Open Thread: The Evolving Address Book

This week, Google finally answered our pleas and introduced over-the-air contact and calendar sync for Windows Mobile and iPhone. Instead of a separate sync application, as with the Blackberry, the syncing works through the Exchange client already in the device.

I’ve decided to only sync my calendar between Google and my iPhone, which after one false start now works well. I didn’t bother syncing contacts. Why? Because nowadays when I need to find someone, the last place I seem to look is in my usually-outdated contacts application.

Sure, I have some contacts in my desktop address book which I sync back to Google with Spanning Sync. Mostly immediate family, doctors, school contacts, etc. Those few people I really need to call when out and about. Every work contact is in our organization’s CRM and is accessible through the Salesforce iPhone app. The rest of my life is either in Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn where the contacts themselves make sure their own data is up-to-date. All are easily accessible from my iPhone.

When I leaf through my desktop address book there are so many out-of-date entries, I often wonder why I bothered putting them there to begin with. I know there’s Plaxo for keeping an address book updated, but that utility comes with its own set of problems.

Let’s hear how other web workers handle their contacts.

Has your local address book been shoved aside in favor of web-based tools? Do you worry about the accuracy of contact data on your phone or desktop? How do you keep it all up-to-date and in sync?

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