Google doesn’t shy away from using its undisputed search engine clout to fend off the competition and position itself as the serious power in the productivity arena as well. Although Microsoft is still a go-to option for productivity tasks, a growing number of customers are leaning into Google’s backyard.
And for a good reason too. Google’s productivity package called Google Workspace is stacked with useful features and offers small and medium businesses everything they need to get going.
But, as you can probably guess, not everything in this package is ideal. Namely, Google’s contact manager and mail client have been notorious for years now for the lack of ability to easily share contacts with other users.
Well, here are a couple of methods that will help you to find a way around this admittedly irritating problem.
Method no. 1 – Export the CSV files
This is, by far, the most tedious way of sharing contacts between your Google accounts, but in the cases where no other solutions are readily available, it serves its overall purpose just fine.
To do it, you just have to hit the Export option you can find in the main Gmail sidebar menu. After that, you will have to manually select contacts you want to share, select the type of the output file you want to get (Google CSV, Microsoft CVS, or iOS vCard), and that’s pretty much it.
Obviously, the main perk of this contact is that it is entirely free (the function is built into the app). On the other hand, the process is cumbersome, doesn’t share contacts in real-time, and takes a lot of time.
Method no. 2 – Use third-party sharing add-on
If the previous method was the slowest and most unintuitive way of sharing contacts, using a plugin to share Google contacts is the polar opposite. One of the most powerful contact sharing plugins or apps is Shared Contacts for Gmail® that enables users to create, edit, share and access Google Contacts on any device and they also offer an app for Gmail as well. After installing some of these third-party applications, your Gmail client will finally get the ability to share contacts that you need to share, choose the accounts you want to sync them with, and assign various permissions while you’re at it.
Everything goes fast, smooth, and the contacts are synced instantly. The only downside is that you need to make a certain upfront investment, but in this case, it is the best bang for the buck..
Method no. 3 – Create contact labels
For this method, you will need to install a plug-in that will put a big fat Share Label button right in the Gmail client. Granted, this feature is not nearly as agile as it should be when you are fighting deadlines, but it’s better than nothing.
So, what you want to do is to assign all of your contacts with some label that could describe them best for sharing purposes (clients, vendors, etc.) or create new arbitrary labels when the time comes to share seemingly random contacts.
The Gmail Label and Email Sharing plug-in is readily available in the Chrome web store, and it’s free, but this is still not nearly the most intuitive way of synching the contact cards between the accounts.
Method no. 4 – Delegate access to contacts
Last but not least, we have to mention delegating access to various contacts to other Gmail users. Once they get this access, other users will be able to edit or delete the contacts they are charged with. Now, this method has some severe limitations. For instance, the system features no granularity whatsoever (only Editing Mode for everyone), and delegated contacts do not appear in the Google autocomplete mode.
All in all, this is not the method you want to use as your go-to way of sharing Google contacts. But, if you want someone to clean up your account and edit some names, it serves its limited purpose.
We hope these few workarounds will help you to utilize the latest iteration of Google Workspace to its full potential. This whole platform, Gmail included, is very powerful and shows tons of potential. Lack of ability to share contacts between accounts is something that holds it back on a daily basis. Well, now you know a couple of ways to solve this problem.