If you rely heavily on Skype, it's easy to wind up with a long list of contacts — and no way to find just who you are looking for. These tips will help you get your Skype contacts under control, making it easier to use Skype for your home office phone calls.
Managing Your Skype Contacts
If you've been using Skype to make calls to your contacts, you've probably gotten in the habit of simply adding contacts as they come along. As long as you only have a few contacts, that isn't a problem — you can see at a glance who's online. But if your number of Skype contacts just keeps growing, you'll have to take steps to make sure that you can make use of your contact list effectively. Unfortunately, Skype doesn't offer all the bells and whistles of an address book — relying instead on a fairly basic contact list. With these tips, though, you can make your contact list do exactly what you want.
1. Edit Names
No matter what cute or corporate names your contacts have chosen as their Skype IDs, you probably think of them by their actual names. Skype can display any name you wish to associate with a particular ID, helping you avoid mixing up which real name goes with which ID. Doing so is relatively simple: under the 'Contacts' menu, you can select the 'Rename' option, which allows you to change the name of any contact you have highlighted.
2. Set Up Contact Groups
While the default setting for Skype is to display all of your contacts in one list, you can divide them into groups. You'll need to turn on the group display by clicking 'Show Contact Groups,' under the 'Contacts' menu. Also under the 'Contacts' menu are tools for managing your contacts. Skype offers you the option to use preset groups, like people you've recently contacted or those that are currently online. You can also create your own groups, and add contacts just by dragging and dropping them on your contact list. How you divide your contacts comes down to how you work: one option, for instance, is to divide your contacts among the projects you rely on.
3. Use the Search Bar
At the top of your contact list is a search bar. You can really speed up your abilities to find one Skype contact among many by just typing in the name of the contact you want to call. However, the search bar works best if the name you're looking for matches the name in your contact list, making it doubly important to edit the names of your contacts.
4. Sychronize Your Address Book
Depending on what program you rely on to manage your address book, you may be able to synchronize it with your Skype contact list. If you use SkypeOut to place phone calls to people who aren't Skype members, you'll have instant access to all your phone numbers. With especially common programs, like Mac's Address Book, Skype can automatically sync.
5. Build Good Habits
Whenever you add a new contact, you can make a point of making sure he or she is listed under the correct name and group. If you make a habit of doing so every time you add a contact to Skype, you won't need to worry about going through and cleaning out your contacts later on.
Getting Started With Skype
Skype is an ideal tool for a home office: with it you can often eliminate the need for a landline phone at all. You can learn the basics of Skype from this Bright Hub tutorial, How to Use Skype.