BusyContacts Continued

In my previous article I covered several of the main features of BusyMac’s BusyContacts application. Today I want to finish off reviewing this excellent program. I have taken the liberty of including my main screen shot from the previous article. Be sure and double click it into a separate browser window so you can follow along.

Here is the main BusyContacts window:


Last time we covered sections 1, 2 & 3. Today we begin with section 4, Activities List.

4. Activities List

The Activities List is a totally cool idea! When you click on a contact BusyContacts not only displays the contact’s information (#3), but it also displays any activities associated with that contact, such things as calendar events, email, messages, etc. This feature along with Smart Filters, makes BusyContacts a real contact manager, not just an address book.

If you click on the “Activities” dropdown you can turn on or off what Activities you wish to monitor for your contacts. Unfortunately you cannot customize this setting for each contact. You have to set it up the way you wish it to display for all contacts. However, it is still a killer feature and I really love it.

If you double click on any of these items (calendar events, mail, etc.) you will be taken to the program associated with that function on your Mac. This Activities List feature is pretty well thought out and could be very handy for someone who is interacting with other people all day long.

The next area that I want to cover is what BusyContacts calls Smart Filters. Personally, I do not use BusyContacts in a business capacity, but if you did then I think Smart Filters may be a very powerful productivity enhancement.

5. Smart Filters

Here is what BusyMac says about Smart Filters:

Smart Filters are a powerful tool for filtering contacts and creating saved searches that can be applied with a single click. You can create Smart Filters to display contacts that match certain conditions, such as a text string, tag, or birthdate. Or you can create Smart Filters to remember view settings such as columns displayed and sort order.

Like I said, I don’t really need the functionality of Smart Filters, the Tags feature is more than enough for me, but YMMV. You create the Smart Filters which reside in the top of your BusyContacts window. Just click on them to use the filtering capability. When you are finished you click on “Unfiltered”, left hand side of the Smart Filters list.

“Just One More Thing”

There is one more thing I wanted to mention. If you have duplicates of a contact in the same source, like iCloud you can merge them (Apple’s Contact app does this too) by selecting “Edit” and then “Merge Cards” like so:

However, BusyContacts has another feature that is even better than Merge, it is called “Combined Linked Cards”. So, if you have a card from two sources like iCloud and Google for the same person you can combine them! You just have to “Link” them in the “Edit” menu then use the “Combine Linked Cards” feature in the “View” menu:

I don’t have any linked cards to show you, but it combines the information into one card and then lists the sources of the info on the new card. This is a very cool feature! Lets face it, people have all kinds of contact cards in all kinds of different services. BusyContacts takes care of that.

Conclusion

There are other features and settings in BusyContacts, just don’t have enough room to describe them all. If you are fed up with Apple’s Contacts and iCal apps I highly recommend BusyCal and BusyContacts.  I have been using them for a while and I will never look back.

Doug