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How do I import contacts from my previous database?


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First published by:
Troy Wolbrink
on 29 Sep 2008
Last revision by:
Troy Wolbrink
on 22 Feb 2012
2 people found this article useful.

100% of people found this useful
How do I import contacts from my previous database?

Importing Contacts

If you already have an existing database of your ministry partners from another program such as a contact manager, you should strongly consider importing it into TntMPD.  If you have been keeping fairly good records of your ministry partners, you will want to keep the correct spelling of their name, address, phone number, etc.  There is little benefit in throwing all of this hard work away!

If you do not already have an existing database of your ministry partners, and your ministry organization offers an online donation system that is compatible with TntMPD, you can import your contacts from there.

You should hold off on connecting to your ministry's online donation system until after you have imported your previous database.  If you already have connected to your ministry's online donation system, but you haven't yet imported your contacts from your previous database, you may want to consider completely starting over.  To create a new database and completely start over, click on New from the File menu.

TntMPD can import contacts in two ways:

  • From a CSV (comma delimited) text file
  • From Microsoft Outlook 2000/XP

Importing contacts from a CSV text file

Most database programs and contact managers (such as Microsoft Access and Symantec ACT!) can export their data to a CSV (comma delimited) text file.  Even if they can't export to a CSV file, if they export their data at all they can probably export their data to a format that Microsoft Excel can open.  When you export from your previous database, if your program gives you the option to include field names when you export, choose to.  You want the first row of data to include field names just like Figure 1.

 
Figure 1.  Sample import database

Here's a sample file you can use to test the import feature.

Once you have your CSV file ready for import, start TntMPD.  On the File menu, point to Import, and then click Import Contacts from Text.  From there you are prompted to choose your file.  After you choose your CSV file, your are prompted to map the fields between your CSV file and TntMPD.  See Figure 2.

Figure 2.  Import from CSV

Notice that the contents of the CSV file are visible under where it says Data Being Imported.  Also notice that all of the fields in the CSV file are listed in the From column of the field mapping grid.  To map a field from your CSV file to a field in TntMPD, drag a field from the Target Fields list into the To column of the field mapping grid.

TntMPD offers many fields you can import into.  There are nine name fields (see Figure 3).  Address fields are available for Home, Business, and Other.  There are 19 phone fields.  There are three email fields.  You can also import unlimited notes into the "Notes" field.  There are 4 user fields, a "UserStatus" field and a "Categories" field.

Title SpouseTitle
FirstName Spouse
MiddleName SpouseMiddleName
LastName SpouseLastName (if different)
Suffix (i.e. Jr., Sr., II.)  
Figure 3.  Name fields

You can also import MPD related data such as financial pledge information.  Learn detailed information about all of the available import fields

Figure 4.  Import from CSV - Fields are mapped.

After you have mapped all the fields you wish to import into TntMPD, click the Import button (see Figure 4).


Importing contacts from Outlook 2000/XP

Importing from Microsoft Outlook is very straightforward.  On the File menu, point to Import, and then click Import Contacts from Outlook.  TntMPD will begin to immediately analyze the Outlook contacts folder.  See Figure 5.

Figure 5.  Import from Outlook - analyzing the contacts folder

This process will by default analyze the main contacts folder in Outlook.  If you with to import from another folder, or if you receive an error about "MAPI Enhancements", refer to Advanced Outlook Settings.  After the analysis phase is over, you will be presented with the contacts available for import.  See Figure 6.

Figure 6.  Import from Outlook.

All that is needed at this point is to select the contacts you wish to import from the list.  As an added convenience you can click on Choose All (see Figure 7).  If you wish to select the contacts based upon which category in Outlook they have are associated with, click on Categories.

Figure 7.  Import from Outlook - contacts are checked off and ready for import.

After you have checked off the contacts you wish to import, click the Next button.  You will be given confirmation on how many contact will be imported from Outlook.  To import, click the Import button.  See Figure 8.

