687: Revisiting Contacts and Calendars


There should be a light CRM out there that keeps your notes in contacts metadata, but by default shares a clean contact card. Seems like something the GoodLinks dev could tackle.


Let us know if you ever run across something like this. A “light CRM” might be fun for personal use.

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What do you recommend for sharing a contacts list with family members, so that any member can update or add to the shared list?

The BusyContacts team could implement that with a single checkbox to strip out the notes section when sharing. It’s a ‘light CRM’ already.

@Jim_Davis BusyContacts on Mac. Sadly there’s no iOS app.

I’m sure there are more elegant solutions but I’ve used a free email account to share contacts (and calendars).

Just give everyone the username and password and have them turn off mail, calendar, and notes.


Absolutely. What would really be great is if all the premium contacts apps agreed on a delimiter (===Private data below=== or whatever) below which nothing would be shared, and then they could all use it.

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I’ve been thinking about @MacSparky’s “Time to drive back” calendar feature. I use the Google Calendar (with everything turned on, Events, Tasks, Reminders, Birthdays, and Holidays :wink: )

It syncs with Waze so it will alert me to leave early if there is heavy traffic, etc. But it seems the only way it could tell me the ‘time to drive back’ is if I schedule a “arrive home” event so it would alert me when it is time to end the meeting.

I’m with MacSparky, I’ve got over 1600 contacts in my file. I also really like the smart groups and use a bunch of “keywords” in the notes to get them into their smart groups.

I just recently discovered that when you share a contact on IOS you can select what fields to include/exclude. Maybe it’s been there a long time and I just never noticed it. Still, it solved a huge problem for me because I do like to keep Mackay 66 information about my contacts in the notes and I surely don’t want to pass that information along.

I originally discovered the Mackay 66 in Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive:

Like @OogieM, I also use keywords to make smart groups. It has worked to roughly approximate a CRM. I wish you could create and edit smart groups on iPadOS.

I’d like some more CRM-type tools in my contact manager - Apple’s or a good third-party. But I have not found a good 3rd party app that I like.


Never new this, thanks for letting me know about the include/not include in a contacts It’s interesting.

Also didn’t know you can just tap on notes on a contact and type what you want. I always thought you had to hit edit.

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This episode also prompted me to look at all those 1600+ contacts in the Apple app. I decided that a few could be deleted but a lot can move out into my Obsidian Farley file. I don’t want to get rid of them but I also don’t need them in active daily use.

I only have 400 or so contacts and rarely add more than 10 or 12 a year now that I’m retired. As I recall I can have up to 25,000 contacts in Google Workspace and Apple says Contacts.app will sync up to 50,000. So I doubt I’ll ever need to purge any contacts :grinning:

I discovered today that I could share an iOS contact and strip out pieces of the card that the recipient doesn’t need. I don’t know when that appeared, but it was nice to see.

EDIT: as I read through the thread, I see someone else recently noticed that, too. It’s a nice feature and I’m glad to have it.

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I find it intriguing, and either hopeful or concerning depending on how I interpret it, that there is no mention of any limitations for Notes. I’m assuming there is one but I can’t find it posted anywhere.

Ah, yes, that’s nice. Share on iOS seems to never export notes regardless of selected fields, too, whereas macOS does.

I’ve read in the Apple discussions group of a 30 attachments per note limit and a 1003 notes per folder limit. But neither are mentioned in the notes user guide.

I am deeply disappointed that Apple does not have such a thing. They made the step to create a Family Photos. You would think that Family Contacts would be low-lying fruit.

I use Fastmail contacts syncing with Apple contacts. My partner is also on fastmail so sharing contacts is as simple as a shared address book.

I tend to use BusyContacts but for a CMS I now use a combination of Agenda (1 note per client) Things3 (1 section in a project per client for routine client stuff, single tasks go into a “Support desk” project all tagged with the clients designation).

The agenda file is also tagged using the same client designation, and has links to the clients site folder on the Mac, any archived stuff in DT as well as the site database I keep in Tapforms. Agenda has been a revelation once I got into using it, it’s the glue that hold everything together.

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You keep your clients in a section for projects in Things? That’s interesting. I’ve gone from being being a staff member somewhere to now managing what’s essentially a volunteer-run non-profit, so maybe managing things through the projects category is a good idea. I’m learning that I probably need to do a complete refresh on Things and see how best to use it again.