I searched many places for address book that suits my needs but cannot find such one (or cannot use what I found)

Use case:

I meet many people in many cities and organize many different events on demand. Like please, give me 10 people that can help me with music performance in Berlin - it's where I call people that lives in Berlin and has some connection with music. Or need to learn bridge here and there or My washing machine doesn't work, do you know who can fix it?

At the moment, my contacts are a mess, I cannot filter them easily and miss a lot of people because of that. I cannot check my contact list again and again. That's why I need some help.

The most crucial part is I need to have the possibility of creating categories with tags, tagging people, and filtering them by that. It would be nice to have it somewhere in the cloud so I could edit tags with my PC. I will use that in two places:

  1. My Android phone - to quickly filter people that match the multiple tags (like Warsaw, Dance, Girl) and be able to call them.

  2. My PC - to use with an email client (using neomutt) and easily send emails to some subset of people.

I am fine with paid solutions, I am fine with creating such an address book from scratch I just need to find a way to manage a huge list of contacts in both places. I could prepare my own scripts for PC but have no idea what kind of software and format I could use on Android.

  • Hi. Will a web app that is self-hosted on the internet work? I assume you can then run it via your web browser on Android Phone or PC.
    – Z Z
    Sep 7, 2022 at 14:46
  • Probably something Android native would be more handy, but as long as using it on phone won't be painfull I am ready to give it a try.
    – kosciej16
    Sep 7, 2022 at 14:50
  • Another question: if you have app on Android and on PC too, must it really be on cloud assuming you can sync between Android and PC?
    – Z Z
    Sep 7, 2022 at 15:10
  • Maybe I am not aware of out of box sync mechanism, but for me syncing is not so straightforward. You need to find an phone, turn the bluetooth on PC and phone, send files, find that files later and so on. Or upload file in some storage and when you have access to phone remember about downloading it and if you forgot merging changes can be painfull. Or use usb cable, after you find it, find adapter etc. There will be many changes weekly so I don't want to be involved in syncing process. If I won't, cloud storage is not necesarry.
    – kosciej16
    Sep 7, 2022 at 15:27
  • The reason I ask: personally I keep contacts on Android app. But sync automatically with laptop using USB cable (or wifi or bluetooth if necessary) to Outlook and a Native app on Laptop. So if changed in either place, it gets synced everyday when initiated, or as many times as necessary. I can enter answer if interested in this approach. It means your contacts are private and not on internet.
    – Z Z
    Sep 7, 2022 at 15:38

2 Answers 2


This is a summary of how to solve your issue, which have been mostly discussed in the comments above. This is how I do it myself on my Android phone for thousands of contacts:

  • I use the native contacts App in Android. I then use a free app called MyPhoneExplorer to automatically sync the phone with my laptop only. This can be done using USB cable (or WIFI or Bluetooth if necessary) to the Native MyPhoneExplorer app on the Laptop, and to MS Outlook if necessary. So if a contact is changed on Phone or Laptop, it gets synced every day when initiated, or as many times as necessary. This approach means your contacts are private and not on internet.

  • Tagging is done by using the "Notes" field for entering tags, amongst other things. One can enter multiple tags as required. Entering Tags in search will display the appropriate contacts. This is a very simple but powerful way to do it.

  • The simplicity of raw text means: you do not have to categorise, especially as contact can fall into many categories. Spelling mistakes can happen with tags, but this is also the same issue with other fields like address, name, etc. e.g. entering "Belrin" instead of "Berlin". So this is not a major issue.

The other approach is to use a web-based app called Monica. It can be self-hosted or run in the cloud for a small fee. Its original mobile app was discontinued, but I believe another one is still in progress. Monica enables tags on the contacts.

  • I use MyPhoneExplorer to tidy up my contacts periodically as well. Feb 9 at 12:57

I use Nextcloud for this with its Contacts app and the native addressbook/contacts app that ships with my ROM (LineageOS). On Android, I can select via my labels when tapping the Hamburger menu at the left:

Screenshots of the contacts app: Hamburger menu (left), settings (right); click images to enlarge

To filter by multiple labels, you'd need to go through some special loops, though: at the end of the Hamburger menu choose Settings and then Show Contacts (or "display contacts", not sure how the English phrasing is there) and choose to adjust. As the second screenshot shows you then can select any combination of labels.

The Web interface of the Nextcloud Contacts app allows me to easily manage my contacts (entering/changing data, create/assign tags etc). And the whole thing gets sync'd via the DAVx⁵ app on Android which, if you insist, is also available at Google Play.

This combination serves me well for many years already. If you cannot self-host your Nextcloud instance, there are many osting providers available offering the service for you; some even have free packages.

  • Thank you a lot for recommendation! Could you double check that you can select more labels than one? Because in my case I am not able to choose people that has multiple labels, at least with Android app.
    – kosciej16
    Sep 7, 2022 at 21:12
  • Ah, looks like I missed that. Yes, it's possible – but a little more complicated: Hamburger menu, then settings, "display contacts", adjust. There you can mark all or selected categories. This should allow for any combination. I've just updated my answer accordingly.
    – Izzy
    Sep 7, 2022 at 21:22
  • Unfortunately I tried it earlier and it lists people that have any of selected label, not all of them. And I really really need a way to filter via multiple labels :/
    – kosciej16
    Sep 7, 2022 at 21:35
  • I see – apologies for having missed that requirement. I've never needed that part so I did no in-depth test of it – but yes, it makes sense that the configuration screen works that way. I didn't manage selecting multiple labels combined (I tried tap-and-hold in the Hamburger menu to no avail)… Maybe asking at Android.SE how to achieve that in the contacts app? On a quick check, I couldn't find a question there asking that yet. Might also be that some 3rd party contacts app comes with that feature.
    – Izzy
    Sep 7, 2022 at 21:46

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