1 2 Previous Next 20 Replies Latest reply: Dec 28, 2012 3:37 PM by hotwheels 22
hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

i am having a battle with the Previous Recipients databases on my mac pro and my macbook pro. i am using icloud but i gather there is no syncability for this and i am wondering how folks manage these beasties.

 

i would like to add them to my CONTACTS in a GROUP so that they are not all dumped into Contacts willy nilly and i would also love to find a way that an existing contact with the same first and last name was able to accept the new email from the Previous Recipient being added instead of creating a whole new contact which i then have to manually sort.

 

i would also love a way to add the contact in a way that does not require my sorting it into a group after the fact.

 

ALSO, if i have the same Previous recipient on the databases on my laptop and on my desktop do i basically have to add it on both (so that it shows up as being added) and then delete the second version from Contacts so i don't have two? I MEAN isn't it going to be a /nightmare/ to maintain this database if i add everyone that i want on each of these machines (make them available to all my devices) and then two months down the road i have to add more Previous recipients who show up on both of my computers? this is going to be "add - add - and delete one" ad infinitum, no?

 

am i missing anything that will simplify this for me?

 

TIA!

 

merging or exporting PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS databases??


OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.1), with 64 bit Win7 Boot Camp | iCloud
  • 1. Re: merging or exporting PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS databases??
    Eric Root Level 6 Level 6 (16,200 points)

    Maybe this will help:

     

    https://discussions.apple.com/message/19289324#19289324

     

    If you monitor the "More Like This" box, other threads appear. Opening them usually displays other threads.

  • 2. Re: merging or exporting PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS databases??
    hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    hi eric.

     

    thank you. i would like to take advantage of the "more like this" feature. can you point me to where it is exactly? i am missing it.

     

    also, this link is a link to my thread. and while at the time it seemed like a decent solution to this problem, i am realizing that it is not sufficient. what this thread solves is the ability to get email addresses in a sort of /bulk/ way into my Contacts/Address Book database so that each device can autocomplete with the addresses that exist on my two computers (each exists independently).

     

    the issue is that these "bulk loaded via script" email addresses exist in the Contacts/Address Book database in a very dumb way. if you are adding an email address for an existing contact (say one that has a phone number and a street address) you now have TWO listings for this person with one being just an email address. if you happen to have replied to this person's email address on both your laptop and your desktop machine (not so shockingly a very common situation) you now have THREE listings for this person in your contacts with two of them being simply email addresses. this means that when you try and /phone/ them, you hit on their phone number 1 out of 3 chances. of course if you go into the actual group that you have sorted the originally existing contact into you will only have this one contact but most people normally will use the "All Contacts" view a lot and having 3 contacts is a nightmare so i have deleted both folders that previously contained my Previous Recipients. Not so helpfully Mail will still continue to show these Previous Recipients as being synced to Contacts but this is simply another level of troubleshooting for the mac folks to fix.

     

    i have to hope that mac will integrate this database into the iCloud setup so that these two databases not only talk to themselves (they don't) but that they also get ported to my iPhone (they don't) so that i can send emails using this information.

     

    the problem i am trying to solve now (which again i really hope is temporary) - is whether there is anyone out there that has figured out how to manage these issues over a longer period of time.

     

    right now i am just BULK DUMPING /all/ my Previous Recipients into Contacts and then deletings, sorting, manually moving email addresses to existing phone number contacts etcetera. this is pretty much a nightmare since in a lot of cases contacts are getting added twice (once from the laptop and once from the desktop) - and THEN i have to sort these added Previous Recipients into GROUPS.

     

    what i am asking is - once this is done, what is the method for continuing to maintain the Contacts versus Previous Recipients databases?

     

    More of the same?!

     

    THANKS

  • 3. Re: merging or exporting PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS databases??
    Eric Root Level 6 Level 6 (16,200 points)

    More Like This - Top right hand corner next to your original post.

     

    i have to hope that mac will integrate this database into the iCloud setup so that these two databases not only talk to themselves (they don't) but that they also get ported to my iPhone (they don't) so that i can send emails using this information.

