In the seven years that I have been using the internet, I have had about ten email addresses (excluding all the addresses I set up for junk emails), all with valuable contacts in the address book. I have now consolidated them all into my Gmail account – and if you want to do it too, it’s easier than you might think.
With the new and improved Gmail contact book, moving all your contacts into your Gmail now makes more sense than ever with the ability to add contact photographs and instant messaging ID’s, as well as having all emails and chat history attached to each contact profile. You probably think that this is a very simple process which doesn’t need blogging about but you’d be amazed how many people contact me and ask me about how to do this very straight-forward procedure.
To move contacts from one email address into Gmail, you need to have all the contacts arranged in what is called a CSV file (Comma Separated Values). If you use Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, Yahoo or Hotmail, CSV files are offered when you choose the “export” option.
So just go to your current email program and look through the drop-down menus for an “export” option. It may be tucked away in the address book area but then again, like Outlook, it will be in the “File” drop-down list. When you have found the export option, just go through the process to make a CSV file. Save that CSV file to your computer hard-drive.
Then go into your Gmail contacts manager and in the bottom left hand corner, you’ll see an “import” link.Â Â Â Clicking on that link brings up this little menu :
I’ve just realised that since I am using a German browser, a German word has crept into the screenshot. Â “Durchsuchen” basically means to search for something. Â Â So just click that button, find your CSV file and then click the “import” button.
All of your contacts from the CSV list will now be added to your Gmail contact book. Â Â Generally I have personally not had so many problems with the formatting of imported contacts but sometimes you may notice a piece of information in the wrong field. Â Â But mostly, the information should be entered into Gmail correctly right away.
There is also an option in Gmail to export your contacts into a CSV file. Â Â I highly recommend making a backup of your Gmail contact book, especially in the wake of Gmail accidently disabling Gmail accounts. Â Â If you have to set up a new account suddenly, having a backup of your contacts on your hard-drive would be a lifesaver.