Add Category/Group pane to Contacts
Idea shared by kevind - June 24, 2015 at 3:52 PM
Here's a nice enhancement to Contact Groups. Create a new left pane for Contacts similar to the Email folder pane. Use a tree where the branches are master categories:
+ My Contacts
        - Family
        - Friends
        - Other
+ Global Address List
        - Employees
        - Vendors
This would make it intuitive and easy to use because it would work just like the Email tab.  A user could click on a category to see all the contacts.  Maybe even drag/drop contacts to different categories just like messages to folders.

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Also, I don't think the "Overlay Contacts" menu choice actually works. Whether it's checked or not, I cannot display both My Contacts and Global Address Book simultaneously.
Why not make this easy for users and provide a new selector pane on the left where the user can check which contacts they want to see?  Include Categories and you can get rid of the View Filter menu.
+ My Contacts
     [  ] Friends
     [  ] Family
[  ]  Global Address List
[  ]  My Boss's Contacts (or any other shared resource)
Moving Contacts to the middle pane allows you to have a real 'select all' checkbox at the top.
The changes above would eliminate 3-4 complicated menu items and will make the Contacts section more intuitive because it will look and feel just like the Email section.
Switched this post from a Problem to an Idea as it already has 11 votes.
Idea: convert Contacts section from 2 panes to 3 so it looks and works just like the 3 Email panes:
  • Pane #1 - Accounts & Categories (just like folders)
  • Pane #2 - List of contacts (just like list of messages)
  • Pane #3 - Contact details
Please consider it as an enhancement for the next minor or v15.
AND.... if you could add
 API's or services that allows us to ADD / EDIT / DELETE contacts for our clients, pro grammatically.
Andrea Rogers Replied
Employee Post
Hey Kevin,
SmarterMail does already have this functionality, though it's not laid out as you request here. You can have multiple contact lists in your account and select which to view by using the Contact selector at the top of the navigation pane. (The fact that you can't view your GAL and another contact list together is not actually a bug in the software. Due to the way the Global Address List is generated, it cannot be overlaid with the default Contact list or shared contacts. However, overlay should work as expected in other sections that offer similar functionality, like your calendar, tasks, notes, etc.) 
Aside from looking similar to the Email section, can I ask you why you prefer the folder pane to the current contact selector? I can see how the separate pane would allow you to drag and drop contacts among your lists; however, I can't think of other reasons this type of layout would be more beneficial. (I was actually surprised to find there is not a Select All checkbox on the contacts pane, though this is something that WILL be included in the next version.) Personally though, I think I would feel the folder pane would take up unnecessary space for something that can be handled by a dropdown menu like it's currently employed. 
As it is, the Email section is actually the odd one out in terms of layout. The other collaboration sections that allow you to have multiple lists or shared resources -- Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Notes -- all work similarly, where the lists you view are chosen using the selector above the nav pane.
Andrea Rogers 
Communications Specialist 
SmarterTools Inc. 
(877) 357-6278
Hi Andrea, thanks for the reply!
When users move to SmarterMail, they are bewildered with how contact groups work:
With 18 votes for this post, it's clear that people are looking for some kind of improvement in this area. The 'group pane' which would be similar to a 'folder pane' could help solve this.
I'm guessing 90% of SmarterMail users know how to create a new folder for messages, but only 10% know how to create a master category for contacts. Make master categories (called groups in Gmail and other places) work like the folder pane and problem solved.

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