Out with the old, In with the new

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

In this post I decided to address the question of transfering your contacts from an old email account to a new one, because it has been coming up quite a bit with my clients. My next post will address more generally how to transfer files from PC to MAC. 

Perhaps you're needing to get your contacts from Outlook into Apple's email client Mail (via Address Book). Or perhaps you're going to a web-based email client like Gmail. Either way, the process is similar.

Whether you're a business owner with thousands of contacts, or an avid party-goer with more friends than you can count, you'll probably find yourself, at some point, needing to do this. Note that you can export your contacts from local email clients (Outlook, Entourage, etc.) as well as web-based clients (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.); and then import them into your new client, which can also be either local or web-based.

To do this, you'll want to export a file that contains your contacts information and is able to be imported by your new email client. The most common export file format is a comma separate value (CSV) file.

To give an example, here's how to export a CSV file inside Outlook:

1. Click the FILE Tab.

2. Click OPTIONS.

3. Click ADVANCED.

4. Under EXPORT, click EXPORT.


6. Under CREATE A FILE OF TYPE, click CSV file, then NEXT.

7. Under SELECT FOLDER TO EXPORT FROM, select the contact folder that you want to export, then click NEXT. (Note that you can only export one folder at a time.)

8. Under SAVE EXPORTED FILE AS, click BROWSE, select a destination folder (I prefer to save on the Desktop), and in the FILE NAME box, type a name for the file.

9. Click OK.

10. In the EXPORT TO A FILE dialog box, click NEXT.

11. Click FINISH.

At this point, you need to import your CSV file inside your new email client. 

If you are trying to import contacts into Apple's Mail (this software comes with your computer), please take note! To do this you will want to import your contacts into Address Book (which is also a software that comes with your computer). The reason for this is that Mail and Address Book talk to each other and "team up" to support you in all of your email endeavors. Here's what to do:

1. Open Address Book.

2. Click FILE.

3. Click IMPORT.

4. Choose your CSV file.

5. Click OPEN.

To import your contacts file into Gmail, you'd do this:

1. Open Gmail and go to CONTACTS.

2. Click IMPORT.

3. Select the CVS file from wherever you've saved it on your computer  .

4. Click IMPORT, then OK.

Follow this link to go to About.com to learn more about this process for different type of email clients, local and web-based. Keep in mind that you'll probably find some (or many) mistakes and misread contacts after you import. This is normal, and just requires that you make edits and fill in what's missing. Good news is you'll get to know your new email client much better in the process!