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In dealing with the lovely influx of comments we found after fixing our commenting, we discovered that you have a lot of questions about recent contacts! Conveniently, I just helped edit a whitepaper on that very topic, written by developer Tom Ransdell. I included some of the relevant FAQs from the whitepaper below. If you want a more in-depth technical look, here's a link to the full article on the wiki: Recent Contacts and type-ahead .

For Dwight's original post on Recent Contacts, see here: Recent Contacts

FAQ: Recent Contacts and type-ahead

How does Notes determine who goes in my Recent Contacts?

Notes keeps track of the number of times you send and receive mail from each person, and the people you communicate with the most become your Recent Contacts. After you send an e-mail or close an e-mail after reading it, Notes stores the contacts' information and uses it to determine your Recent Contacts. Notes also adds contacts' information from the Cc and Bcc fields, and from meeting invitations.

If you choose in Notes preferences to save your chat to the Notes mail file, the participants of the chat are used to determine your Recent Contacts as well. Their information is added when the chat is saved.

If you read an e-mail only in the preview pane, Notes will only process the contacts' information if you have selected to “Mark documents as read when opened in preview pane” in your Basic Notes Client Configuration preferences.  

How does Notes determine the order in my type-ahead list?

Notes determines the order in your type-ahead drop-down the same way that it determines who goes in your Recent Contacts. After you send an e-mail or close an e-mail after reading it, Notes stores the sender's or recipients' information and uses it to determine the order for your type-ahead drop-down. Contacts that you send or receive e-mail from more frequently will appear higher on the type-ahead drop-down list.

How long do people stay in my Recent Contacts list?

There's a maximum number of people who can be in your Recent Contacts (the default is between 2,000-3,000). If you have more than the maximum number of contacts, the people you communicate with the least will be deleted from your Recent Contacts whenever your Recent Contacts are updated, which happens about every seven days. If you don't have more than the maximum, no contacts will be deleted.

How do I keep people from dropping off my Recent Contacts list?

You can't add or edit your Recent Contacts list, but you can add a person from your recent Contacts to your My Contacts list, so you have them forever.  This is useful if  if you would like to edit a Recent Contact's information, or if you are worried someone might drop off of your Recent Contacts. You can add a recent contact to your My Contacts by going into the Recent Contacts view and clicking the Move to My Contacts button.  

Image:More info on Recent Contacts

You can also do this from any Mail view, either from the More menu or by right-clicking and selecting Add Sender to Contacts.

Image:More info on Recent Contacts

 You cannot manually make someone appear higher in your type-ahead list.

How do I remove people from my Recent Contacts?

If you have a bad e-mail address in Recent Contacts, you can remove it from your Recent Contacts (This can happen if, for example, you sent an e-mail to the wrong address). Follow the steps below:

1.   If you have not already, open your Contacts and click on Recent Contacts in the navigation pane at left.
2.   Delete the contact. You can hit delete in the action bar, drag the contact to the trash, or right-click it and select Delete.
3.   Click Trash in the navigation pane at left.
4.   Click Empty Trash in the action bar above the message list.
5.   Send an e-mail to yourself. This clears the recent contacts history, so it won't remember that you've contacted that bad e-mail address recently.
6.   Restart Notes.

You can delete a Recent Contact in Notes 8.0.1 and higher.

How do I turn off Recent Contacts?

If you would like to disable the Recent Contacts feature, you can follow the steps below. You'd only want to do this if you didn't like the feature.

1.   First, delete all Recent Contacts by following the steps above for deleting a recent contact. You'll need to do this because type-ahead addressing will continue to use the Recent Contacts list (in addition to personal and public directories) whether or not the list is being updated.

You can select all recent contacts by clicking the first contact on the list and then holding down the Shift key as you click the last contact on the list, or you can hit Ctrl-A, or choose Edit > Select All.

2.   Click File > Preferences, and click on the Contacts section.
3.   Select the check box next to “Do not automatically add contacts to the Recent Contacts view.”

Julia Brown | 5 June 2009 03:04:31 PM ET |

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