When your customers or vendors email you, you always add them to your contacts and never have to hunt for their contact info ever again, right? Right…Well, I personally always found it frustrating having to hunt for people's email addresses and thought there should be a better way than having to scan old emails or calendar items. Here are some solutions that worked for me:
Gmail or Outlook Settings
One solution to this problem is to automatically add contact for a person you replying. Gmail has this feature under settings. Just turn on “Create contacts for auto-complete” and any email address your email to will be added to Gmail’s contacts. Outlook has a similar feature. These are useful, but what if you’re looking to find an email for someone you never replied to? What if you need to find an email for someone who was simply included on a calendar item?
To solve that problem you can turn to Zapier. It’s a very cool platform that lets users create integrations between apps. Users can connect different apps together and based on a trigger, “do” something. That something could be creating a contact item when new email is received. Very cool. The one challenge with this is the way Zapier treats email fields. When you get an email with multiple recipients, Zapier adds them all to one contact. (Well, that sucks. Has anyone found a way around that?) Otherwise, this is a really good solution.
I have recently been playing around with GoLang — Google’s latest hot new language that’s getting lot of traction with startups. I figured I could write an app that leverages Gmail API (Sorry, no MS Exchange support yet.) to parse emails and save them into a database.
For now the app is only useful for those who bother enough to download the source code and install Go and MongoDB. If you’re one of those people, you can get the code from here: https://github.com/vcollak/GmailContacts
If you think an app like this is useful and would like to see something like a mobile or a web version, please comment this post. If enough people find this solution useful, I may consider enhancing it. : )