I’VE MADE CONTACT! – Marilyn Armstrong

SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR THOSE WHO NEVER GOT THE MEMO FROM GOOGLE AND CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO THEIR CONTACT LIST

Google is always changing the browser. As soon as you get used to it, they do something to “fix” it. The most recent change was that “contacts” are now a separate section, not part of the email application.

I was lucky. I (entirely accidentally) read the single note Google sent to tell everyone that contacts would now be available only by clicking a group of small boxes on the right top of the screen which will be visible only if you have the email page open. If you aren’t using the inbox or you are, but another page is open, you can’t see the little boxes. Your contacts remain invisible until you realize that you have to have the inbox visible to see the other stuff.

I’m sure there’s a logical reason why they’ve done it this way, but I haven’t worked it out. Yet.

Even if you know how to find your contacts, you may not be able to find the contact you want. This is because you can’t categorize anything by company or profession. Everything is listed by the first name. This becomes a bit of an issue if your doctor’s name is “John” and so are 75 other people on your list. When I’m trying to find my cardiologist, I don’t remember his first name. I may not even know it. These days, it’s possible I don’t remember his last name either. What I remember is “cardiologist.”

Also, there’s nowhere to write addresses. You have to go into a section titled “more” and “advanced.” Within that section, search and thou shalt find a section for “address.”

Apparently, we don’t need addresses anymore. We can list as many emails as we like — but no physical address. This is inconvenient when it’s a place you need to go. Physically go. Like — the cardiologist, for example.

I should mention that they’ve made the calendar similarly inconvenient and I didn’t get a note about that one, but I wasn’t surprised. You have to keep those developers busy!

The company’s name is no longer a search column. The only way you can use it is to substitute it instead of the name. Otherwise, it’s the first name of whoever you are looking for. Period. No choice. A bit bizarre, but hey, it’s still free. That’s something, right?

You may think I’m picking on Google, but it took close to 45 minutes to enter the local pot shop information into my contacts form, including their email address and physical address. Fortunately, they still consider the phone number part of basic information, but who knows for how long?

So, just to back up a little bit, yesterday, in a fit of enthusiasm for Uxbridge’s newly opened Pot Shop, also known as “Caroline’s Cannabis Uxbridge Marijuana Dispensary,” I decided to add their address to my contact list. This was when I made the remarkable discovery that the contact list no longer automatically includes a physical address section. You have to ask for advanced material and then you get an insanely complicated bunch of stuff.

Is it me? Isn’t there supposed to be a physical address to go with a contact’s phone number? For that matter, you need to go into “advanced” for the website address too.

Although I don’t go out as much as I used to, there are places I have to go. The Pot Shop is one such place. The grocery store, the bank, all doctor’s offices, and hospital too. There are places where I have to take my physical self that are not medical — like (for example) Home Depot.

Apparently, no one goes anywhere anymore, so getting somewhere to write down a physical address is an “Advanced Contact Item.”

Seriously?

One of the things I learned about writing software is that developers put information wherever it fits conveniently on the screen. They don’t actually care whether you — the user — will find that location useful or convenient. They say “Oh, there’s an empty space in the  “color droplet” menu, so I think I’ll put the leveling control there.” They have no idea how you will use the software and they really don’t care. They know how it works (or think they know). The rest is your problem. And now that there is no manual either … good luck with that.

No one would ever look there for a leveling tool since it has nothing to do with all the rest of the items on the list, but that’s where they put it and that is where it still resides. I had to do a deep dive into Google to locate the function.

It is for this reason that I have a little paper booklet in my bag that has basic information about places I go in it. Addresses, names, and a few little directions. Because my body needs to get there, too.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

20 thoughts on “I’VE MADE CONTACT! – Marilyn Armstrong”

    1. It wasn’t much of a message and it wasn’t an email. It was a popup and all it said was to go to a different place to find your contacts. Those little squares. Basically, I’ve given you everything you need to know. All they said was “use the little boxes.” The rest was up to you.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It doesn’t get MORE complicated. Mostly, it gets more confusing. You are still doing the same stuff, but it’s harder to do it and less effective when you need it. How bad can it get? I don’t know, but we’ll see soon enough I’m sure.

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  1. Yes, I am a computer nerd who works in IT and I use my paper calendar and paper address book. I have lists in email for people I email, but I only use it when I email, and even then I never see it since gmail autofills out the address when I start to fill it in. I have a work calendar on my work computer, but everything personal is written. With pencil. They’ll have to remove my pencil from my cold, dead hands 😉

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    1. Excessive reliance on electronic direction givers (ye olde GPS) and telephones and contact lists are making us even MORE stupid. Fortunately, you really need to get directions for Boston anyway since so many roads are underground and the GPS doesn’t work. Besides, it always thinks we are floating down the Charles. The satellites don’t have much of a grip on rivers, roads, and whether or not that bridge is down.

      I treasure my little paper book. All the really basic information I need is in it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. i assume this applies to gmail mainly. I do have an account there, but very rarely use it because I have my own Swiss bluewin account for my mails. I very rarely mail these days and am more on the Facebook messenger. Otherwise I have discovered Google photos and are very happy with them as a second photo storage for me. I also do most of my private appointments on my iPhone but there I am still learning the ropes. At last I have the trick of putting my appointments in the Kalendar and getting them to show up when they should. Google is OK, but I am not there very often as such.

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    1. Just be sure you have a backup for the information in your phone. Somewhere else where important information is written down, just in case something bad happens to your phone. And bad things can and do happen to phones. They happen to hard drives and every gadget which is why everyone in IT has a paper notebook with names, addresses, and emails. I, by the way, NEVER use Facebook’s messenger. Facebook sold my personal data to the world and got me hacked. I haven’t forgiven them and I don’t think I ever will.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much!! I couldn’t ‘find’ the damned contacts in my Gmail email account (it used to be in one place) and I was going nuts trying to figure out what was wrong with my email account. I vaguely remember seeing that brief, one-time notification of ‘changes’, but damned if I read it (for content). So once again Marilyn you’ve saved my bacon. I can now add myself to my email contacts list and stop having to type my whole damned email address in if I want to send myself something. It was driving me buggy. *phew* I don’t use Google’s calendar option (thankfully), I’m coming to rely on my phone (which to me is dangerous. I don’t trust that thing.) It’s rather reassuring to see that the old paperbound address book is making a comeback. Outside of dropping that in some water or having it burned up, those things are invaluable. 🙂

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    1. I just discovered this morning that they have ALSO changed the placement of all the various icons in EMAIL. It was normal yesterday. Today … well … if you use gmail, you’ll see. There’s nothing wrong with it. Well, there wasn’t three or four changes ago, anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

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