Jun 25, 2007

Synching Palm Desktop Contacts with Outlook

I had a call last week from a user wanting to migrate his 600+ contacts from his Palm PDA to his new Blackberry. He seemed to think that we needed to order some special software for him to do this. The funny thing is he already had Palm Desktop software installed. He thought that the software was only to sync between his desktop and his PDA and nothing else. That is not the case at all.

The Palm Desktop software can export your contacts to a file which can then be imported into Outlook. To do it, just follow these simple instructions which I got from Microsoft Knowlege base Article 810930:

Export Address Book from Palm Desktop

1.In Palm Desktop, click Address.
2. Click File, and then click Export.
3. In the File Name box, type Contacts.
4. In the Export type list, click Comma Separated Values.
5. Next to Range, click All , and then click Export.
6. In the Specify Export Fields dialog box, click OK two times.

The Contacts.csv file is saved in the My Documents folder.

Modify the CSV File

Before you import Contacts.csv into Outlook, you must create headers for the CSV file:
1.Open the file in Excel.
2.Click 1 to select the first row, click Insert, and then click Rows.

In the first row that you just created, starting with cell A1 and continuing across to cell T1, enter the following fields to create header names for each column:
First Name
Last Name
ZIP Code
Custom 1
Custom 2
Custom 3
Custom 4
3.Click File, and then click Save.

Import the CSV File into Outlook

1.In Outlook, click File, and then click Import and Export to open the Import and Export Wizard.
2.In the Choose an action to perform box, click Import from another program or file, and then click Next.
3.In the Select file type to import from box, click Comma Separated Values (Windows), and then click Next.
4.In the File to Import box, click Browse, find Contacts.csv in your My Documents folder, and then click Next.
5.In the Select destination folder box, click Contacts, and then click Next.
6.Click Finish to complete the import operation.

For best results, when asked to map custom fields, take the extra five minutes to do that. You won't regret it.

As far as the syncing to Blackberry part, since we have a BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server), once I included the new contact list in the users address book (Right click on the contacts properties, click on the Address book tab, and check on the box that says show this folder as an e-mail address book), the contacts synced with their Blackberry.

If you don't have a BES at your company, you can still sync your newly imported Outlook contacts with Blackberry Desktop Software.

Don't Forget your Bauer-Power Gear!

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