Importing Outlook Contacts into Gmail

This note is about correctly importing Outlook 2007 contacts into and Gmail.

A friend recently purchased the new G1 (Google Android) phone from T-Mobile and was quite disconcerted that he could not use his contacts from Outlook. All of his phone numbers were imported into Gmail as notes, which is quite useless from the G1’s point of view, since you cannot pick a contact on the phone and dial.

The problem is that Gmail’s import feature does not fully understand Outlook 2007 exported CSV files. Gmail properly imports Outlook 2003 files, not 2007. Why? Because the CSV column names have changed between 2003 and 2007.

In order for a 2007 CVS file to properly populate Gmail contacts, you must edit the column names in the CVS files and replace the 2007 names with 2003 names.

The 2003 CSV column names I got were:

"Title","First Name","Middle Name","Last Name","Suffix","Company","Department","Job Title","Business Street","Business Street 2","Business Street 3","Business City","Business State","Business Postal Code","Business Country","Home Street","Home Street 2","Home Street 3","Home City","Home State","Home Postal Code","Home Country","Other Street","Other Street 2","Other Street 3","Other City","Other State","Other Postal Code","Other Country","Assistant's Phone","Business Fax","Business Phone","Business Phone 2","Callback","Car Phone","Company Main Phone","Home Fax","Home Phone","Home Phone 2","ISDN","Mobile Phone","Other Fax","Other Phone","Pager","Primary Phone","Radio Phone","TTY/TDD Phone","Telex","Account","Anniversary","Assistant's Name","Billing Information","Birthday","Business Address PO Box","Categories","Children","Directory Server","E-mail Address","E-mail Type","E-mail Display Name","E-mail 2 Address","E-mail 2 Type","E-mail 2 Display Name","E-mail 3 Address","E-mail 3 Type","E-mail 3 Display Name","Gender","Government ID Number","Hobby","Home Address PO Box","Initials","Internet Free Busy","Keywords","Language","Location","Manager's Name","Mileage","Notes","Office Location","Organizational ID Number","Other Address PO Box","Priority","Private","Profession","Referred By","Sensitivity","Spouse","User 1","User 2","User 3","User 4","Web Page"

The 2003 CSV column names he got are:

first_name, last_name, address1, address2, city, state, zip, country,  company, email, home_phone, work_phone, cell, fax, pager, birth_month, birth_day, anniversary_month, anniversary_day

The first line of each CSV file contains the column names all on one line. I had my friend replace 2007 names with 2003 names, import the contacts into Gmail and voila, G1 dials away. For example, “first_name” must be replaced with “First Name”, “last_name” with “Last Name”, etc.

One thought on “Importing Outlook Contacts into Gmail

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