Transferring contacts to Gmail and Android

Are you challenged trying to keep all your contacts in one place?

Now that I use a smart phone I have my contact database available wherever I go. My email system is Gmail and has an associated contact database. The Android phone contacts synchronise with Gmail.

I had an information management challenge. I am a member of a Toastmasters club and wanted to add the contact details of our membership from a spreadsheet of details supplied by the President. Printing this spreadsheet or creating a PDF file for viewing on a computer or my phone is not ideal. My desired solution was all club member details accessible in one location.

I discovered a web site where comma-separated files (CSV) can be converted to VCF format (also known as vCards) – a popular format for sharing electronic business cards.

These are the steps I followed:

1. Prepare the spreadsheet. Because the spreadsheet had one column for the full name, I created a First Name and Surname columns, copied the full name and manually edited.

2. Make sure the first row of the spreadsheet has column headings. This is needed by the import process to map your data to the VCF fields.

3. Save the spreadsheet in CSV format (Comma Separated Values). I  saved the file with the name members.csv.

4. Go to the CSV2vCard web site by clicking here. (Click on any of the images below to see them full size)

5. Open the CSV file with a text editor and copy the text

6. Paste the text into the Step 1 text area (visible in the picture above)

7. Click on Step 2 then use the drop down lists to match the headings found in the file.

8. Click on Step 3. There is your VCF data!

9. Copy this text into a text file and save with the file extension .vcf. I used the name members.vcf

Importing into Google.

The VCF file can be imported into Google Contacts. Go to the Contacts section, choose Import Contacts then choose the VCF file (whic Google refers to as a vCard).

Once the import is comlete, you will have a Contact group name based on today’s date. Change this name to something meaningful. In my case, I used the name of my club, Chatswood Early Risers.

These contacts will be synchronised automatically to the phone.

Importing the VCF file directly on the phone

The People application on Android has an option to directly import a VCF file. The procedure would be to transfer the VCF file to the phone’s SD card then choose the Import from SD card option in the contacts program.

Sending the VCF file by email

The VCF file can be sent to members of the club so they can import into their email programs or phones. When the file is received by Gmail, one of the options on the file attachment is Import into Contacts.  Click this link and the contacts will be imported.

Now that I have trialled this process, I am going to convert more of my contacts into Gmail (and my phone) and organise into various categories.

Author: charuzu

I live in Sydney and interests include music, piano playing, technology, cooking, English language, public speaking, Toastmasters, Asian culture (especially Japan and Korea), cinema, personal development, productivity and making friends with people from around the world.

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