A user asks:
Is it possible to merge duplicates in one click? I have imported some of the contacts two times and (near 1000 records) and it seems impossible to click each of them for merge. Do you have any suggestion to solve?
Let me address this question in three parts:
How Or Why Are Duplicates Created?
When you import new contact records we look for duplicates by comparing email addresses. I have two email addresses I use… one is my personal @gmail.com address and the other is my work @JibberJobber.com address. Let’s say you import from LinkedIn, where it has my JibberJobber email, and then from Google Contacts, where it has my Gmail email. JibberJobber will see these as two different contacts. Why? How many people do you know that have the same first name? Or last name? Or first AND last name? We see lots of these… so we use the email as a unique identifier.
There are other ways to get dups in… for example you have me in from an import and then manually create a new record for me (not realizing you already have me in). Or, you have me in with my personal address but then use Email2Log with my business address… the reality is, the more ways there are to get data in, there more chances you’ll have to create dups. And sometimes that gets past our dup checker.
SO, we have tried to make it easy to find and merge dups.
How Can You Find Duplicates?
There are a few ways…
My favorite way to handle dups, once I know there is a dup, is on the Contacts List Panel. I’ll do a filtered search, for example: lastname:alba. Then, I find the dups and click the checkboxes on the left. T then I click the “merge dups” icon on the bottom (below the List Panel). This takes me to the merge tool.
I can also find duplicates from a Contact Detail Page. I click the “More” button and then “Find Duplicates.” The next page will be the Find Dups tool…. note the checkboxes… you might want to adjust the checkboxes to make it more specific. For example, if it’s looking for dups based on just last name, check the first name checkbox to check by that, too. This doesn’t always work the way you want because sometimes you haven’t put a first name in your contact record yet!
The third place is to just go to the Find Duplicates tool. I like the tool, but I don’t hardly come here. Honestly, I have too much to do (and so do you) than to hunt down all duplicates. Should you spend an hour cleaning your contacts, many of which you might not communicate with, or should you network? Spend your time in the right place.
ProTip: I find I merge duplicates when I’m working actively with someone. If I have two or more records for someone I’m in communication with right now I’ll merge them… but if I’m not working or communicating with them, I don’t invest my time there.
How Can You Merge Duplicates?
Once you get into the Merge page… that is, you’ve picked the records you want to merge, just follow the instructions on that page. Choose what to keep, and then click the merge button at the bottom.
This allows you to have control over what you keep. Note that the Notes fields will be merged into one (so you don’t have to pick one over the other), and all of the Log Entries will show up on the merged record (hopefully not duplicated :p).
Can you do all this in one click? No… but you can do it quickly, in a few clicks, and get to what you want. My advice is to use the Contact List Panel, find and select your dups, then use the merge dups tool. When I do this it literally takes less than a minute to do.
Here’s a 4.5 minute tutorial on merging: