to the tippy ↑


How to import contacts

You can import contacts into Capsule in either vCard or CSV format.

To import contacts, go to People & Organizations Import choose if you want to import from a CSV or vCard file.

If you choose to import from a CSV file, follow the instructions to map each column in the file to the correct field in Capsule. Make sure to go through a few sample contacts to make sure everything looks correct before you complete the import.

While you can use the same name for multiple people in Capsule - each organization name needs to be unique. So if you’re importing a list of organizations, please make sure that each organization name in your file is completely unique.

More detailed instructions are available for the following sources of data:


The CSV import requires that your CSV file uses a comma (,) delimiter - not a semi-colon (;)

There are some useful tips around how to:

Import a CSV file into Capsule

  1. In Capsule, go to People & Organizations Import
  2. You click on Import from Outlook or CSV file
  3. Select the CSV file you have saved:
  4. Capsule attempts to match where in Capsule your information should be loaded. You need to check this match is correct and each field is being saved to the right place in Capsule. You can check several records by clicking the arrows to view the next sample:
  5. At this final step Capsule will let you know if it has found any potential duplicates in your file. You now have the option to either import all contacts as new, not import any duplicates or to import and update the duplicates:
  6. Once you’ve made your choice click I’m Happy, import now and Capsule will import your contacts.

Updating contacts on import

When Capsule detects that there are duplicate contacts in the CSV file you’re importing there’s an option to Import and update duplicates.

This option will find the duplicates in your Capsule account and update their details with the new information you’re importing. There’s also an extra option to Overwrite name, job title, organization and custom fields. Choosing this option means Capsule will overwrite these fields with the data in the new CSV file.

Please make sure that your CSV file only includes the columns that you’re planning to update, along with details of which contacts to update. It’s best to avoid including columns for fields you don’t want to update so you don’t end up accidentally updating the wrong fields, or accidentally adding to fields. So if you’re importing from a previous Capsule export be sure to delete the columns you don’t need.

As an example, if you’re planning to update a specific custom field then use a CSV file that only contains columns for:

  • Capsule ID (optional)
  • First & Last Name (only if it’s a person you’re updating)
  • Email Address (only if it’s a person you’re updating)
  • Organization Name (only if it’s an organization you’re updating)
  • The column for the custom field

Fields that can’t be updated

Certain fields like tags, phone numbers or email addresses can have multiple entries per contact. For these fields Capsule will always add a new entry rather than overwrite the existing ones.


It’s important to know that notes & email history can’t be added onto existing contacts. It can only ever be added when creating new contacts with the import.

Confirming the update

Capsule will tell you how many contacts that will be updated and you’ll see a preview of the first 10 for you to make sure it’s all correct.

There are two ways that we detect a potential duplicate:

  1. If you’re importing a previous Capsule export then you’ll have a Contact ID included in your CSV file. That ID is then used to identify which existing Capsule contacts you want to import.
  2. If you don’t have the contact IDs included in your CSV file then Capsule will do the duplicate matching based on a combination of the contact name and email address.


Whenever you update contacts using a csv import you always need to include a column for First & Last Name or Organization Name as well as email address. If you have a Capsule ID then that needs to be included as well.


If you have managed to accidentally create duplicate contacts you can merge them yourself in Capsule, one pair at a time.

Finding contacts that were updated in the last import

If you’d like to get a list of all contacts that were updated in the most recent import then there’s a custom filter you can use: Go to People & Organizations and Click More filters. Now look for the Updated in last import filter. Add it with [Yes] as the condition.

vCard import

  1. In Capsule, go to People & Organizations Import
  2. Click on the option to Import from vCard file
  3. Click Choose file and select the vCard file you want to import
  4. Before the final upload, Capsule attempts to match all contacts and highlights which appear to be a duplicates with red type and ‘ignore’. You can overwrite each of the decisions before finalizing the import.

If you’re using the Mac Contacts app then you can drag a contact directly from the Contacts app to the Choose file button.

