One of rather frequent tasks is import of existing contacts from other sources into newly created Gmail account.
There are lot of tools (Gmail offer that as well) for two-way synhronization between various applications (Outlook and such), but one time, one way (Desktop -> Gmail) is not covered very well.
So, task is simple: import multiple VCF (vCard) contacts into Gmail contacts.
I will use Windows Contacts as an example inside Windows 7 (Nokia PC Suite can synhronize contacts in your phone with Windows Contacts) but procedure can be applied to any set of *.vcf files.
Get Windows Contacts into *.vcf format
- Open Windows Contacts
- Select “Organize / Select All“
- Select Export
- Select ”vCards (folder of .vcf files)“
- Click on Export
You will be asked to select folder where all contacts wil be exported as .vcf files:
Let’s assume that you created new folder Cards on C:\ drive and exported *.vcf there. Also, create another subfolder of Cards folder – Final.
So, new structure is C:\Cards\Final with bunch of *.vcf files into C:\Cards
Combine all *.vcf files into one big file
Next step is to combine all *.vcf files into one big file.
Open Windows Explored and locate C:\Cards. Press and hold Shift key and right-click with mouse anywhere in folder and select option “Open command window here“:
Don’t get scared by black window you got; you need to type just one short command:
copy /b *.vcf Final\Big.Vcf
You can close command windows after this.
If you are English speaking person and have no strange characters in names of your contacts, you can stop here – use C:\Cards\Final\Big.vcf as source of import in Gmail Contacts and you are fine.
However, most of us non-English speaking should do final step: proper conversion of file.
Convert big vcf file into UTF8
We will use Powershell for this final step.
Press Start, type Powershell and select Windows PowerShell. Now you will be presented with blue screen. Type following sequence of commands, pressing Enter on end of every line (or do copy / paste)
get-content "Big.Vcf" | out-file -encoding "UTF8" -filepath "ConvertedBig.Vcf"
That is it – import your file C:\Cards\Final\ConvertedBig.Vcf into Gmail contacts
I am a big fan of Google – I like services it offers, as well as Google “attitude” toward outside world.
Once when you start using those services, and transfer most of your digital life online, you are hooked – possibility to access/create all of data from anywhere and virtually from any device which interprets html (and that means your mobile phone) is something that you will appreciate much.
Well, maybe “was” is better tense for first sentence; and of course, being human, just one simple thing was enough to change this: they blocked my Google Account (and related GMail account):
For no apparent reason (one night I was sending my mail and next morning I was presented with dreadful message) I got “Sorry, your account has been disabled”. This is not just access to mail, but to Google Docs, Google Notebook, Google Reader, Google Bookmarks – just to mention ones that I use most often.
Also, disruptive and unannounced access restriction to the same online repository can hurt you a lot.
Add on top of that very slow response of Google Support (third day, and I have two automated responses and one form filling) and no idea when or even if I would get access to my account again – that put serious doubts in my decision to give trust to Google as big and “good” firm with my data.
Google is not nice; Google is just another company in search for steady and infinite revenue streams; all “free” services it offers are just way to expand market where ads (as main source of revenue) can be placed.
As soon as my account is enabled, I will change two things right away – change/add new online “office” provider (I am testing Zoho now) and backup all of the stuff regularly to desktop (good old offline storage) – my data and time invested to create them is of utmost importance.
Update: they enabled my account after four days; as expected, no explanation was given why account was suspended in a first place. Not nice – 4 days in speedy and busy everyday life w/o mail and many of documents and notes is at least “not nice”. Maybe all those services are free, but I would rather pay some amount for benefit of having telephone support around of clock.