If you use Smart Folders in Finder and Smart Playlists in Music, then you’ll like Smart Groups in Contacts. With Smart Groups, you set up the criteria you want to use and then contacts that fit the criteria are added to the group automatically. Then you can contact the whole group at once.
This is a great way to organize your contacts without manually having to add new contacts to an existing group each time. You can use it for business connections, family members, or even friends who join your inner circle.
To help you take advantage of this cool Mac Contacts app feature, here’s how to create Smart Groups.
Create your Contacts Smart Group
To set up a new Smart Group, open the Contacts app on your Mac and then follow these steps.
1) Click File > New Smart Group from the menu bar.
2) When the small window opens, fill in the Smart Group Name field with a label for your group.
3) Under the Contains cards which match the following condition section, you’ll enter the criteria for the group.
Start from the left and pick an option in the first drop-down box. You’ll choose from options like card, company, department, email, URL, and many more.
Once you select your option, complete the fields to the right. And remember, these will vary slightly based on what you pick on the first drop-down box.
For example, if you select Company, you can then pick Contains or Is and then enter the company name on the right. But if you choose a date option, like Anniversary, Birthday, or Date, you can select a range or number of days, weeks, or months.
4) If you need more than one set of criteria, click the plus sign button on the far right to add another. Once you add another row, you’ll see a drop-down for Any or All. Any means any criteria can be met while All means that all criteria must be met.
If you decide later to remove a set, just click the minus sign button for that line on the right.
5) When you’re done, click OK.
If you have existing contacts that match your new Smart Group criteria, they’ll be added right away. And you’ll see your Smart Group in the left-hand sidebar at the bottom.
Contacts Smart Group ideas
As we mentioned, using Smart Groups is awesome for business or personal contacts. But if you’re not quite sure how to use the criteria, here are some suggestions.
- Select Company + Contains or Is + enter the company name
- Select Email + Contains + enter the domain for emails coming from a certain business
- Select Department + Contains + enter a department name in your company or another
And remember, you use reverse criteria too.
Maybe you want a Smart Group that contains people from all other departments except yours. You could use: Department + Is not + enter your department name.
- Family members: Select Last + Is + enter the last name for your family
- Friends with notes: Select Notes + Contains + a word you always use in your contacts’ notes
- People from your hometown: Select City, State, or Zip + Contains or Is + enter the city, state, or zip
Remember, you can combine criteria as we described earlier.
Maybe you want a Smart Group with people from your hometown area which consists of a few cities. You can use the City + Is + enter the first city name and then add another row with the same criteria for the second city name.
Wrapping it up
Smart Groups, like Smart Folders and Smart Playlists, can take a lot of work out of organizing your app or getting the information you need. It may take a few minutes to set up a Smart Group, but once it’s done, you’re set.
Are you going to set up Smart Groups in the Contacts app on your Mac? Let us know!