Google Apps Shared Contacts Sync

In order for shared contacts to be useful for your organization, your shared contacts must stay updated and your users need to have convenient access to the shared contacts. Unfortunately, the Google Admin Console is not particularly helpful for either of these tasks.

Updating shared contacts

The Admin Console provides no shared contact editing functionality, so any edits will need to be made through third party tools or the domain shared contacts API. Third party tools will allow you to bulk update and create shared contacts via a spreadsheet.

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Syncing shared contacts with My Contacts

Assuming you have contact sharing set to show domain shared contacts, the shared contacts will appear in the Directory of each user. There are a couple of different options for getting these contacts to each user’s “My Contacts” folder:

  • Copy manually: Without a third party tool, your only option here is to ask your users to go into the Directory, select the shared contacts, and copy them over to the My Contacts folder. This solution relies on your users to complete it and will likely result in duplicate and not updated entries.
  • Sync with third party tool: Third party tools will allow you push shared contacts from the Directory to folders in your users My Contacts folders. This solution lets you keep the shared contacts updated and always synced with the My Contacts folder for each user. BetterCloud, for instance, provides this syncing functionality and also lets you push these contacts to users’ mobile phones.