Smart Group, what brillant overlooked idea.

Let's face it, Mail.App is a good app, but contact management would be a pain if Address Book wasn't invented. Despite this, one often overlooked feature is the "Smart Group", a quickly way to organize contacts together. If you're familiar with Smart Playlists in iTunes, it's practically the same but with contact info.

Once you setup a Smart Group you can enjoy them into just creating a new message and digit the name of the group into one of the receiver field (to, cc, bcc). In just one snap, the field will be auto-populated with all the contact's email which belongs to the group. Sound really cool, doesn't it?

How can I create a Smart group?

To start a Smart Group open your Address book, go to File > New Smart Group.
A dialog will drop down in Address Book for you to start entering criteria for filtering. For example, you could create a group of everyone whose birthday you have in your contacts by choosing the item Birthday from the first drop-down menu item, then adding the menu item "is set."
Note that you can't create a list of people with birthdays in June, which is a bummer. But the Smart Groups have a variety of ways to filter, some more useful than others and several are dependent on the data (dates vs. text, for example).mailapp-smartgroup.jpg

To add more people to the group, simply drag a contact name over the list and release your mouse button.
To delete a group you'll have to make a trip to the menus, as no amount of right-clicking or key pressing will do it. Delete is in the Edit menu, under Delete Group.

Do you really need more? I don't think so. Let's start organize your contact name today, let's smart group them.

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