Regain Control of Your Contacts with Cobook [Mac]

The built-in Address Book app is the standard of contact management on Apple devices. That’s never stopped third party developers from trying to topple giants before, and this is no exception. While there are plenty of alternatives out there, none are quite as full of convenience and capacity for control like Cobook. It’s a pretty unbeatable app if you’re in need of constant communication with your Google Contacts on your Mac.

What is this thing?

Cobook calls itself, “the smart address book.” It backs up that claim with every usage. This little app lives in your menu bar and delivers easy access to contact information. Call upon it with the stroke of a hotkey and Cobook will allow you to swiftly search through your sea of companions and co-workers to find the people your looking for. It’s a feature-rich tool that also integrates social network updates, allows tag grouping and organization, and has a handy sync feature that will bring your contacts from all over into one place.

Setting it Up

First and foremost, you’re going to want to download and install the app. Once you’ve nailed that crucial step, you can begin to import your contacts. By defaul, Cobook will snag your existing listings from Address Book. If you’d like to pull in your contacts from other services, it’s as easy as a couple of clicks. Cobook will prompt you to do so after the initial install, but you can also do this by clicking the gear button and opening Preferences. This will display a listing of locations that you can then import contacts from, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Contacts, Google Voice, and Xing. Using this is as easy as hitting the “Connect” button, logging into your chosen account, and letting Cobook do what it does best – bring your contacts one step closer to you. Make sure to take advantage of the contact merge feature if you have a person of interest on more than one of those networks. This is as simple as clicking and dragging one contact on top of the other.


Social Network Integration

Importing your social network contacts has an added benefit aside from just bringing them into the forefront of your communication control. Once you give it access, Cobook automatically watches your networks and provides updates to their information. If a LinkedIn connection changes jobs or a Facebook friend gets a new phone number, that will be reflected on their listing in Cobook. It’ll give you information that you’d otherwise have to dig for, like birthdays and contact pictures, as well.

Shortcut Command

Once you’ve got all your connections collected in Cobook, you can call upon them just as quickly as you brought them into the program. No matter what you’re doing, Cobook is available to you through its global keyboard shortcut. A quick tap of “Control + Shift + Space” will bring up your contact listing, and defaults your cursor in the search bar so you can swiftly sift through to find who you’re looking for.


To keep your contacts better organized, you can use Cobook’s tagging system. To use this, simply enter Edit mode by clicking on the pencil icon, select a contact – or multiple ones to group more than one person with a particular tag – and choose to add a tag. You’ll then be able to use the search bar to find people based off a given tag that you’ve designated to them. This is an infinitely handy feature if you have a group email to send out to a specific subset of your contact base.


If you’re looking for a better way to manage your connections and keep in contact, you need not look any further than Cobook. It’s a powerful tool packed into a tiny app that is happy to wait in your menu bar for you to use it. Odds are good it won’t have to wait long, because it’s definitely one of those apps that will make your life easier.


AJ Dellinger

AJ Dellinger is a freelance writer based in Madison, Wisconsin. He's been described as amazing, flawless, the best, and extremely modest. His work can be found at Digital Trends, Mac|Life Magazine, Gamezebo, and many others. Follow him on Twitter, @ajdell.

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