Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Yahoo Contacts: Import/Export

I had hoped to sync contacts and calendar data directly between my Palm and either Yahoo or google.  However, I have been reduced to trying this:

1. Sync between Palm and Outlook
2. Export Outlook data
3. Delete all contacts on the server
4. Import Outlook data onto the server.

Yesterday I successfully did that to the google server.

Today I tried to do it with Yahoo.  Apparently you must use the OLD Yahoo, which has the perpetually confusing page that puts so much room between import and export instructions that you are convinced that the only thing that you can do is import.

If you try this in NEW Yahoo, the only thing in the option drop down list is "import contacts...".  I kid you not.  You then are asked to re-enter your password and agree to some legal stuff.  Next you are asked for info for TrueSwitch to "Transfer Your Info to Yahoo! Mail".  I don't want to do that you idiots!  I just want to import because your sync capabilities range between primitive and incompetent.

Back to OLD Yahoo.  But first Yahoo asked why I was switching back.  I submitted what is written above and gave Yahoo permission to ask me for more info.

Great.  Stupid Yahoo is updating my account, probably to force me to ask to switch back to NEW Yahoo the next time I login.

I just exported Yahoo contacts to an Outlook format.  I opened that file along with the export file that I had created in Outlook yesterday.  They look pretty similar.

I deleted all my Yahoo contacts, 100 at a time.  That was painful.  I have been using Yahoo for years and have most of that data well organized.  I hope that the import retains the categories, something that is an alien concept for google.

The import from Outlook into Yahoo seems to have worked.  The only glitch is that the Real Estate category did not work.  Yahoo does not allow spaces.  In Yahoo it was Real_Estate.  Funny but I never noticed that before.  I changed it to RealEstate as I will in Palm and google.  That's a small price to pay for keeping my data organized.

One thing that I notice is that Yahoo sorts the contacts on last name, then first name.  Google both insists on the reverse.  It is possible to change that in Outlook but it's not apparent and it should be.

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