Master Contact List for use across sheets in a workspace

edited 12/09/19 in Using Smartsheet
10/17/19 Edited 12/09/19

I have 16 grids that all use a Contact List with 23 of the same client contacts.  (1) its a HUGE waste of time to have to populate 23 contacts into a list 16 times and (2) every time a new person joins or leaves the team, I have to go into each of the 16 grids and make the same change.  Is there a way to create a contact master list, or group (similar to an email distribution list) that I could reference and it would populate a Contact List.  And as people joined or left, all I would have to do is update the master list to add or remove the contact, and all 16 grids would update? 



  • SteCoxySteCoxy ✭✭✭✭✭

    Are you on a multi-user plan (Team, Business, or Enterprise)?

    If so, then you may find setting up contact groups beneficial.

    Have a look at this article for more info: 

  • Paul NewcomePaul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭

    You can also create one sheet that has your Master List then use cross sheet references to pull the appropriate email addresses.

  • Paul LambertPaul Lambert ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't believe that either of the comments addresses what Cheryl is hoping to do. This is a common challenge that I have. Across our various workspaces, we have many sheets that have columns that are setup as a Contact List. Since there is no concept as a Master Contact List for a workspace, you have to manually update the column property for each Contact List column across all sheets in the workspace whenever there are changes to a project team. This is extremely inefficient.

  • Paul NewcomePaul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Paul Lambert

    I don't Groups at all, so I cannot speak to @SteCoxy's solution, but the solution I referred to does in fact provide a solution.

    You create one master list. Then you use cross sheet references in a formula or cell linking to pull the appropriate contact based on title or department or whatever other criteria you want to specify.

    Then when a contact changes, you simply update the master list and all sheets referencing the master list will update automatically.

  • Paul LambertPaul Lambert ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @Paul Newcome ,

    How are you able to use cross sheet references in a column properties value list?

  • Paul NewcomePaul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Paul Lambert You don't. You enter the formula directly into the cell. I typically use an INDEX/MATCH, but VLOOKUP can be used as well. I just prefer INDEX/MATCH because it is much more flexible and robust than VLOOKUP.

  • @Paul Lambert

    Hello! I'm new to Smartsheet, and what you are talking about is what I am trying to do. I have a sheet as a master contact list with 150 contacts for our organziation. I would like to reference that sheet in another sheet contact column, hopefully to be able to use that list in the form I then create.

    Can you give an example of what the formula would look like to reference the master sheet?

  • Bill RigneyBill Rigney ✭✭✭✭✭

    Paul Newcome,

    I'm wondering if you have any updates to your methods for populating contact lists (updates from what you've listed above)?

    This is a royal pain for our team and I'm hoping to use some solution like yours to streamline.

    Thank you in advance,

    Bill Rigney

  • Paul NewcomePaul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Bill Rigney What exactly are you trying to accomplish?

  • Andria HoyleAndria Hoyle ✭✭✭✭

    Paul, are you sure you can use Index Match or Vlookup for a Contacts column? I can't even update a Contacts Column with Data Uploader with an attachment--I was under the impression Contact columns for Smartsheet had to be manually assigned.

  • Paul NewcomePaul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Andria Hoyle Yes. You can populate a Contact column using a formula, but you can only populate one contact. It won't allow multiple contacts even if you have the column set up as such. But populating a single contact will work.

  • Luis SalgueroLuis Salguero ✭✭✭✭

    @Paul Newcome

    I appreciate your insight on this matter.

    I created a Ticket Intake testing sheet and I used an INDEX/MATCH formula to pull the email from a Master Contact List sheet. Please see attached images.

    I will type a name in the Team Member field (e.g., Name 1, Name 2, etc.) and I get the email in the Assign to field, which is where I have the the INDEX/MATCH formula.

    It works, but is there something that I'm missing?


  • Paul NewcomePaul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Luis Salguero I don't see anything missing. Is there a reason you are asking? Are you not getting expected results?

  • Luis SalgueroLuis Salguero ✭✭✭✭

    I'm testing it now and it seems to work fine.


  • Luis SalgueroLuis Salguero ✭✭✭✭

    I had forgotten to edit the column properties to Contact List for both sheets (i.e., source sheet and target sheet). It works very well. Thanks.

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