     

    If you are having trouble getting iCloud to sync to all your devices, sometimes the cause is not having, in this case, Contacts selected in the appropriate System Preference/Setting. If it is selected, try deselecting it and reselecting it. It has worked for others.

  • 4. Re: merging or exporting PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS databases??
    hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    hi. OK. thanks.

     

    i actually get matches based upon the /title/ of the post when posting so i wonder if the "more like this" is simply a repetition of this information.

     

    anyway, have you actually used the Previous Recipients? i mean, have you used it from two computers? the reason i am posting on this is that there have not been any answers on the topic and syncing with iCloud has nothing to do with the topic.

     

    maybe you have found some documentation on this that i have not read?

     

    are you saying that Mail > Window > Previous Recipients syncs via iCloud based upon something you have tested or something you have read or are you guessing that maybe this will help?

     

    cheers

  • 5. Re: merging or exporting PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS databases??
    Eric Root Level 6 Level 6 (16,200 points)

    Sometimes "More Like This" does go into a repetition and other times not. I do find it useful at times, if for no other reason than it gives me ideas to pursue.

     

    I must be misunderstanding you. I thought the application Contacts was the problem.

     

    I have not used Previous Recipients first hand, so I will bow out and let someone smarter than me help.

     

    I hope you can get this resolved quickly. Computer frustration is not one of my favorite pastimes.

  • 6. Re: merging or exporting PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS databases??
    Csound1 Level 8 Level 8 (35,420 points)

    hotwheels 22 wrote:

     

    hi. OK. thanks.

     

    i actually get matches based upon the /title/ of the post when posting so i wonder if the "more like this" is simply a repetition of this information.

     

    anyway, have you actually used the Previous Recipients? i mean, have you used it from two computers? the reason i am posting on this is that there have not been any answers on the topic and syncing with iCloud has nothing to do with the topic.

     

    maybe you have found some documentation on this that i have not read?

     

    are you saying that Mail > Window > Previous Recipients syncs via iCloud based upon something you have tested or something you have read or are you guessing that maybe this will help?

     

    cheers

    The previous recipients list does not sync, not via iTunes and not via iCloud.

  • 7. Re: merging or exporting PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS databases??
    hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    thanks as always for the great help eric.

  • 8. Re: merging or exporting PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS databases??
    hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    > The previous recipients list does not sync, not via iTunes and not via iCloud.

     

    thank you.

     

    i wonder if anyone has been able to avoid the problem that it doesn't even (apparently) know what is happening with the Contacts app on the same computer.

     

    i mean, i just went through and added all my Previous Recipients from both of my machines and i have been spending two days wading through duplicates (among other things).

     

    also, does anyone know what exactly is the correct way to ADD a Previous Recipient to the Contacts app so that the last name and the first name are not backward? i seem to be sorting added Previous Recipients from my two devices on my Contacts App on my Laptop (synced via iCloud) - and /some/ of these added contacts have the first name last name backwards and some don't.

     

    i mean - i am guessing this must be a setting in the Mail Application when they get added from the laptop or the desktop - since when i try to fiddle with setttings in the Contacts app this does not fix anything...?!

  • 9. Re: merging or exporting PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS databases??
    Eric Root Level 6 Level 6 (16,200 points)

    You are welcome.

  • 10. Re: merging or exporting PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS databases??
    Csound1 Level 8 Level 8 (35,420 points)

    No idea, I put contacts that I want to keep in Contacts, I let Previous Recipients be what it is.

  • 11. Re: merging or exporting PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS databases??
    hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    hi csound.

     

    OK. fair enough.

     

    but Previous Recipients' stated goal in Mail is to automatically capture names and email addresses. it is going to be a real drag to do this via sorting through all my mail and manually adding these to Contacts. plus - there is a specific feature in Previous Recipients that allows you to add them to Contacts. it is just that the implementation is so weak that it i am /almost/ thinking about printing out screenshots of these two databases and adding them MANUALLY.

