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How can I transfer my Mac Contacts to Less Annoying CRM?

Less Annoying CRM's importer is designed to import spreadsheet files (Excel files and CSV files) -- however, the Contacts app on MacOS only allows exporting contacts into vCard (.vcf) files. It is still possible to migrate that information across into Less Annoying CRM, but it requires a few extra steps to get the data across while maintaining the information's integrity. This guide will explain all the required steps.

NOTE: This help article is largely an explanation of actions to take in other companies' systems. If Google, Microsoft, or Apple make changes to the design of their systems, this article may get out of date. If you think any information in this article is wrong, please contact us so we can update it for you and future readers! (Be sure to include a link to the article or the title of the article!)

Part 1: Export your contacts into a vCard file

Open the Contacts app on your computer (the app will look like a small brown address book).

Contacts App on Mac

If you're not sure where the Contacts app is on your Mac, simply type "Contacts" into the Spotlight Search bar (look for the magnifying glass located in the upper right hand corner of your Desktop).

Spotlight Search Bar on Mac

Once your Contacts program is open:

  1. Open the "Edit" menu
  2. Choose "Select All"
  3. Open the "File" menu
  4. Choose "Export"
  5. Choose "Export vCard"
  6. Save the file in a location on your computer where you can find it easily

(Note: The Contacts app was called "Address Book" prior to Mac OS 10.8 Mountain Lion, which released in 2012. If you have an older operating system, the export process is mostly the same, but you'll need to find the "Address Book" instead of the "Contacts App".)

Exporting Mac Contacts
(Note: Do you want to sync your iPhone, iPad, and Mac contacts with Less Annoying CRM? Check out this article to see how to sync your iCloud contacts with Less Annoying CRM!)

Part 2: Import your contacts into Less Annoying CRM

Less Annoying CRM cannot natively import vCard files, so we need to find another way to transfer the data across. We'll cover two options here -- the first is to use Google Contacts as an intermediary step between your Mac and LACRM. The second is to use a third-party file converter to change the vCard file into a compatible file type that  can be imported into Less Annoying CRM directly. Because the Google option usually results in a cleaner transfer of data, we'll present that as the primary option.

Option 1: Upload your vCard to Google and sync to Less Annoying CRM

Importing your vCard into Google will recreate your Mac Contacts database in the Google Contacts environment. This option is the cleanest option because all aspects of your contact information will be exactly preserved, including small things like, for example, the listed order of phone numbers for each contact. Less Annoying CRM offers a Google Contacts import option as well as an option to set up an ongoing sync between your CRM and Google Contacts, either of which will then pull your contacts into LACRM from Google.

Start by importing your contacts into Google:

  1. Open your Google Contacts (click here)
  2. If necessary, log into your Google account (you may not be prompted to do so if you are already logged in)
  3. Click "Import" in the left column
  4. Click "Select File"
  5. Locate the vCard file you exported in Part 1 above
  6. Click "Import" to upload your file to Google
Importing Google Contacts

Once the file is uploaded, you will be taken to a list of the imported contacts, which will be given a new label (e.g., “Imported on 6/4”). You'll see this label in the left column of the page, and you'll need to know it to import this specific batch of contacts across into Less Annoying CRM!

Now open your Less Annoying CRM account. Mouse over “Settings” at the top of the page and click Import contacts. Find and click the “Google / Gmail” option in the list of possible sources in the main column. Select the option to “Import directly from Google.” Next, click "Just do a one-time import." (You can also set up a persistent two-way sync between the two systems, but we won't cover that here -- see our help article on Google syncing for more info.)

Next you'll be asked to log into your Google account, or choose the Google Account you'd like to connect with. You'll also need to authorize Less Annoying CRM to edit your Google Contacts database, so that the CRM can access and pull across all of your contact data.

Finally, you'll be asked to choose which label/group you want to import from Google Contacts. Using the dropdown list, find the group of contacts that you imported from your vCard file. Find the right group (usually called "Imported on [date]") and click "Finalize the import from Google." All done!

Picking a Google group/label

Option 2: Use Windows Contacts to convert from vCard to CSV

If you're exporting your Mac Contacts, you might only have access to Apple computers -- if so, you can skip this option. However, Microsoft Windows has built-in contact storage that you can use to import a vCard and cleanly export to a CSV file. If you have access to a Windows machine, you can send your vCard to that computer (e.g., via email) and convert it there. To do this:

  1. Open your File Explorer and navigate to your Contacts folder (usually something like C:\Users\[Your Name]\Contacts)
  2. In the gray bar at the top of the window, click "Import" (see below image)
  3. Choose "vCard (.vcf file)"
  4. Locate the vCard file from Part 1 and open it
  5. Finalize the import and close the import tool
  6. Select all of the contacts that appear in your Contacts folder (Control + A)
  7. Click "Export" in the gray bar at the top of the window
  8. Choose "CSV (Comma Separated Values)" and click "Export"
  9. Choose a file name and destination (again, somewhere you'll be able to find the file, like your Desktop)
  10. Select the fields you'd like included in your CSV file and finalize the export

Once you've finished the export, you can close the export tool and delete the contacts from your Windows Contacts folder. Then, take the CSV file and import it into Less Annoying CRM using the "A spreadsheet" option on the Import Contacts page in your settings.

Option 3: Convert your vCard file into a spreadsheet file

If you'd prefer not to use Google to sync your contacts to Less Annoying CRM and you don't have a Windows environment to convert with, you can instead try a third-party tool to convert your vCard file into a spreadsheet. There are a few tools out there that will do this conversion for you; some come with a fee, and some don't. Here's one free tool we know of. Converting from a vCard file to a spreadsheet can often result in some messy data, so be aware that this option might require you to tidy up the data before importing. In particular, you may need to separate contact names and company names into separate columns so that you can import them as separate record types into Less Annoying CRM.

Here are the settings we recommend using on the conversion tool:

Notice that we have the format set to "CSV" and the delimiter set to "Comma," and we've checked the box for "Add a header line." We haven't checked that we want only vCards with e-mail only.

Once you hit convert and make sure your spreadsheet is tidy, you can import the resulting CSV file via the importing page.

(Note that the conversion software was not created by nor is maintained by LACRM, so as with any third-party tool, use it at your own risk!)

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