Figure 8.  Import from Outlook - confirmation

Recent Comments

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 13 Dec 2012 9:08 PM

Currently the import feature is designed for adding contacts only.  As an after thought I allowed updating a limited number of fields, but email didn't make it.  Updaing email from a CSV is currently not possible.

By: felixnjenga Posted on 2 Oct 2013 2:37 PM

I am trying to import contacts via a CSV file, but the MPD phase which I am assigning to each contact, does not seem to be being transferred over? Any idea why? Does it usually import over OK into TNT, or has this field not been given the same level import footing as the other ones?

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 7 Oct 2013 8:29 PM

You have to import the MPD Phase as a number.  The values are listed here:  www.tntware.com/.../what-are-all-the-contact-import-fields.aspx

By: helsbyfam Posted on 3 Jan 2014 10:17 PM

I tried to import contacts from Outlook, but although I could see the option on the screen in Tnt, it was not highlighted so I could choose it.  I am using Outlook 2011 on a Mac.  Any idea what I could do differently?  Thanks!

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 10 Jan 2014 6:59 PM

This option only works with TntMPD on a PC.

By: judy_cochran Posted on 26 Mar 2015 4:50 PM

I am a new user of TntMPD (on a Mac) and I am not very computer savvy.   I have a CVS file I'd like  to import of our church directory to track church members as contacts who will be asked to be ministry partners..  I'm afraid I will import 200 names and mess up my new database!  Is there a way to "start over" if I don't import the names correctly?

Thanks, in advance, for your help.  

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 30 Mar 2015 3:56 PM

Hi Judy,

Under the "File" menu, click on "Backup" to backup your database before you import.  You can label the backup "Before Import".  Then, do the import.  If there's a problem, under the "File" menu, click on "Restore" and restore your "before import" backup.  You'll be right back to where you were before the import!

--Troy

By: apurvis Posted on 30 Sep 2015 1:34 AM

Hi there,

My wife and I recently married, and we are trying to import her contacts into my database so we can have just 1 we are working with.  I manage to import all of them except the ones that have pledges and are giving monthly.  At the end of the import, it created a separate CSV problem file with just the contacts that couldn't be imported.  I've tried importing that one multiple times and still can't get it to work.  Could it be because her CSV file was from a Mac, and mine is a PC?  All the fields seem to match up.  Thanks!

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 30 Sep 2015 8:22 PM

Maybe those "problem records" were simply duplicates detected, since you and your wife may have had some overlap in the people you knew.  TntMPD considers these duplicates as "problems" since they weren't fully imported, because you were only give the option to glean name/address/phone/email info.

By: Bill Posted on 22 Aug 2016 5:08 PM

As I'm importing from a CSV in some cases what I already have in TNT is more recent that the data I'm importing, but I can't figure out how to tell it that I want to keep what is already there when it brings up the duplicate contact dialog.  Is there an option for this?

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 23 Aug 2016 5:29 AM

Billiam, If you indicate it's a match, you are given options to glean address/email/phone info.  In these cases, you are prompted to select an address/phone/email to overwrite.  Here's your chance to see what's in TntConnect for this person.

By: Bill Posted on 23 Aug 2016 3:42 PM

Maybe I'm not understanding what I should click then. It asks me if its a match, I say yes, and then it shows me what information is being imported and the only option it seems that I have is to accept/close, is there another option to not accept the new information?

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 2 Sep 2016 11:29 PM

Just click "Close" to not accept new information.  Only by clicking "Accept" are you accepting new info.

By: Nicole Joyner Posted on 17 Mar 2017 3:33 PM

I am trying to import my contacts from the excel cvc file, but once I get to the import screen, it says.... Error, a first, last, or organization name must be entered for this contact". That information is entered....??

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 20 Apr 2017 11:28 PM

Make sure you're mapping field from your CSV file to "First/Given Name" and "Last/Family Name" and/or "Organization Name".  Every contact you import must have a name.

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