Lists vs. Address Books

There are big differences between a new address book and a list/group. Think of these as you would a phone book: there’s the Yellow Pages with the business listings and the White Pages with the individual listings. If someone was listed in both books, it would be rather confusing – is that the same person, which phone number would allow me to speak to that person, etc, etc. Try not to duplicate the same email addresses in multiple address books. Thunderbird will be confused and so will you….and then you’ll tech support…and none of us want that, or at least I ‘m sure they don’t.
An address book is basically a collection of contacts that are usually related in some way. For instance, the “Church” address book will probably have everyone from your church and the “Family” address book will have your family members.

A list is simply a collection of addresses within that address book that allows you to email a bunch of people at once, without having to add each person’s email address separately. For instance, if you wanted to email all your uncles, you would set up a list named “Uncles” inside the “Family” address book. It wouldn’t make sense to create the “Uncles” list inside the “Church” address book would it? Ok…maybe in some cases it would, but let’s just pretend it wouldn’t! I’ll write a follow-up article on Making a List with a step-by-step tutorial on creating a list and adding people to it.


3 Responses to Lists vs. Address Books

  1. rgloor says:

    Hi butimnoexpert

    Thanks for your posting.

    But do you have a good solution (within TB) when some of the family members are in the church as well?
    How do you solve that without double entries.
    (In outlook you just put them into the appropriate categories. That’s it.)

    The missing of such a solution is what keeps me from switching defniately to TB!

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Slushman says:

    Hey rgloor,

    I work at a school that is related to a church, so that’s where the example comes from. In your case, it might be best to have all your contacts in your Personal Address Book and then create lists based on the groupings – like church, then family, etc. One of the misconceptions we run into alot with our teachers and staff is that lists & address books are the same thing, so they’ll create a “High School Teachers” address book and put all the HS teachers from the Staff address book in there, rather than creating a HS Teachers list inside the Staff address book.

    As far as a solution, I’m hoping that TB will eventually switch completely to tagging, rather than sorting. With tagging, you can label a message or contact with multiple tags/labels and they could easily be in both Family & Church, but all stored in one big address book.

    Thanks for the question, but I’m no expert! 🙂

  3. nancy says:

    I send e-mails to 3 groups – schools, teachers, churches. They are all from the same e-mail address. I want the e-mail to each group in the “To” to say school or teacher or church. How do I do that? I’m technically challenged

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