If you have a large database of contacts that already exists in another software program or Excel sheet, we recommend importing them into Lexicata and using Lexicata as your primary contact database.
This helps prevents unnecessary data entry and reduces the possibility of creating duplicate contacts. Plus, Lexicata offers great contact management features such as Tags, Notes, Custom Fields, Tasks, and Email Templates.
The import feature can handle batches of up to 2,500 contacts per import. The spreadsheet must be in either .csv or .xlsx format.
The import process will automatically create a contact from each row in the spreadsheet, and it has the ability to include all of the basic details such as name, email, phone, and address. Plus you can import custom fields and also assign a lead source, contact type, tags, and even create a note, company or matter for each person.
Warning: importing can be slightly unforgiving since the only way to remove contacts once they have been imported is by manually deleting them. The best way to avoid any issues is to plan ahead and carefully review your spreadsheet file before importing in order to make sure it is configured properly and that no duplicates are present.
Setting Up the CSV or Excel File
Before you can import your contacts, you will need to get them into a spreadsheet in .csv or .xlsx format. This is the most important step in the process, so be sure you have a clear understanding of how the spreadsheet must be structured before you attempt to import.
Column Headings and Basic Setup
All columns in the spreadsheet must have a properly labeled header row across the very top of the spreadsheet. The headings must be in the first row, or your sheet will not be able to import.
The names of the columns in your spreadsheet do not have to match the names of the corresponding Lexicata fields exactly. However, the more similar they are, the easier it will be for you to identify which columns go with which fields during the mapping process (explained in more detail below).
Here's a basic example of a contact spreadsheet, with the headings across the top row.
|John||Doefirstname.lastname@example.org||555-444-3333||123 Fake Street||Chicago||IL||55555|
Also be sure that there can be no empty rows between contacts. The import process will halt upon reaching the first empty row, and any rows beneath that row will be ignored.
For an actual example of a properly formatted spreadsheet, including explanations of all the fields, view this example Google Sheet.
Required Contact Fields
The contact import feature is very powerful. Almost every field that you can add to a contact in Lexicata can also be imported from the CSV file. With that said, there are only two fields which are required to create a contact:
- First name
- Last name
Both first and last name must be present in order for a contact to be created from any row, and they also must be in separate cells.
If either of these fields is missing, or they are combined into a single cell, no contacts will be created from those rows.
See the sample data below for an example of how contact names should be structured:
|First Name||Last Name||Imported Successfully?|
|John||No (last name missing)|
|Doe||No (first name missing)|
|John Doe||No (names are combined)|
If desired, you could potentially import all of your contacts with only their first and last names. However, we recommend getting as much information as possible into the spreadsheet before importing, as it is quicker to edit multiple contacts in the spreadsheet than it will be once they have been input into Lexicata.
Optional Contact Fields
- Middle Name
- Title (i.e. position in the company, only applies if a company also exists in that row)
- Company (if entered, this will create a company contact with the person related to it)
- Contact Type
- Lead Source
- Clio ID (this is required to sync the contact between Lexicata and Clio and avoid duplication)
- Note (only a single note can be created per contact during import)
- Tags (multiple tags can be created, but each must be separated by a semicolon “;”)
Phone, Email, & Address Fields
These fields will only be added to the contact person, not the company
- Phone (Mobile, Home, Work, Fax, Skype, Pager, Other)
- Address (Home, Work, Billing, Other)
- Email (Home, Work, Other)
Optional Matter Fields
These fields are optional, but can be added if you want to also create a matter for any of the newly created contacts
- Matter Type (required to create a matter - if blank, no matter will be created; new matter types can be created during import if they don't exist in Lexicata already)
- Matter Status (if blank, the default matter status will be assigned; new matter statuses can be created during import if they don't exist in Lexicata already, but will always be under the "Intake" pipeline)
- Matter Label
- Estimated Value
- Any single line text, date, or paragraph text contact custom fields can be imported and added to the contact
- Any single line text, date, or paragraph text matter custom fields can be imported and added to the matter
Cleaning Up Duplicates and Bad Data
It's important to understand that the import feature does not automatically scan your spreadsheet for duplicates or have the ability to clean up your bad data.
This means you will want to ensure that your data is in the proper format and that there are no duplicates before you do an import so that there is minimal updating required once the contacts are in Lexicata.
If you already have contacts in Lexicata, we recommend exporting your contact list from Lexicata first and then running a duplicate check in Excel against the spreadsheet you are about to import. This is the easiest and best way to avoid importing duplicate contacts into Lexicata.
