Organized: How to copy your contacts from one application to another

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Where's your contact? Are you in customer relationship management (CRM) software, email accounts, your cell phone, or email marketing applications like MailChimp? Your contact list can be scattered everywhere. Hey, that happened. Sometimes you need to clean it up, merge it, or just copy a database of people and their contact information from one place to another.

In general, there are three ways to copy contacts from one place to another.

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Get Organized Bug Art

1. Synchronize First, you can sync your contacts, which is by far the easiest option when it's available. The result is that you have two exactly the same database of contacts, forever and until you stop syncing.

2. Use the contact application. There are several applications and contact services on the market, such as Contact + (formerly Full Contact), which absorb contact data from various sources (Facebook, Gmail, LinkedIn), collate and then eject it wherever you want. With this application, remember both your privacy and your contacts. You don't want to enter all of your contact information voluntarily into the app, which will just go around and sell it.

3. The export / import optionally follows the synchronization of new changes. The second method is to transfer contacts in large quantities. We can call this the export / import method. Here, you download all of your contact information from a bulk source and then upload it to a new source. This is a one-time transfer. Optionally, you can add steps so that from now on all new Contact information that you create or change in the first database update in the second.

Let's look at these options to see what is needed.

Synchronization of contacts

What are some direct examples of where and how you can sync contacts? If you use iCloud, you can sync contacts between your iPhone, iPad and Mac devices. Easy right? It seems like it's just a matter of having Apple The contact app on all your devices, but actually, you also need to enable syncing via iCloud in order to work. If you don't activate syncing, the information in your Contacts app will be different on each device.

The first example uses an application. The following is an example with two applications. There is a sync option between MailChimp and Eventbrite that you can activate to bring your Eventbrite participant information to MailChimp so that you can easily create email campaigns for them. It organizes it by selecting the groups that you want to synchronize and, from that moment, until you deactivate it, all the selected data will be the same between the two applications.

When you want to sync contacts, looking for integration is usually the only best option. There are many of them. For example, you can integrate Outlook and Salesforce to sync contact information between the two apps, and you can sync Gmail contacts with multiple CRMs.

Contact screen + update

Use the contact app

There are many contact applications on the market that will extract data from various sources, compile and combine it, and help you understand it. If you have contact information across multiple email accounts, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other locations that you want to combine quickly and easily, the Contacts app will. This app often syncs generated data wherever you want. So for example if you extract information from iCloud, Google Contacts, LinkedIn and FacebookYou can sync everything again with Google Contacts and iCloud, for example.

As mentioned, be sure to always maintain privacy when researching contact apps. PCMag has yet to review many of them, and some of ours are no longer operational. Contact + is the only one I have used to a certain extent that I feel comfortable recommending, but of course there are others. Read them at least a little before trusting them.

Export / Import more Synchronize new changes

You don't always have the option to fully sync contacts between the two systems. In that case, download or export your contacts from one app, upload them to another, and optionally sync all future changes from one app to another.

Google Contact Export Contact Card

Information on the correct way to export your contacts from an application will vary by application. For email applications like Gmail and Outlook, exporting your contacts is quite easy. The most pressing question is usually what type of file format you want to use, CSV or vCard. So let's discuss the differences before continuing.

What is a CSV file?

CSV stands for comma separated values, and this is the most commonly accepted file format for address book data. These are comma separated values ​​that are obtained when exporting spreadsheets to word processing files. Each row of data in a spreadsheet is translated into one line of text, with the cell content separated by commas. CSV is easy to read for humans, flexible and lightweight in the sense that the file size will not be too large. So why not use it? Yes, exporting to CSV can cause data loss, including photos of your contacts, nicknames, website, and sometimes the "notes" field. CSVs are bad at handling special characters, so if you have contact information in other scripts or you know people with tildes in their names, they will be lost or mistaken.

What is vCard?

vCard is an electronic business card format. This is a more complete export format for contact information, which means that the resulting file is likely to be larger than CSV. The exported VCard doesn't lose much data and supports more (but not all) special characters and foreign letters. However, you will still lose your nickname, website, and AIM data when exporting to vCard. vCard tends to be associated with OS X and iOS apps, although Outlook and various other email programs also run Windows You can use it too.

IFTTT recipe saves new iOS contacts to Google Return to export / import and optional sync. Once you know what format you want to use and verify that it will work with any application and database you have in mind, you can download contacts from one and upload them to another. It is not a bad idea to check some of the generated contacts to make sure it works properly.

Now that you've copied contacts from one app to another, do you want any new changes you make in one app to automatically appear in another app? If so, you will need a third party tool for the job. Some examples are IFTTT, Zapier and Microsoft Flow. They are sometimes collectively called automation tools.

Automation tools can connect applications that don't need to be integrated. In other words, it has apps A and B, and neither of them builds one-touch integration with the others. Automation tools continue and create the integration between A and B for you, and can now help you organize and manage the flow of data between the two applications.

With automation tools, you often can't copy a lot of information that exists from one application to another in the same way when you export / import it yourself. There are a number of hidden solutions that involve Google Sheets, but they can be frustrating and difficult to fix. However, you can use an automation tool to set the rules so that everything new Copy the changes from one application to another, which is the method I recommend.

For example, you can set rules so that when the automation tool detects updates for your iCloud contacts, it takes the changes and copies them to, for example, Google Contacts. Or vice versa. You can manage it between two applications supported by your automation tool.

The real trick is to make sure you understand what is happening and what is not happening when you set up automation. You need to make sure you know which direction synchronization occurs and if there is a delay between the time you make the changes and the time it appears in the second application.

No more copy and paste

Copying contact data between two applications is entirely possible, and does not depend on pressing ctrl-c, ctrl-v repeatedly. You have many options, depending on what you want to do, and everything is very simple.

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