Most email systems and email software (clients) have the ability to organized contacts into groups. Each system works in a slightly different way. For this reason, if you ever need to move your contacts from one system to another, you’ll need to consider how this will impact groups.
For example, let’s say you’re moving contacts between Gmail and Apple Mail. Those two systems approach groups in different ways. So, your contacts would copy over and import okay (with some exceptions), but the groups wouldn’t appear.
To implement a more universal method of grouping contacts, consider using category codes for groups of contacts.
Each time a contact is added to your address book, consider which group(s) that person belongs to. Then use category keys in the notes, such as “mycustomers” or “localrestaurants” being sure to not put any spaces. In this way, you can easily search in the future on those unique keywords and quickly see a listing of contacts by these keywords or tags. Always use the same spelling for these category names.
To maintain an alphabetical listing of the categories, create a contact called A – Categories (or something like that) and use the notes area to put all your categories for easy reference.
If you need to create a spontaneous group for email distribution, just search on any keyword, then add the resulting items to a temporary group for sending.
Because notes are common across multiple systems (Gmail, Apple, Yahoo, MSN), when you move your contacts from one system to another they will be preserved. This is also helpful if you’re using Apple Mail (for example) to access Gmail or a work email account like Office365.