Importing Clio Contacts
One very important thing to be aware of if you are importing contacts from Clio, is that your spreadsheet has a column with all of the Clio IDs. This column should be named “Unique ID” in a spreadsheet of contacts that was exported directly from Clio.
This ID is the key that will connect the contact between Lexicata and Clio and will prevent contact duplication, so it's important not to overlook it when mapping the fields.
If you would like to import/create matters at the same time as the importing of your contacts, you can do that, as outlined above. However, there are a few rules and limitations to this process.
The only required field to create a matter is:
- Matter Type
If a column in the spreadsheet is mapped to the matter type field in Lexicata, a matter will be created from every row where that cell is not blank.
You may want to use matter types and matter statuses that you have already set up in your matter settings. Although, if there are any differences between the names (including typos), a new matter status or matter type will be created where they do not match exactly.
One of the other limitations is that only one matter can be created per contact, and multiple people cannot be added to the same matter during import. If you need to add multiple contacts to the same matter, you would have to do this manually afterward from within Lexicata.
Also, while contacts can be imported from Clio, matters cannot. Unfortunately, there is no way to import matters from Clio to Lexicata via a spreadsheet or any other method at this time. For this reason, the recommended workflow is to always create the contact and matter in Lexicata first, and when ready, export the matter to Clio to create both a contact and matter in Clio which will be linked to the ones in Lexicata.
Importing Company Contacts
Importing companies through the CSV file is a little more involved than importing “person” contacts. In order for a company to be imported it must be associated with a person contact. In other words, a company cannot be created by itself without having a primary contact person associated with it.
The company field should be its own column heading in the spreadsheet. If left blank, only the contact person will be created for that row. If the company cell contains a name, then a company and person will both be created and automatically linked to one another.
There are also a few limitations when creating company contacts through the CSV import process:
- If importing contacts from Clio, companies will not receive a Clio ID. What this means is that if and when the company gets exported back to Clio a duplicate will be created.
- When importing companies the only fields that get input into the company’s information is the company name, the primary contact associated with the company, and that person's title at the company. Email addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses will get applied to the person's contact information and not the company’s. There is not currently a way to import company addresses/phones/emails/contact types/tags/etc.
Finally, it is possible to import multiple people and link them to the same company. Just be sure that all rows have the same exact company name. As long as the names match, only one company will be created and each person will be associated with that company.
The Importing Process
You can initiate a new import from the Contact Settings page by clicking the "Import from Spreadsheet" button.
The import process involves three main steps, each covered individually below:
1) Upload the file
Simply choose a file from your computer which you wish to import.
2) Map the fields
Once your file has been uploaded, the spreadsheet column headings will be listed on the left side of the page, and the Lexicata fields will be in dropdown menus on the right side of the page.
This step simply involves mapping the spreadsheet columns with the appropriate fields in Lexicata. For example, match the "first name" column from the spreadsheet to the "first name" field in Lexicata, and so on.
This is the most important stage of the import, so take your time and double check your work to make sure everything is mapped to the correct fields.
If you make a mistake, your data will be a mess and you'll have to delete everything and start over.
3) Review your new contacts
The last stage of the import is the review page. At this point, all the contacts have been created in your account. This is the last chance to review them and, if necessary, delete them all in bulk.
It's a good idea to open a few of the new contacts in a separate browser tab (keeping this review page open in the process). That way, you can ensure that all the data came in properly.
If you see any improperly mapped data (e.g. if the first and last name were reversed), you can delete this entire import and start over by checking the box at the top of the table to select all the contacts, and then clicking the "Remove Selected Contacts" button.
Once you are happy with your imported list, you can close the review page or simply click the "Done" button to complete the import process.
If you are having issues uploading the file or there are no contacts being created during the import process, there may be a few things you can troubleshoot or double check:
- File extension: Ensure that the file has .csv or .xlsx file extension in lowercase letters
- First row: The top row in the spreadsheet needs to be the column headings. It cannot be actual data. If the headings are missing, then no contacts will be imported.
- Skipped rows: Make sure that there are no blank rows in between any of your contacts. If there are, only the contacts above the first empty row will be imported
- Correct data formatting: If certain fields do not have the right formatting, the corresponding contact may not be successfully created. For example, if an entry in the email field does not have a valid email format, then the contact as a whole will be rejected. This will also be true for integer custom fields that contain non-numeral values.