and other important information about your business and personal associates. With a contact list, you can store, update, organise, and retrieve your colleagues’ contact information. If you forget a contact’s name, you can look that person up another way, such as by workplace or by any other field listed in the contact information.

If you have more contacts stored in your folder than you can display at one time in the information viewer, you can click one of the alphanumeric tabs at the right of the screen to display the contact you want.

As in other Outlook folders, there are context-sensitive buttons on the toolbar that are available only in the Microsoft Outlook folder.

 Button NameFunction
 New ContactOpens the New Contact window so that you can add a new contact address card. The drop-down arrow gives you access to the New windows for the other Outlook features.
PrintFile > Print – Prints your contacts list
Move To FolderMoves your contacts to another folder
DeleteDeletes a contact
New Message to ContactOpens a New Message window addressed to the selected contact.
DialIf connected, places a call to your contact. The drop-down arrow displays the selected contact’s phone numbers and gives you dialling options.
CategorizeOrganises your contacts into colour coded categories
Follow UpAllows you to flag a contact for follow up

Adding Microsoft Outlook Manually

At the very least, your contact list should include names and phone numbers, but the more inclusive you make your list, the more helpful it can be to you. To add contacts, type your data into the New Contact window selecting fields as appropriate to enter additional details.

When you enter all the information in the New Contact window and save it, Outlook stores each contact in the contact list as an address card. Address cards in the contact list simulate business cards in your rotary or card file.

 The Microsoft Outlook Contact window has a ribbon of its own with five tabs containing the various commands.

To add contacts manually:

  1. Open the Contacts folder.
  2. On the toolbar, click the New Contact button.
  3. In the New Contact window, for all pages, fill in the text boxes, select the check boxes, and so forth, as appropriate.
  4. On the toolbar, click the Save and Close button.
  5. On the toolbar, click the Save and New button to add another contact.

In the following exercise, you will add contacts to your contact list manually.

1.Using the shortcut bar open the Microsoft Outlook Contacts folderThe contact list appears in Address Cards view.
  2.On the toolbar, click the New Contact buttonThe New Contact window appears.
3.In the Full Name text box, type Jeff Thompson 
4.In the Job title text box, type IT Trainer 
5.In the Company text box, type Eident Training 
6.In the Address text box, type 227 Ingram Street, Glasgow G1 1DA 
7.Make sure the This is the mailing address check box is selected 
8.In the Phone: Business text box, type 01436653049 
9.In the E-mail text box, type [email protected] 
10.On the toolbar, click the Save and Close buttonThe contact list reappears.
11.At the right of the screen, click the t alphanumeric buttonThe Jeff Thompson address card appears in the contact list.
12.Enter the first contact into your contact list 
13.With your mail partner, select one of the remaining contacts for you to enter into your contact list and the other for your partner to enter, and then add the entry 
Full NameJob TitleCompanyBusiness AddressCityCountyPost codeBusiness Phone number
Liz WrightMarketing RepKirk & AssociatesFlat 2, 24 Balls Pond RoadLondonLondonN1 5TH020 7423 9636
Lucy WalshConsultantKirk & Associates33 Brentwood Park Close, ClaphamLondonLondon21044-0928020 8742 3695
Judy KenningFriendJK Computer Services14 Royal CrescentSwindonWilts.SN3 5RT01273 569369

Selecting and Editing an Address Card in Microsoft Outlook

Your contacts might change jobs, get new phone numbers, or give you additional information that you want to store in your contact list. You can edit information in your contact list directly on the address card or in the Contact window.

To select an address card:

  1. Click the desired card.

To edit an address card:

  1. Select the address card.
  2. On the address card, type the changes.


  1. Double-click the address card.
  2. In the Contact window, type the changes.
  3. On the toolbar, click the Save and Close button.

In the following exercise, you will edit address cards in your Microsoft Outlook contact list.

1.Make sure the Jeff Thompson address card is selectedThe address card is selected.
2.Click between the H and the w in Hwy in the business addressThe insertion point appears between the H and the w in Hwy.
3.Press Backspace and then type PkThe business address is now 222 Whooping Crane Pkwy.
4.Select the Beth Wright address card, and then double-click itThe Beth Wright Contact window appears.
5.In the large text box at the bottom of the window, type Beth markets herbs and spices. 
6.On the toolbar, click the Save and Close buttonThe Contact window closes and the changes are saved.

Transmitting and Adding Microsoft Outlook Contacts with E-mail

If colleagues have someone listed in their contact lists who you would like to include in your list, too, your colleagues can e-mail the address card directly to you, just as you can e-mail similar cards to your colleagues. Then you can open the e-mail message and transfer the address card directly to your Contacts folder. Neither of you has to retype the information.

To transmit contacts via e-mail:

  1. Select the contact.
  2. From the Contacts tab on the ribbon, click the send button.
  3. From the drop down menu click ‘send as business card’
  4. In the New Message window, address and send the message.

