How to make your own visual address book on your BlackBerry smartphone

Make a visual address book
By Joseph Holder on 5 Jun 2011 10:58 am EDT

CrackBerry Tip of the Day!

BlackBerry OS6 makes it easy to add any contact to the home screen. This means you can turn any of your contacts into a shortcut that goes on the home screen (with their picture on it and everything). The shortcut will allow you to message your contact in a variety of ways, all from the home screen. But, let's take that one step further. Instead of just storing your contact shortcuts on the All pane or in Favorites, you can make a visual address book by creating a folder and saving your most-used contacts there. No reason to go to the trouble of putting everyone in there, just the people you message the most.

Start by creating a new folder; you can only create new ones from the All pane (tray). You can't make folders anywhere else. Make sure one of the visible icons is highlighted. It doesn't matter which one, but the Add folder option won't appear in the menu if nothing is highlighted. Press the menu key and select Add folder. Give your folder a name, and we're ready to add some contacts to it.

Go to your contacts on your BlackBerry and highlight (don't select) one you'd like to add to your visual address book. Press the menu key and choose Add to Home Screen. In the dialog box that opens, you'll get options to rename your shortcut, mark it as a favorite, and choose what in folder to save the shortcut. Unless you want your shortcut in two different places, uncheck the box next to Mark as Favorite. Next to location, you'll see the default setting is "Home." We want to change that to the name of your new folder. Click Add, and your shortcut will be in your new folder.

Repeat as necessary to add more contacts. Once you're done, you'll have a quick list of all your most used contacts. At a glance, you'll be able to find who you're looking for. Unlike the actual Contacts, you can order your shortcuts any way you'd like. Clicking or touching the link will open their contact information. In addition, you'll also get the person's recent activity. Emails, Facebook posts, and tweets can all be found here. Select a shortcut and click & hold or open the menu to get a whole hosts of ways to contact, contact.

Though this visual address book does the exact same thing as contacts, it makes things easier. Instead of cluttered with dozens of names, our project only contains those contacted most. We get a friendly face (or icon) to represent our contact; and because the shortcut is in a folder, you can put them in any order you desire. Most importantly, with a little practice, it becomes a super-fast way of connecting with a variety of ways.

Reader comments

How to make your own visual address book on your BlackBerry smartphone


Takes a while to link contacts networks and messaging services together but once its done this is really useful, especially if you set the folder to a convinience key.

I couldn't get my contacts into my "New Folder" (called Friends) the way you directed me to here. But after a BP to get rid of a ghost "Friends" folder and then creating a new one - I found that the only way to get my contacts into my "Friends" folder was to send them to my home screen first - then move them into the folder.

Great tip!



That is extremely cool.. and useful. Sadly.. I have a Storm 2 which as you know does not have the ability to run OS6. Even though it should.. it (S2) was supposed to be RIM's full touch screen marvel. Yet it cannot run their newest and greatest OS! What a brain fart by RIM!

Because I would LOVE to be able to do this with my contacts!

Nice tip! I use folders on my homescreen to organize information for various projects I'm working on. I often add web page shortcuts to these folders. It never occurred to me to add contacts as shortcuts. This tip will help me to keep information on projects and team members together in one folder. Again, thanks for the awesome tip!

Love it! I now have a folder called "Family" with my husband and all my kids' pictures -- they are the ones I call and text all the time.

I don't get it? How is this quicker than just starting to type the person you wants name in from the homescreen and letting uni search find them? Am I missing something?

When I tried this earlier, on rebooting, the contacts would vanish from my subfolder.... guess I did something wrong, bc trying it your way seems to work wonders! Thanks! :D Crackberry How-To's ftw :)

When you reboot your device these will disappear, I have the same issue with a bbm group icon I keep on the homescreen, everytime I reboot I need to select show on home screen again.. Very annoying

I had the same problem yesterday. It was a certain third party theme! Hope that's all it is for you too.

since this is on the topic of contacts... i had a question... is there anyway to remove the default blank box in the address books? i dont have pics for all my contacts... and it annoys me to see the blank box... not a big deal, but just an annoyance.

i wished BB would create the option to have pics in the address book or not to have them...

any thoughts?