So I’ve been thinking for a while, perhaps it’s time to backup my address book on my computer. Yeah, yeah, I should have done it long ago. I’ve paid the price for it, too, as I’ve lost all the information on my BlackBerry at least once in the past few months. Thankfully, the process is rather simple. For the purposes of this post, we’ll take it a bit further, discussing how to edit contacts in Excel and then re-import them into your BlackBerry.
Syncing with a Mac
We’ll start with Mac BlackBerry users, since that’s what I am. Yes, personal bias. Oh well. Anyway, you’ll need PocketMac. I have my gripes with this, mainly because it’s not an eighth of what BlackBerry Desktop Software is, but it’s what we’ve got. I don’t have Missing Sync, so I can’t speak to those issues (though I would encourage anyone familiar to do so in the comments). You’ll also need Address Book to CSV Exporter, a small program that helps a ton.
So boot up PocketMac with your BlackBerry connected. Click on the BlackBerry icon on top, and then click on the contacts tab. Then click Advanced Preferences next to AddressBookContacts.
You’ll want to set the second set of radio buttons to Overwrite Mac. This means, essentially, that your BlackBerry contacts will be added to your Address Book contacts, overwriting anything there before. If you want to keep your Address Book contacts, I’d suggest either doing a two-way sync, or syncing to a new category and selecting “Sync only categories selected below” with an Overwrite Mac sync.
Once you hit Okay, you’ll have to check AddressBookContacts, and then Sync Contacts between the BlackBerry and Mac. Click the Sync button in the upper right, and you’re good. You can now open your Address Book application and see your BlackBerry contacts. This is your straight backup. If you lose your contacts, you can just import from here, using PocketMac and selecting Overwrite BlackBerry instead of Overwrite Mac.
However, there are a few steps you can take here to mass edit your contacts in a spreadsheet. First run Address Book to CSV Exporter and hit Export. There you are. Now you have a CSV file, and one you can edit it in Excel or another spreadsheet application. You can add contacts, which is ideal if you’d like to add a number of contacts. Do that and save up your CSV file.
Of course, you won’t be able to get your edited contacts list back into the Address book without a bit of a workaround. I followed this guy’s tips, and it worked perfectly. It helps that I already have Mozilla Thunderbird.
Syncing with a PC
This one I can’t really vouch for, since I only use a PC on occasion. From what I understand, the best way to backup your contacts list is to export it to Outlook. If you run Vista and have Windows Contacts instead, you can follow this dude’s advice. It involves a workaround using Yahoo! Mail and contacts. With this method and BlackBerry Desktop Manager, you should be good to back up your contacts (really, you can do a straight backup from Desktop Manager, if that’s all you need).
If you want to do the mass editing thing with Excel, then I advise you follow this behemoth how-to guide. It runs you step by step through a process to export your BlackBerry address book to Excel and then load it back. It involves Desktop Manager, Excel, and little more. Again, I can’t go through the process since I’m sitting in front of a Mac.
If anyone wants to post a simplified version of this in the comments, feel free.
This post originated at BBGeeks.com - home to all things Blackberry!