Sunday, January 13, 2008

My Friend Moved Again! Address Books Designed for Updates

page of address labels

Is your address book filled with names and addresses that are crossed out? Does that bother you? If so, there are address books designed to provide neater ways to make the updates.

While this sounds like a good idea, I have yet to find one that has room for all the information I might have for a person:

- Home phone, work phone, cell phone
- Office fax, home fax
- Home e-mail, work e-mail
- Home address, work address, vacation home address
- Longer address (that takes more than two or three lines)

1. FlexAddress Systems (shown above)

Addresses are written on peel-and-replace labels. The labels only have name, phone number, and address.

blue address book

2. Real Simple Easy-to-Update Address Book

This one comes with adhesive labels to stick over old addresses. Unfortunately, Real Simple doesn't provide a decent interior picture.

address book

3. Lifetime Address Book

This one also works with stickers you place over the original entry. There's only room for name, address, phone and fax.

circa address book - individual entry detail

4. Circa Address Book

This one uses individual cards that you can replace. The Circa book has more fields than most - name, address, phone, cell phone, fax, e-mail, URL - but no room for multiples (more than one e-mail address, for example) or addresses over two lines long.

address book

5. Oxford A5 Telephone Address Book

This one also uses labels for updates. The picture isn't as detailed as I'd like, but it seems to have about the same number of fields as the Circa address book.

address book page

6. Another Lifetime Address Book

Now here's a different approach! This address book is "designed with laminated pages that allow you to wipe away outdated entries and rewrite current information with ease." It has more room for information than most - it even includes a place for the person's birthday and anniversary.

Another option: Use any address book you like, and use a pencil! Or use a Rolodex - but that's another topic for another day.


Cynthia Friedlob said...

It's interesting that manufacturers are still creating address books that have such limited space for information. I think they're essentially useless because of that.

I rely on a rather unattractive rolodex for my most often-used info and also keep much of my contact information online.

I did see a lovely file card system once ages ago that used handmade paper cards, including the alphabetizing ones, all stored in a beautiful wooden box. That would be a very nice alternative!

Jeri Dansky said...

Cynthia, I was pretty surprised by that, too. These would have worked for someone like my mom, who didn't use a computer and who needed limited information for each person. But they sure wouldn't work for many of us.

I have a client who keeps all her address information on basic file cards in a file box - works for her, and it's easy to update.

I keep my address information on my Mac, used Apple's Address Book. But I understand the appeal of paper systems, too.

Louise said...

Of course, using your computer to store this information is the most uncluttered way of all to do it :-)

It's been about 10 years since I had a paper address book. They are pretty and I often pick them up and admire them. But once I had everything in electronic form, I knew I'd never go paper again...

Jeri Dansky said...

Louise, I can't remember when I last used a paper address book! Using the computer fits my personality and work style.

(But I do print out lists of selected addresses sometimes, to have with me when I'm not at my computer. If I give in to gadget lust and buy an iPod touch, maybe I won't do that any more.)

But you and I use our computers a lot; not everyone does. And some people just work better with paper, for a whole range of reasons.

Suebk said...

I keep my addresses on the 'puter, but even then it's a feat finding a programme that let's you fill in all the information you want. My biggest problem is couples and families - where to put those extra birthdays.
My hubby is more of a Luddite, so I regularly print out an address book. We all make changes to the paper copy over time, and about every 6 months I make sure all the changes are in the computer and reprint.
My current programme allows me to assign people to and print lists by category (eg family, church, business, work, The Girl's friends). I print off each category separately, and then staple the whole lot together with dividers.
In the ideal world the paper copy lives pinned to the board near the phone. In the real world it lives somewhere in the living area! (Which is why I keep a computer copy :-)

Jeri Dansky said...

Suebk, I've had the same problem with families and extra birthdays. I've found I need to create separate address book entries for each family member whose birthday I want to track.

And being able to easily add people to multiple lists (that can then be printed - and that can be used for sending e-mail to a group) is a MUST for me!

pixie65 said...

I love the title of this entry! It reminds me of so many of my friends who have regularly "messed up" my address book.