I'm trying to find a way to set up and manage multiple address books on my phone, and to keep them distinct.

I want to do that to separate my personal contacts from the work ones.

The default behaviour is to collect all contacts from my various accounts in a single big list (two google accounts and some other social networking apps), but it is a bit of a mess to have everything together. I know that the default app have a built-in group manager, but it has a bit of a clunky interface that's not very handy (whenever you open it, you are several clicks away from the desired grouping).

Ideally I'd like to have a solution that let me manage my contacts in a powerful and customizable way, i.e. with tags, custom groupings, and so on, and that let me switch easily between said groups without too much clicking around.

How can I do that? I'm also willing to consider a third party app, but right now everything I've tried still collects every contact from all accounts together.

  • You can use contact groups within a single address book. – RockPaperLizard Apr 30 '16 at 10:35
  • Yes, I know, but the interface to navigate the groups is not very handy, whenever you open the address book you are many clicks away from it. And the main view is always made of all the contacts from all accounts, something that I'm trying to avoid. I need a more sophisticated solution. – Sekhemty Apr 30 '16 at 10:39
  • I agree. Hopefully someone will have an answer. As a workaround, you can use groups with a different contact program that has a better UI and easier workflow (UX). There are dozens to try, of course. – RockPaperLizard Apr 30 '16 at 10:53

I managed to do it with Android for work profiles. It is convoluted and pain in the ass to set up but you get 2 completely separate contacts, gmail, calendar, etc

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This might work. It's an app called DejaOffice. It allows you to separate your contacts, calendars, etc into different sections. I've used it before and it's a great app. Or an alternative is to create a different Google account for each "Profile."

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  • Could you give a brief sequence of steps to follow with DejaOffice to have two addressbooks? I did not find how. Thanks. – sancho.s ReinstateMonicaCellio Dec 1 '16 at 9:10

One app that works to create different groups of contacts is contacts plus. It is a bit of a crummy interface but works. The only way I found of doing via the native Google app is by creating different Google accounts and saving the contacts to each specific account, then signing in to an account and signing out of the other when you need to use another set of contacts.

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  • Thanks, I've already tried Contact+ but I haven't found the option to keep separate address books. How can I do that? – Sekhemty Apr 15 '16 at 20:45
  • No it's called contacts "plus". Contacts + doesn't work for that matter. – Devin Ersoy Apr 15 '16 at 22:02
  • Did the app work? – Devin Ersoy Apr 16 '16 at 22:35
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    @DevinErsoy: That's why it is always recommended to link from play store the app and also give salient features of the app that you think would help the OP. Request edit your answer – beeshyams Apr 30 '16 at 11:15
  • @DevinErsoy - Could you give a brief sequence of steps to follow with Contacts Plus to have two addressbooks? I did not find how. Thanks. – sancho.s ReinstateMonicaCellio Dec 1 '16 at 10:54

I've found an app called FullContact that pretty much solved my problem. It can be connected to a Google account (not necessarily the one used for the Android phone). Its address book is completely separated from the main phone contacts app (not like, I.E. Contacts+).

So now I have my personal contacts (linked to my main Google account) in the default contact app, and my work ones (linked to another Google account) in FullContact

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  • Could you use the address book in FullContact as "standalone"? I.e., not syncing with any Google account. Contacts would be entered by hand, and/or imported/exported via csv, vcf, etc. – sancho.s ReinstateMonicaCellio Dec 1 '16 at 10:53
  • I don't use this app anymore, I can't answer you, sorry. – Sekhemty Dec 1 '16 at 11:52

I've found another app that can keep separated all contacts from different sources and also has many nice features for work use. It is called DW Contacts and does what I need better than the one from my previous answer.

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  • Could you give a brief sequence of steps to follow with DWContacts to have two addressbooks? I did not find how. Thanks. – sancho.s ReinstateMonicaCellio Dec 1 '16 at 10:50
  • I use its group management features; this app is very much customizable, you have to explore the settings and find the configuration that works for your needs. – Sekhemty Dec 1 '16 at 11:51

Contacts VCF allows you to have multiple address books. You can open and edit vCard files (.vcf). Each vCard file is its own separate address book.

Contacts VCF does not usually access the main address book on the phone but you can import your contacts from there.

Since this app works with the standard file format for address books, it's compatible with other apps and PC applications.

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Yes you can have multiple address books. You could just use google account for this purpose. You can put different people in different groups and do a custom view in settings to show the items you like.

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