Anyone working with two or more computers, a phone and a tablet will know just how useful Google syncing can be. By signing into your account you can access the same information – emails, contacts, tasks and more – on multiple devices.
But what about if you have more than one Gmail account and want to share contacts between them? Forget manually copying and pasting, or re-typing out scores of names and address. Soocial is a service that can do the hard work for you.
Pay a visit to the Soocial web site and hit the Get Soocial button to the upper right of the page. Sign up for an account by entering your name and email address, choosing a password and clicking ‘Sign me up!’.
Before you can do anything else you’ll need to validate your email address, so watch out for the arrival of a confirmation email. Once you have confirmed and signed into your account, click the Sources link to add one of the email accounts that you would like to work with.
Click the Add GMail button, read through the introduction and click Next followed by ‘Connect to Gmail’. In order to synchronize your contacts, Soocial needs to be able to read them, so click ‘Grant access’.
Make sure that you have the option labelled ‘merge GMail with Soocial’ is selected, and also tick the box at the bottom of the page to have a backup of your contacts emailed to you. Click OK.
There will be a bit of a wait to endure now. You can watch the progress bar creep forward or you can get on with something else in the meantime. It is important that you do not continue with the next step before the initial synchronization is complete.
When this is done, click Next followed by the ‘Add another source’ button. Repeat the process to add you second Gmail account. Grant access in the same way and you will then need to decide how to deal with the synchronization process.
For the sake of this article we’re going to assume that the first Gmail account that you added contained the contacts you want to work with – if this is not the case you’ll have to deal with synchronization differently or add your accounts in a different order.
This time, select the option labelled ‘! overwrite GMail with Soocial ! ’ before clicking OK. In next to no time you will find that your contacts have been made available in your second account. Any changes you make from this point will also be reflected between accounts.
Of course, Soocial does not have to be used with two Gmail accounts, there are lots of other scenarios and the site caters for them all with equal aplomb. There is support for Outlook, Windows Mobile, Android, iOS and many other platforms. This means that if you need to sync contacts between different devices, not just different account, you are able to do so.
But it does not end there; Soocial includes other helpful features. Head to the Tools section of the site and you’ll find that you have options for working with contact backups such as rolling back changes to an earlier time.
Two handy cleanup tools are also to be found. If you have multiple contact entries for some of the people you know, it could be a nightmarish task manually working through them to consolidate them and trim out the fat.
Move to the Deduper tab, click Dedupe and Soocial will work away merging together duplicate entries. It’s very unlikely to go wrong, but you have a backup to fall back on if needs be. In a similar vein is the Cleaner option which can be used to ensure consistent formatting between entries.
Soocial is available in two varieties. There is a free package that can be used to sync contacts between up to three sources with a limit of 250 contacts. If you find that this is not enough, you might want to consider looking at the Premium package which costs $4.99 per month and allows for the syncing of an unlimited number of contacts between up to ten sources.
But even if you decide that the free package is the one for you, you can still take advantage of the premium features for 30 days during a trial period. Sticking with the free version means that your contacts are synced at a lower priority, and less frequently, that those of premium customers, but this should not be a problem unless you are constantly creating or editing contacts.
This is not going to be a tool for everyone. There is a lot to be said for consolidating multiple accounts into one, but this is not an option that is always available. If you find that you are forced to use multiple email accounts, or like to spread different communication across different services, it could prove very handy.
Just because you’re using more than one email address to send and receive emails, it is likely that there will be a degree of crossover in terms of contacts. Soocial could be regarded as being a little niche, but niche products exist because there is a need – however small – for them. If you find that you do need to ensure you have the same contacts available in different accounts, it is a serious boon.
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