One of the things I dislike intensely about the Gmail ‘Inbox’ interface is how it hides important functions behind layers of unintuitive forms. God forbid there should be a menu anywhere. No, instead you have to learn to look for tiny down arrows that lead to lists that may or may not lead to something you know you should be able to do….
One of the best hidden functions is something we used to take for granted – the ability to enter Contact details in one place and edit them in the same place. It’s still there, but boy do you have to dig to find it. So here goes.
Step 1 – Go to Contacts
Gmail will take you to something called ‘Contacts Preview’, but don’t expect to see that name anywhere obvious.
Instead, you will see a screen that looks as if it should be a Contacts screen …but isn’t. There is a button for creating a new Contact but all it will let you do is type in a name. There is also an icon for editing a Contact. That will let you see all the available fields…but you can’t actually do anything with most of them.
Step 2 – click ‘More’
No, if you want to really add a new Contact, you have to click on the ‘More’ option [as shown below]:
Do you see that option near the bottom of the ‘More’ features? The one that says ‘Leave the Contacts preview’? That, my friends, is the key to sanity.
Step 3 – click ‘Leave the Contacts preview’
Clicking the ‘Leave the Contacts preview’ option takes you to, ta dah, this:
Does this screen look more hopeful? Of course it does.
Step 4 – click the ‘New Contact’ button
Clicking ‘New Contact’ will take you to this:
If you’ve used Gmail Contacts before, the layout and format of this screen should be a snap. Things are where they are supposed to be and the labels make sense. Better still, this view is now permanent. It will not change back when you log out of Gmail. Yay!
You can change the view back to the ‘Contacts preview’ by clicking on the ‘Try Contacts preview’ option, but for my money I never want to see it again. I don’t know what it is meant to do because just playing around with it tells me nothing, i.e. it’s about as intuitive as mud.
If anyone knows what the Contacts preview is good for, I’d be interested in finding out.