To add contacts from e-mail:

  1. Open the message with the address card.
  2. Click the address card icon attachment.
  3. On the contact screen click Save and Close.
  4. Open the Contacts folder to check the contact has been added successfully.

In the following exercise, you will transmit and add contacts to your contact list with e-mail.

1.Make sure your contact list is open 
2.Select the contact you created (and your mail partner did not create) 
3.From the Contacts menu, choose ForwardThe New Message window appears with the address card as an icon in the message area.
4.Address the new message to your partner, and then send it 
5.Check for new mail, and then open your partner’s message 
6.On your partner’s message, click the address card iconThe address card is selected.
7.In the Selection window choose Copy AttachmentsThe address card is copied to the Clipboard.
8.Resize and reposition the Message window so you can see the Outlook bar 
9.Open the Contacts folder 
10.In the Contacts folder, right-click, choose PasteThe address card is added to your contact list.
11.On the taskbar, click the Message button to restore the Message window 
12.Close the Message window 

Managing Microsoft Outlook  Contacts

Besides organizing your contact list alphabetically by contact name, Outlook lets you view it by company name, location, and category. For example, if you cannot remember the name of a contact but do remember that person’s workplace, you can view your contact list by company to find the contact. You can choose which fields you display and which you hide.

Showing and Hiding Columns

In the Contacts folder, you can view your contacts by address cards, phone list, category, company, or location. In addition, with the Show Columns dialog box you can change the columns that appear on the address cards.

To show and hide fields:

  1. From the Home menu (in the Contacts window), choose Current View, More, in the dropdown menu choose Manage Views.
  2. In the Mange All Views dialog box that appears, click the Columns button
  3. In the Show Columns dialog box, in the Available columns list box, select the field(s) you want to add to the view pane, and then choose Add.
  4. In the Show Columns dialog box, in the Show these columns in this order: list box, select the field(s) you want to remove from the view pane, and then choose Remove.
  5. If desired, choose New Column, and then create a new column.
  6. If desired, in the Show these fields in this order: list, select a field and choose Move up or Move down.
  7. Repeat step 4 as necessary to list the fields in the order you want them.
  8. Choose OK
  9. Choose OK
  10. Choose OK

In the following exercise, you will show and hide columns.

1.From the View menu (in the Contacts window), choose current view and select address cards, Customize Current View. Then click the Columns button.  The Show Columns dialog box appears.
2.In the Available fields list box, select Business Home Page 
3.Choose AddBusiness Home Page appears at the bottom in the Show these fields in this order: list box
4.In the Show these fields in this order: list box, select Business Fax 
5.Choose Move Up repeatedly until Business Fax is below Company Main Phone in the list 
6.Choose OKThe Show columns dialog box closes.
7Choose OKThe Advanced View Settings dialog box closes.
8.Choose OKThe address cards show the Business Fax number on each card for which such a number is available.

Changing the Current View

Besides viewing address cards with one mailing address and a business and home phone number, you can change the Current View to display detailed address cards or a phone list that displays a contact with phone numbers but not addresses. You can group your contact list by company to find contacts whose name you forget.

When you change the Current View, you are applying a built-in filter.

Business CardsShows simple business card view
CardShows simple address cards for all contacts in the folder.
PhoneLists all contacts. You can sort the contacts by first or last name, company, and so forth.
ListShows details for all contacts in the folder

To change the Current View:

Toolbar method

  1. Click the Current View drop-down list arrow.
  2. From the drop-down list, select the Manage Views
  3. Choose either New… or Modify…
  4. Choose the settings desired
  5. If necessary, in the Manage All Views Settings dialog box, select the Apply view “…” with the current View settings option button.
  6. Choose OK.

In the following exercise, you will change the Current View of your contact list.

1.Click the Current View drop-down list arrowThe drop-down list appears.
2.Select CardThe Save View Settings message box might appear.
3.Choose OKThe address cards show more details.
4.Change the Current View by filter > CompanyThe contacts are grouped by company.
5.If necessary, expand the list to show employees of Kirk & AssociatesTwo names appear.


  1. Add one of the following contacts to your Microsoft Outlook contact list and arrange with your e-mail partner for your partner to add the other contact:

Dr. Kevin Tucker, Harley Street Clinic, 11 Harley Street, London, W1A 3RD , 020 7414 8888, 020 7414 5398

Charles Simon, Presto Pasta, 42 James Street, London, SW1 5SA, 020 7423 9671, 020 7423 9612.

  1. Send the contact you added in step 1 above to your e-mail partner.
  2. Add the contact your e-mail partner sent you to your contact list.
  3. Edit the business address of the Geoff Herbert contact to read Redland Drive.
  4. Remove the field Business Home Page from the fields you display on your address cards. In the Show Fields dialog box, in the Show these fields in this order: list box, move Business Fax down three places.
  5. Change your contact list Current View to Card.

Eident Training offer a comprehensive range of Microsoft Office training courses in Glasgow, Edinburgh and across Scotland to help you manage your Microsoft Outlook Contacts efficiently, and to make better use of the powerful software in day to day office use.