Five fantastic Address Book tips | Macworld

4. Backup and share contactsAddress Book provides multiple ways to share and back up contacts. For example, if you wish to easily back up all your contacts, choose File -> Export -> Address Book Archive. This creates exactly what it suggests—a complete collection of your contacts, which can be imported into another copy of Address Book the one on your laptop or work computer, for example using the File -> Import command.You can also easily copy single contacts, multiple contacts, and single and multiple groups of contacts. To do so, select them in Address Book and drag them to the Desktop. The items will turn into vCard files, which are generally compatible with all of today’s contact management applications. I say “generally” because some applications don’t support vCards that contain multiple contacts.5. Automatically send birthday greetingsMuch as you love your friends, family, and associates, it’s easy to forget an important birthday. With the help of Address Book, Mail, and Automator, you need never again be caught short for a well-timed birthday wish.Launch Address Book and choose Address Book -> Preferences. Click the Template entry at the top of the resulting window, click on the Add Field pop-up menu, and enable the Birthday option in the list that appears. Now work through your contacts. Click the Edit button at the bottom of each card and add birthdays as you go.Launch Automator found in /Applications/Utilities and in the template sheet that appears select iCal Alarm and click the Choose button. Create a workflow that contains these actions: under the Contacts heading Find People With Birthdays and under the Mail heading Send Birthday Greetings. In the Find People With Birthdays action choose an appropriate time period—This Week, for example. In the Send Birthday Greetings action enter a birthday message—Best wishes to you. Have a wonderful birthday!, for example. If you like, enable the Random Image For Each Recipient option.Save and name your workflow. When you do, iCal opens, creates an Automator calendar if one doesn’t already exist, and creates your birthday greetings event. You can now move that event to an appropriate day and time—Monday at 9:00 AM, for example—as well as make it a repeating event. For instance, if your workflow looks for birthdays in the upcoming week, have the event repeat once a week.Automated birthday greetingsAdd a Birthday field to Address Book and you can use a special and simple Automator workflow to send out birthday greetings.Note that this is not the same calendar as iCal’s Birthdays calendar an optional calendar that you switch on within iCal’s General preference. Any events generated by the workflow will be found in the Automator calendar, not the Birthdays calendar.When the event is triggered, a new message is created in Apple’s Mail for each recipient, complete with a subject heading that reads Greetings from Yourname, a Dear Nameofrecipient greeting, the message you entered in the Send Birthday Greetings action, and the image selected in that same action. These messages are created as drafts. All you need to do is send them.

via Five fantastic Address Book tips | Macworld.


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