Having synced everything between my phone, Hotmail and GMail I’ve found myself with rather a lot of contacts. Tonight I finally got sick of having my entire MSN friends list on my phone – it adds something like 50 addresses that just clutter up my contact list.

So I went through and made sure that in the OS X address book they have no email set, just the MSN address. Tip: if you use Plaxo to sync between OS X and Hotmail, and wind up with two entries for someone in your IM contact list, don’t use the merge feature in OS X address book. You’ll wind up deleting them from your contact list, you have to manually merge. I just saved you an hour of pulling your hair out, aren’t you glad? 😉

Once all that was done, I created a smart group filtering entries that actually had email addresses or phone numbers. This works great, and gives me a list I call “Actual Contacts”. Of course then Apple turns around and bites me in the arse by only syncing normal groups to the iPhone, not smart groups…

Luckily, someone has come up with AppleScript to duplicate the contents of a smart group to a normal group. After modifying it to copy my Actual Contacts to an “All” group, it was a cinch to whack on the end of my nightly Automator workflow, enable “sync selected groups” in iTunes and now my contacts will remain nicely synced without all the extras I don’t need 😀

I’ve also switched to iTunes sync between OS X and GMail. Plaxo still haven’t updated their address book sync to use the Google API, so I didn’t see much point in leaving it on when iTunes does such a fantastic job.