Alternatively you can send single vCard files directly to the Capsule drop box and they’ll be stored as brand new contacts.

If you have the contact on your phone then you also have the option to use the Capsule mobile app to import it directly to your Capsule account. We have a dedicated article about how to do that here.

Import tips

Importing Large number of contacts:

There are a few things that are good to know when you import a large number of contacts into Capsule. When you import a CSV file, for any row that includes a name for a person, all the contact details will be stored against that person. Therefore, to make sure organization details are stored against the organization and not the person we have a few tips that will help you out:

It’s always best to import People separately from Organizations.

  1. First import the Organizations with their contact details in a CSV file of its own. This ensures that the organization details are stored on the organization records.
  2. Then import a separate file with the People with their contact details as well as a reference to the organization that they belong to. As long as the Organization name corresponds (and matches exactly) with an already imported Organization they will be linked after the import.

Headers in your CSV file

The headers in your CSV don’t have to be named in a specific way. Instead, when you go through the import process you have the option to map each column in the CSV file to a field in your Capsule account.

Tagging on import

You can tag contacts when you import them using the CSV import.

In your CSV file you need to include a column for the tags you want to add. When you go through the Capsule import process, during the mapping process you need to map this column to ‘Apply as tag’ in Capsule.

It’s always a good idea to go though a few samples to check that the tags are populated correctly. Once you’re satisfied with the results - click continue to import your contacts.


For multiple tags you can either have separate columns for each tag or you can separate the tags in each cell with a comma.

Importing custom fields

If you’re importing custom fields then you need to create the custom field in Capsule first before you start the import process.

Importing DataTags

When importing DataTags you need to make sure you enter the DataTag name in a column for tags and then also have separate columns for each of the custom fields within the DataTag where those values are populated as well.

Assigning users on import

If you’re on the Teams plan then you can assign a user to a contact on import. To do that you need to include a column in your csv file with the heading ‘Assigned User’ that you populate with the username for the Capsule user.

A Capsule Administrator will be able to find the username for each user by going to the Capsule Account Settings Users and Teams.

Undo an import

Capsule allows you to create a list of all contacts loaded in the last import, which you then bulk delete:

  1. Go to People & Organizations
  2. Select Last Import from the System Lists:
  3. Use the trash-can button at the top of the list to delete all the contacts in the list:


If you’d just like to delete some contacts that have been imported, click the check box next to their names before clcking the trash-can button. If no contacts are selected, the whole Last Import list will be deleted instead.

In order to bulk delete a list of contacts you need to be a Capsule admin.

Storing details on a person vs organization

You may want to load specific information to an organization rather than each person so it is in one place and easy to maintain.

If you’re using the CSV file load facility you can target specific contact details to be loaded onto the organization and the person records. For example, you can set up your file to import the address to the organization and the email addresses to each person like this:

Importing notes

When importing your contacts using the CSV import process you can also import notes. Map the notes column in your CSV file to ‘add as note/history to contact’ in Capsule.

If you want to import multiple notes for the same contact then there’s some specific formatting you need to use:

*** NOTE ***
First interesting note

*** NOTE ***
Second interesting note


  • The note separator field must be formatted exactly as in the example without any extra or removed spaces.
  • The date element is optional.
  • Excel truncates fields to a relatively short limit of 16,000 characters. As a result Excel is unsuitable for generating CSV files with long note histories. OpenOffice supports a longer field length.
  • For better control over note importing, consider engaging a developer to import the notes via the Capsule API.
  • Notes can only ever be imported for brand new contacts. They can’t be imported onto existing contacts.

Question marks or strange characters in the import

Capsule assumes that CSV files are in UTF-8 format which allows you to store detail about your contacts using characters from most of the world’s languages. However some applications save files in a format specific to your location.

You can convert most of these files to UTF-8 format using a simple text editor. On Windows you can use Notepad, and on Mac OS X you can use TextEdit:

  1. Open the CSV file in your text editor
  2. Select ‘Save As’… from the file menu
  3. On the Save dialog box select Unicode (UTF-8) from the text encoding menu