A major advantage to Spanning Sync, which sets it apart from â€“ for example â€“ CalDav, is the fact that it can sync your contacts. This is a relatively new development, and to make this possible Spanning Sync uses the Google Contacts API to sync your Gmail Contacts with your Mac Address Book.
I alluded to this in my previous post about Spanning Sync, and here I will guide you through the fool proof process of syncing your Gmail contacts and your Address Book contacts.
Why You Want to Merge Those Contacts
Syncing has the obvious benefit of backing up your contacts from your Mac on your Gmail Contacts list. If anything were to happen with your hard drive, you would still have an online copy of your records. Aside from this, syncing your contacts will also give you access to vital Gmail contacts when youâ€™re on the go (on your iPhone) or donâ€™t have Internet access (on your laptop).
How itâ€™s Done
Gmail behaves rather interestingly when it comes to contacts, and there are a few things you need to keep in mind, because it can cause errors when trying to sync your contacts:
- Gmail does not let you have two contacts with the same email address.
- Gmail adds a â€œsuggested contactâ€ for anyone and everyone you email in your Gmail account that is not yet in your address book. Needless to say that in most of those cases, you donâ€™t even want the person to be in your address book.
To avoid fatal errors and getting stuck in syncing-hell, there are a few things you should do before you attempt your first contact sync. It may seem like this is quite a bit of work, but remember you only need to go through these steps for your first sync! After this, all contacts will stay updated between your Mac and Gmail.
6 Steps From Start to Sync
- Back up your contacts first. Go to File -> Export -> Address Book Archive. If funny things happen to your contacts while trying to sync or play around with settings, you will still have an untouched, perfect, copy of your contacts.
- For your first sync (and first sync only), set your Spanning Sync preferences to â€œmanual syncingâ€.
- Get rid of your â€œsuggested contactsâ€ in your Gmail account. Either move them to â€œmy Contactsâ€, or delete them altogether.
- Also remove any other duplicate entries between your Mac Address Book and the Gmail contacts section (Since Gmail doesnâ€™t like two contacts with the same email address!).
- If you use Google Talk, move any information you care about from your Address Book to your Google Contacts, then delete the entries from your Mac.
- Now youâ€™re ready to sync! Hit the Sync button, after making sure your contacts are backed up!
Congratulations! Now your contacts should be neatly synced between Gmail and Address Book.
Spanning Sync is a great tool that not only syncs your Google Calendar with iCal, but also your contacts. Take advantage of our $5 discount code for Spanning Sync.
Have you used Spanning Sync to have access to your contacts on both Gmail and your Address Book? How did it work for you?