Back in the day, everyone had everyone else's phone numbers memorized. We can't do that anymore. Our phones do all the remembering for us. 

But this won't do you much good if your contact list is messy and inaccurate. 

We've put together this guide to show you a few tricks that'll help you manage your iPhone contacts. 

So let's get started!

Write Everyone's Full Name

Do you know five people named Sarah? You don't want to end up texting the wrong one. The best way to tell your contacts apart is to add everyone's last name. 

It can even be helpful to write the last name before the first name. This will keep family members in the same place, which will make things easier for you. 

Add a Photo to Each Contact

Adding a photo to your contacts helps you recognize your friends by their faces and not just their names. Again, this can make it easier to tell people who have the same name apart with a single glance. 

The hardest part about adding photos to your contacts is usually getting the pictures. 

Add Nicknames 

Adding nicknames to your contacts does a few things for you. 

First of all, it personalizes your contacts even more and helps you set certain people apart from the rest of the list. It also makes it easier to use virtual assistants, such as Siri.

These virtual assistants pick up short nicknames easier than real names, especially if the name is long or complicated. 

Merge Duplicate Contacts 

It's pretty common to end up with duplicate contacts on your list. This can happen when you're switching to a new device or syncing your device with something else. 

But these duplicate contacts can crowd up your contacts list. The good news is, they're easy to remove. 

You can download apps, such as the Cleanup app, that will merge all your duplicate contacts together. Or if you prefer, you can manually go through your contacts and do this yourself. 

Delete Old Contacts You Don't Need Anymore

Do you still have contacts in your phone from back when you were in high school? If you haven't talked to someone in your contacts list of several years, their name is just taking up space. 

Spend some time going through your list and deleting contacts you don't need anymore. 

However, this doesn't mean you have to delete everyone you don't talk to. Even though you don't call your grandma on the phone often (shame on you), it's still good to have her number. 

Make Sure the Information's up to Date

Once you've gotten rid of the contacts you don't need anymore and merged any duplicates, it's time to go through your list and make sure all the information is up to date. 

A contact isn't helpful if the number is wrong. 

But don't let this job overwhelm you. It's not as hard (and doesn't take as long) as you might think. Most of the information you have will be accurate, so you'll only have to change a few things. 

Set a Favorites Section 

Your iPhone has a Favorites feature that lets you access your most-used contacts much easier and faster than normal. 

All you have to do is go into your contact app and turn on the Favorite feature. Then click the + button to add people to the list. You can choose to create a shortcut that will let you message them or give them a call. 

One of the best parts of this feature is that these numbers can bypass the Do Not Disturb feature. This means your mom can call you even if you turn on Do Not Disturb. 

Add Relationships 

Do you have a big family you struggle to keep track of?

You can add relationships to your contacts. This can make it easy to find your family members when you need to get in touch with them. 

Start by clicking on your own contact card. (You'll notice it says the word “me.”) Tap on the edit button and then choose to add a related name. 

Several options, such as mother, father, sister, brother, etc., will pop up next. All you have to do is tap on one of these options and add the right contact. You can even create custom labels.

Create Contact Shortcuts 

If you want to keep your regular contacts super easy to reach, you can create a contact shortcut on your lock screen. 

Here's what you need to do to make this happen. 

  • Swipe right on your lock screen (or home screen) until you find the widget display
  • Tap the “edit” button
  • Find the Favorite label, and tap the + next to it

You can then choose to rearrange the order of your widgets. In other words, you can put your contact shortcut right at the top of the screen. 

This will give you access to between four and eight of your contacts. 

Back Everything up in the Same Place

Always back all your contacts up in the same place. This way, you won't lose them the next time you change devices. 

There are a number of ways you can do this. For example, you can sync them to Google or learn how to import contacts from iPhone to Mac. 

But make sure you keep everything in the same place. Backing up some of your contacts to Google and some to your Mac can get confusing. You might end up losing some important numbers. 

The Best Way to Manage iPhone Contacts

You don't have to live with a messy iPhone contacts list. These tips will help you manage your contacts and keep them organized in the future. 

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