Sharing contacts within an organization


I work at a small nonprofit, and we are an exclusively Apple shop. For years, I have wanted the ability for each of my employees to have easy access on their phones and laptops to two address books: a company one that is maintained by our secretary, and then a personal one that they maintain themselves. Have any of you figured out how to do that?

I have never really worked in the corporate world, but it would seem to me that this is a fairly common desire. We are using Fastmail as our Email/Contacts/Calendar provider, and each Fastmail account has a “personal” and a “shared” address book built in. But the official line from Fastmail has been that Apple devices limit you as follows:

“You can only configure one address book — either the Personal or the Shared address book. Both of them wouldn’t work on the same device.”

In the past, I have also used, but I stopped when I switched over to Fastmail. So, again, how do others handle this problem of shared contacts within a company setting?


What you’re looking for is a CardDAV server. (Like CalDAV, but for contacts instead of calendars.) You add it on your devices via the “other” Accounts setting.

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Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Yes, both Fastmail and Fruux use carddav in the backend to serve contacts. But what I’m trying to get at is whether there is a way for a user to sign in with their account on their device and to have multiple address books - a company address book and a personal address book - just work.

Is that even a thing? I have assumed it is, because it seems obvious that every organization would want employees to have contacts that are shared across the company, but also to be able to have their own personal contacts on their device.

Yes, you can add as many address book accounts as you want. I prefer to do it through the Contacts app preferences on the Mac, but you can also add additional CardDAV accounts in the Internet Accounts system preference pane. On the iPhone, go to Settings app > Contacts > Accounts.