Keep Your Contacts in Sync Across Platforms with Soocial

Soocial contact syncronization between Outlook, Gmail, iPhone, and more If you’re like me, you use many different services for communication.  From Outlook, to Gmail, to my iPhone, I have multiple ways to stay in touch.  The problem?  Until recently, I had my contacts spread out among those platforms, in no coherent fashion.  I had no problem keeping my frequent contacts consistent among those platforms, but when it came time to find contact information for someone I hardly contacted, I’d find myself digging among all my platforms, not sure where I had saved that person’s information.  Those problems ended when I discovered Soocial, a contact management service that will keep your contacts synchronized across multiple platforms.  Soocial is actually quite simple, and consists of two main features – synchronization and backup.  Read on for a discussion of each, and then let us know in the comments how you keep your contacts in sync.

 

Synchronization

To set up synchronization in Soocial, start with the Connections page.  From that page, you can indicate which services should sync with Soocial.  Choices include Outlook, Gmail (including Gmail for Google Apps), Windows Mobile, iPhone, Windows Live, Yahoo (import only), Mac, Blackberry, and several other phones.  Before connecting a service, Soocial recommends that you make a backup of your contacts from within that service, in case you make a mistake or something else goes wrong.

One of the services that I synchronized was Gmail, and I found that I was able to use Gmail’s authorization protocol without providing my Gmail password to Soocial.  Not all services can be connected perfectly.  The Outlook connection in particular comes with a precautionary warning.  I worked around that by syncing my iPhone instead of Outlook.  My iPhone syncs with Outlook itself, so any changes ultimately did end up getting synced.

Soocial connections page

Once you have connected a service, synchronization will take a few minutes.  If you’re using the iPhone app, you will also need to manually run the app on your iPhone to initiate the synchronization (I haven’t tested this on other phones).  During synchronization, contacts in Soocial will be sent to the selected service, and vice versa.

When you’re done, you may have some duplicate contacts.  Soocial does have a "deduper" to address this, but I used Soocial’s merge feature instead.  With the merge feature, you select any duplicate entries for a contact, and click a "merge" button.  You’re then presented with a screen on which you can clean up the contact.  For example, if you used a different first name for someone in two different services, you can click on which of the names to use in that person’s contact entry.

Soocial also allows you to organize your contacts by Groups.  Soocial Groups synchronize with the Groups you have in Gmail.  Soocial also supports nicknames, notes, and multiple phone numbers, email addresses, street addresses, and IM addresses.

 

Backup

In addition to its usefulness as a syncronization tool, the other main strength of Soocial is its ability to be used as a backup tool.  From the backups page, you can download backups, and also trigger a backup to run.  The page also will list backups of each service, taken at the time you connected that service.

Soocial backup page

 

Summary

It took me some time to clean up my duplicates, but thanks to Soocial I now have something I haven’t had for years -  a clean, consistent address book across all of my platforms.  Soocial worked great for me.  How about you?  How do you keep your contacts organized?

Evan Kline

Hello, I'm Evan. I write about tech from my perspective – that of the average 40-something tech geek. You can also find me on Twitter and at my real-life job as a lawyer.    MORE ABOUT ME.

15 Comments:

  1. This looks great but is unfortunately been down for maintenance most of the day so far.

    Anthony Russo
    anthony.russo10@gmail.com
    http://www.anthonyrussoblog.com/Anthony
    Skype: anth.russo
    Twitter: @AnthonyRusso
    .-= Anthony Russo´s last blog ..Welcome to Holland! =-.

  2. Seems pretty cool…

    I was totally looking for this a while back, but managed to convert everything to Google and use MS Exchange to update/sync my Windows Mobile phone contacts. I may need to use this once I switch to another phone though…

  3. Are you still using it 6 months on? I am using Memotoo and am trying Soocial as well, but am not sure whether to jump or not.

    • I’m “sort of” using it. I haven’t logged into the Soocial website in ages, but I haven’t unlinked my accounts either. I’m guessing it is still keeping my non-phone accounts in sync, but I haven’t really checked recently, either. I guess the fact that I haven’t noticed any problems is a good thing.

    • How’s Memotoo working out for you? Have you compared it with Soocial?

      • I haven’t tried Memotoo. Since Soocial worked fine for me, I didn’t want to mess up my contacts by jumping ship. Maybe James can chime in with his experience.

  4. Hi,
    Sorry for such a late reply. I have just relocated from the UK to China for a few years with work, and things have been pretty busy.

    I have stopped using Memotoo. Not becuase it doesn’t work – it does, but becuase it did too much for my needs.

    I was only looking for a contacts syncing system and Memotoo does everything – I like Google calendar for instance.

    J.

  5. I have been using soocial for quite a while. As mentioned above, it just works. Never login to soocial directly anymore but all my google accounts are always in sync. That is nice. Still using the free version, waiting for them to enhance the filter ability more in the premium version before moving up.

  6. I haven’t tried the iPhone client. I sync google apps account to iPhone via the exchange connection. Soocial syncs google apps to gmail to yahoo for me.

  7. Subscribed about 6 months ago and love it. My only complaint is the cost.
    Works perfectly, merged all my dupes and I keep it open on my desk top to use as a phonebook

  8. Wow! very informative post. I’m glad that I found another way for this issue. This is my same problem, in the pat but I found a useful tool called Scrubly Duplicate remover. The process is simple; it scans your Gmail contact folders and look for duplicate contacts. If Scrubly finds any exact or Compatible Contacts, it will remove or merge them automatically. They even have a back up so I can have the original copy just in case. Hope this also helps. Thanks again for post.

    Chris Smith

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