How To: Tidy Email Addresses

This tells you how to make your contact records better. We imported all your addresses into Thunderbird and Liz removed all the duplicates. Now we can add better information to them.

What to do

  1. Go to the Address book, it will look something like this:


  1. If you double click a contact in the Contacts Pane then a pop-up will show you their details. You will see here very little for Helena. Note there are tabs that you can explore that I won’t show you here but you might want to see what’s there:


  1. So now I am going to make the information better. I recommend that you always try to fill the following fields:
  • First & Last Name
  • Display Name – how it shows in an email, usually The first name with the last name but you can choose
  • Email will usually be there BUT you can create contacts using “New Contact” and it won’t insist
  • Phone numbers if you have them


Things to note about the contact details pop-up.

  1. There is space for an address on the Private Tab
  2. there is space for notes on the Other Tab
  3. there is space for an Organisation Name on the Work Tab
  4. the phone fields don’t care which pone you put in which field it’ up to you how you use them
  1. Having saved the contact the popup closes and you will see that the details have updated – I added an address as well:


So the thing to do is gradually go though your 800 contacts and make them more informative. This will mean that when you email them their name will show in the address – rather than the email address which is currently what you have in the “Display Name” field.

Other Things to Note

  •  If you have an organisation rather than a person – and you want to keep a contact and an email for the organisation, DON’T file the name fields on the Contact tab, complete the Organisation name on the Work tab
    I sometime also have a convention where I use the “Display” field and complete it with, for example “ORG: org name”. If you look below:
  • I have created the organisation “ATestLtd” you’ll see that it shows listed as this (but I didn’t complete anything on the Contact tab, only on the Work tab.
  • the organisation “Another Organisation” is also listed but you will see a display name of “aORG: display name” I entered this in the “Display” field so it shows in the “Name” column and the organisation name shows in the “Organisation” column and I entered on the Work tab.
  • finally I have an “aLucaBlack” who works at “A Test organisation, so this is a person that I know and works at an organisation and it’s the person i am interested in.

You can choose what you want but using these three ways you can differentiate between people, organisations and people where you know an organisation; it also mean if you choose to use a convention for naming a organisation in the “Display” field all organisation will be together in the address book which is sometimes handy.


  • You can add & remove the columns on the Contacts List Pane by using the little symbol top right: