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Summary:

Google Contacts has some useful new features, including sorting contacts by last name, custom labels and keyboard shortcuts. Long-time readers of WebWorkerDaily will know that I’m a big fan of web applications that provide keyboard shortcuts, so it’s great to see them in Contacts, too.

Google has updated Contacts. It has some useful new features, including the ability to sort contacts by last name, custom labels for phone numbers and other fields, and keyboard shortcuts. Long-time readers of WebWorkerDaily will know that I’m a big fan of web applications that provide keyboard shortcuts (I’ve previously written about the productivity-boosting keyboard shortcuts in Gmail and Google Tasks) so it’s great to see them in Contacts, too.

Here’s an overview of the available shortcuts (like in many other Google applications, you can pull up a handy overlay cheat sheet of the shortcuts by hitting ?):

  • k/j : Moves your cursor up/down the contact list
  • o/Enter : Opens the contact with the cursor next to it
  • u : Returns to the contact list
  • Esc : Removes the cursor from an input field
  • # :  Deletes a contact
  • l : Opens the groups button
  • z: Undo
  • . : Show more actions

In Gmail, you can hit g then c to open Contacts (you’ll need to ensure that keyboard shortcuts are enabled in your settings).

Keyboard shortcuts can be a real time-saver; if your favorite web apps make them available (many don’t, unfortunately), it’s definitely worth taking the time to learn them.

(Note: While Gmail users should have access to the new Contacts now, it doesn’t look like these changes have rolled out for Google Apps users yet. My account has yet to be updated, and Google’s Benjamin Grol notes that it may take a little while for them to get the updated Contacts to work Google Apps.)

What do you think of the new-look Google Contacts?

Related GigaOM Pro content (sub. req.): Email: The Reports of My Death are Greatly Exaggerated


  1. Seeing as I only woke up to the change this morning, I can say with great enthusiasm that I am so glad to see I can sort contacts by last name! It will be great trying out the new shortcuts as well. So far so good!

    Karen, The Resume Chick (on Google or Twitter for questions, comments or violent reactions)

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  2. Has there been any word about rolling out the new version to Google Apps users as well?

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    1. they are working on it, apparently, but there is no word on when it will be available.

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  3. This are fantastic tips for gmail – and I sure appreciate you letting me know about them. I especially like ‘u’!

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  4. I believe updated contacts will roll out for Apps user in a while..Meanwhile thanks for the shortcuts..

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  5. I welcome the change. A lot easier to find the information now :)

    A lot harder to find people (you do not talk often to) via first name…

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