5 Ways to Maximize the Use of Android Contacts

I’m sure you’re well aware that Android’s contacts app has long been vital for storing important contact information. But something you may not have been aware of is that Android contacts are not limited to that function alone. There are a handful of nifty tricks out there that you can use to maximize the potential of your contacts list. Use the five tricks below to have a little fun with your address book and get the most out of what it has to offer while you’re at it.

1. Dole Out Nicknames

It amazes me how little people take advantage of the customizability of Android OS. There are literally hundreds of ways to customize everything on your Android device – including your contacts. Besides, it’s a lot of fun.

Let’s say you put your brother’s new number into your address book along with his first and last name. When you want to call him, you just tell Google Now to “Call Brother” and not “Call Travis E.” when you want to chat. Luckily for you, you own an Android and that means you have the ability to add nicknames in your contacts app.

All you have to do is tap “People/Contacts -> Edit -> Add another field -> and type in the nickname.” The next time you use a voice command, all you’ll need to ask Google Now to do is “Call Brother.”

Type in a nickname.

2. Pin Contacts to Your Home Screen

Android will let you pin a contact to your home screen (or any screen for that matter) outside of the contacts app. It’s a cool way to bypass scrolling through a long list of contacts. You can pin a contact by tapping “Menu -> Widgets -> Contact.”

Once you’ve pinned your contact(s), their photo will appear. Just give them a tap, and your contact’s details will pop up with the option to call, email, or text.

3. Create Reminders

If you struggle with remembering birthdays and anniversaries, this one’s for you. Android has your back when it comes to keeping up with all those special dates for specific people you have to keep up with. To add a contact specific special event, just tap “Contact Name -> Edit -> Add another field -> Events.”

Add the date and label it with whatever special occasion it is you’re supposed to remember on that day.

Add a contact specific special event.

Add the date and label it.

4. Assign Custom Ringtones

Hopefully you’re not so glued to your Android that it’s in your hands 24/7; however, you may always want to know when certain contacts are calling, like your mom or your boss, so you don’t accidentally ignore them.

What better way to keep up with specific contacts calling than by assigning them a custom ringtone? To ensure you never miss important calls from important contacts, just tap “Contact Name -> Set Ringtone” and assign the ringtone you would like to associate with that contact.

Assign the ringtone you would like.

5. Avoid Aggravating Contacts

Let’s be honest, there are just some people in our address books who really cook our grits, but we have to keep them in there in case of work emergencies or something of that nature. When you just don’t feel like answering somebody’s call, Android provides you with a nifty little feature entitled “Send All Calls to Voicemail,” and it’s the best thing ever.

All you have to do to enable it for specific contacts is tap “Contact Name -> All Calls to Voicemail.” One of two things will happen: they’ll get the hint or keep calling anyway. Regardless, you don’t have to worry about it anymore.

Block calls from aggravating contacts.


Your Android is meant to be tailored to your personal taste. Your address book is just one place you can play with the customization features Android offers and make the most of the information you keep stored there while you’re at it. Don’t be afraid to play around and discover what else you can do. Speaking of which, do you have any tips or tricks for maximizing the potential of your contact list?

Photo Credit: Fin6.us

Paige Edenfield Paige Edenfield

Paige Edenfield is a freelance writer with five-years experience writing about technology. She has written about apps, gadgets, tech news, software, hardware, and other cool techie stuff for a number of online publications. When she isn't writing about cool techie stuff, you can find her writing poetry.


    1. Hi Matt,
      The tips in this article apply to any Android device running 4.4 (KitKat) to 5.0 (Lollipop).

  1. It’s too bad that it doesn’t work on 4.3. My phone is great, but it’s still the outdated 4.3 version. Does anyone know if you root your phone, if you can update to a later version (obviously not 5.0 Lollipop though), or are some phones simply only made for certain Android versions?

  2. The ZTE Grand X (not the Max or Max+)

    I’m still trying to find info on how to root it. Not a lot out there on this phone cuz I guess ZTE made it pretty tough to do.

      1. Thanks, Orper, but when I downloaded it and did a virus scan on the .exe file, it said “HackTool”. Maybe I’ll keep looking cuz I don’t want to give anyone access to my computer. Also, it didn’t give any instructions on the page on how it was going to take root access off the phone after dLing to computer. No .txt file or anything w/ the dL. Not sure I can trust it.

  3. Wow, another great tip! I will try this one on my android phone, As sales representative, this one is a good news for me because with the career that I have, it’s necessary that my contacts are well managed so I can follow up my clients right away and its time saving. Another tool that helps people in making their life advance, people with the leading companies privately. Yes, privately because this platform is rising for job seekers privacy, so no fear of losing your current job. By the way, thank you for sharing those serviceable tips.

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