     

    i mean, the point of using Previous Recipients is to allow Mail to autocomplete and if these are not shared among my three devices or if i don't make the effort to put them all together in Contacts then i have Mail autocompleting with three different databases on three different devices which is really inconvenient and confusing.

     

    for instance, when i want to send a mail to someone on my phone i literally have to look their name up in a Mail search in my IMAP mail and copy the address or hit reply or whatever and if it has been archived or if Mail Search on the iPHone has a hard time finding it (or if i can't remember the exact spelling or something) then i am totally out of luck.

  • 12. Re: merging or exporting PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS databases??
    Csound1 Level 8 Level 8 (35,420 points)

    We work differently I guess, I have always kept my Contact list organized and up to date, if I get an email from someone not in my contacts (assuming I want them in there) I right click the from address and add it to Contacts. I found that relying on the previous recipents list confused things.

     

    Auto Complete reads the Previous Recipients and the Contact application to do its job.

     

    It sounds as if you are not using iCloud or there would be only 1 Contacts database, not 3.

  • 13. Re: merging or exporting PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS databases??
    hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    hi csound. thanks.

     

    there is a real problem with the implementation of Mail vis a vis Contacts. it is really problematic. for instance, only on Mountain Lion can i sort my contacts by "Not In a Group" using a smart folder. i cannot do this on my mac pro which can only go up to Lion. this means that any time i want to find a contact that i have added while on my phone (you cannot add a Group to a contact added on your phone) i have to go into my laptop once in awhile and manually sort these.

     

    also, even the method that you point out (thank you BTW) means that i still end up with a contact sort of dumped into contacts which i then have to sort.

     

    but for my needs i can't determine in advance whether an incoming mail from someone was already or not already added to my contact database. i mean, i COULD do this if they would add a little doohicky to the incoming email address but i don't have a computer in my head that will let me know this. this is why i have to rely on Previous Recipients. one other problem with previous recipients is also that once you do ADD the contact to Contacts, if you decide to delete the contact from Contacts then Previous Recipients has no way of knowing this and it still shows it as added.

     

    i mean, this whole thing is a total mess. i can't even add the contact without Contacts or Mail mixing up which is the first name and which is the last name (or the settings are so confusing i can't figure it out).

     

    but this is not the point. the point is that I AM using iCloud to sync my contacts and i have one database for this set of contacts. the problem is that Previous Recipients cannot sync but also that ADDING THE CONTACTS from Previous Recipients to the Contacts app is so poorly implemented and poorly thought out that even after hacking my way through this (i am just about to sit down tonight to sort hundreds of these into a GROUP so that they don't just fall willy-nilly into only the All My Contacts section) - that - well that i need some help from someone that has worked with this functionality in the real world to figure out how i am going to MAINTAIN this database interaction.

     

    right now this /appears/ to involve adding new Previous Recipients that show up on both computers in the Previous Recipients database to Contacts - and then manually deleting one in the case of duplicates and manually fixing the name order (in most cases) - and then adding to a Group. this is a major pain and not worthy of any functional sync that i have ever run into.

     

    all those are legitimate issues assuming that i can't simply remember that a contact coming in has not been added to my database or assuming that i am not going to look up each and every incoming email address and cross check it against my Contacts database.

     

    i mean, this is ostensibly what the start of this functionality is for i would have to assume i am just hoping someone can give me workarounds now and that they are going to FIX THIS in the short term.

     

    is there even a suggestions section for Contacts on the suggestion site? i could not even find this...

  • 14. Re: merging or exporting PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS databases??
    Csound1 Level 8 Level 8 (35,420 points)

    If you are using iCloud and your contacts folders on the iPhone/iPad/Mac differ you have other problems. iCloud Contacts are kept in an online database (at iCloud, view it at www.icloud.com) and all your devices (if connected to the account) subscribe to it. There is a local cache, but don't confuse the two.

     

    Go to iCloud.com and verify that the Master Database is correct.

     

    You're also quite confused about groups, accounts and views.

     

    On My Mac is an account. Not a Group

    iCloud is an account. Not a group

    All Contacts is a view, of all accounts.

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