Most lawyers are all about business and wouldn't bother to take the time to insert photos along with the other contact information in their Outlook Contacts. Some, like me, might insert a few photos of loved ones into a very few contacts.

But recently I have been inserting more photos into my Outlook Contacts to increase my efficiency. I know that sounds absurd. But it is true. I synchronize with Outlook to generate the contacts in my smart phone.  All of the information is imported to my iPhone, including the photo of the person. When I get a call from someone in my contacts, their name is displayed on my iPhone as well as their photo. I noticed that when i received a call from a family member, it was easier to quickly recognize it was them because their photo appeared on the phone display. So I don't have to read their name on the incoming call notification.

A smart application of this is when you have two contacts with the same or similar names. Adding their photos lets you easily identify which one is calling your mobile phone. Suppose you have a new and important client that you have only met in person once. Adding their photo to your Outlook Contact entry for them means that every time you get an e-mail from them (in Outlook 2007 or later) a thumbnail of their photo appears on the e-mail. After several weeks of being exposed to that, you won't have to worry about picking them out of a crowd when meeting them at a public event. You can find photos of many lawyers just by searching Google images for their name and city/state. With friends and colleagues (but never clients) you can even entertain yourself by inserting a cartoon character or other image to become their private avatar in your contacts.

If your contacts are lacking in information, I will pass along a tip that I have heard (and given) at many lawyer conferences. Give Copy2Contact a try. (This product used to be known as Anagram.) This software lets you highlight contact information from any document, e-mail or other digital file with text and insert the information in an Outlook Contact entry. It is surprisingly accurate. It also works with Palm Desktop and some other contact managers. You can try it for free on your PC or Blackberry for 14 days to see how you like it and, at the moment, the iPhone version is free. It won't add those photos, but it is a handy tool for all the text.