Posted by Ali

Happy Spring!  In addition to springing forward one hour and checking my smoke detector battery, I like to clean and organize my contact list.  One benefit of working on a cool product like Windows Live Messenger is that I have many different types of people in my contact list.  Friends, Family and Coworkers.  In order to keep it all straight I can organize my contact list in 3 ways with 2 different views by clicking on the arrows icon to the right of the add contact button.


Now I will go through the 3 ways to sort your contact list

1. Sort by status – This allows you to sort your contacts by their presence status, Online, Mobile or offline.  This is what it looks like when I do this to my contact list.

And what are those icons anyway.  = Online, = Mobile, and = Offline.

2.  Sort by groups – This is my favorite setting because I can create as many different groups as I want to and add people to as many different groups as I like.  The default groups are Family, Friends, Coworkers, and Other Contacts.  As you can see from my list below I have a lot of custom groups.  For the groups that I want to show up at the top of my list, they are sorted alphabetically, I add a . in front of the name.  For example .Messenger Dev below.

 You will notice that only my online contacts are showing up in my Friends group which is expanded above, this is because I went to the contact menu and chose to group mobile contacts and offline contacts together.  This means that all Offline and Mobile contacts get put in a separate groups when these contacts log into Messenger and their presence is changed to Online then they move into the appropriate group.   

You will also notice that I have it set up to Group non-instant messaging contact together.  This is because I chose to "Show all contacts" in Messenger.  This means that contacts that I add in Hotmail to my address book are also available in Messenger.  I love having a global address book!!  This is the same as choosing Show all contacts in the arrows menu mentioned above.  You will also notice that in this menu, I also have the option to show only Messenger contacts or only Online contacts in my contact list. 


3.  Sort by recently updated spaces – I like to use this option when I have been away for awhile and I want to catch up on what is going on with my friends.  When I choose this option, my contact list looks as follows:

Views on my contacts

As I mentioned above there are 2 ways to view your contacts in a list. The regular way which means that your contacts will looks like this:Or, you can choose  Show contacts’ details

and your contacts will look like this:

Other Contacts Options

The last thing I will blog about, since this is probably information overload, is that you can also decide how you want to view your contacts. 

There are 3 options.

1.  By Display Name – This is the name that you contact has given to themselves.

2.  By First and Last Name – This uses the information about this contact that you have stored in your address book.

3.  By Email Address – This is exactly what it sounds like, all of your contacts show up as their email address.

OK, that is all for now.   Happy Spring Cleaning!


If you have a comment/question/concern/discussion topic/rant/rave/other – please head over to the Windows Live Messenger Newsgroup