Accumulated information has a way of overwhelming our personal and business silos. Nonetheless, there comes a time in the course of human events to try and put things right. I wanted my contacts in the cloud AND (pause), I wanted to keep my category data from Outlook.
I didn’t want to add the $5/month that Google Apps charges since my contact usage is a little down these days – even though it’s probably reasonable. Google Apps is probably the solution here – and many companies have gone there as part of a migration from Outlook centered everything. I found some free solutions – but they were leaving pieces out or short of a longer term solution. After some research, I ponied up $20 for gSyncit. http://www.fieldstonsoftware.com/software/gsyncit3/
Contact management history:
- Used Act! contact manager w/ my Palm / Handspring devices ’99-’06.
- Moved to Outlook Business Contact Manager (BCM) during a computer upgrade.
- Adopted Google, Gmail, iPhone, iCloud and a bunch of other services along the way.
- Crashed BCM and don’t want to bother reinstalling – moving to the cloud!
- Want to use Google as my source, but not pay a monthly.
Prior, I had exported my BCM contacts so they could be available in regular Outlook contacts – which was the clearly the beginning of the end. Redundant data kills!
1. Established Gmail contacts – had a few in there already.
2. Backed up data. took their advice on backing up all contact data on both ends (gMail and Outlook), before proceeding and while I worked the kinks out of the sync process. Syncing is ugly – and no matter what they say, it rarely yields perfect results – and even rarer – on the first try. I exported Gmail contacts to a .csv. Google also has a great feature that let’s your restore your contacts by the minute,:
Outlook back up has many backup variants – but I just went to the .pst file that holds everything and copied it.
3. The gSyncit has lots of config options, and frankly I’m not certain I chose the optimal – so, a little research here might do the trick for you. I wanted to use Gmail as my “master” which probably breaks ties when syncing gets hairy.
This all worked remarkably well. I had some other data I wanted to merge, and Google’s merge contacts did a great job on that as well. On the other hand, importing data into Google from a raw .csv file is pretty unwieldy – don’t assume that will go smoothly.
- I have an iCloud data file in .pst form as well, that created outrageous duplicate issues – and I didn’t take the time to weed them all and configure it properly, but if i did – I could get iCloud synced here as well.