I hate adding contacts to Microsoft Outlook. Often, I receive an email from someone that has the person’s full contact information in the signature. I want to add the person to my contacts but I don’t want to have to copy and paste (or type) each line into a contact field. Why isn’t there an easy way to copy contacts into Outlook?

copy2contact2Turns out, there is. It’s called Copy2Contact. Highlight the signature, hit F12, and the information is added to Outlook, with each part of the signature — address, phone, email, etc. — properly added to the correct field. It does the same for appointments and tasks. If someone sends you an email saying, “Let’s meet tomorrow at noon,” just highlight it, click and it is added to your Outlook calendar.

You can copy information from anywhere. It can be in an email, on a Web page or in a document. Just highlight it and Copy2Contact figures out whether to add it as a contact or an appointment. You can also configure which button to press as your shortcut key to activate Copy2Contact after you highlight text.

copy2contact3Copy2Contact also works with Gmail, Salesforce, iPhone, BlackBerry, NetSuite and Palm Desktop.

I first wrote about this application way back in 2005, when it was called Anagram. At the time, I called it an “elegantly simple but remarkably useful tool.”

Say, for example, someone sends you an e-mail to schedule a meeting. Highlight the meeting information, hit F12, and Anagram opens a new appointment window and inserts the information. Highlight the sender’s “sig” and hit F12 and Anagram opens a contact and inserts all the information in the correct fields.

Apart from the name, not much else has changed except for the price and device compatibility. Back in 2005, the one-time price was $29.95. Now, it is sold as an annual subscription for the price of $34.95 for the Outlook and Palm version. A pro version costs $49.95 a year. Copy2Contact for iPhone is free for a limited-use version and $7.99 for the full version.

The pro version for Outlook adds:

  • Auto-capitalization.
  • Auto-formatting of phone numbers.
  • Outlook folder and template selection.
  • Business Contact Manager support.
  • Palm category selection.
  • Configurable universal hotkey.
  • Share your settings.

I do not remember why I stopped using it after my 2005 review, but I recently started again and I love the convenience of adding contacts with one click. Copy2Contact offers a 14-day free trial. So, if you’re like me and want an easy way to add new contacts and appointments, give it a try.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.