I got a great question from Michael about importing, and the potential for creating duplicates. In short, he is asking about importing regularly… let’s say monthly. If I import from LinkedIn today, then I import from LinkedIn next month, aren’t I going to create a whole bunch of duplicates? (you can see his original question and comments in the box at the bottom of this post…
In short, no, it shouldn’t re-import duplicates.
In this very important blog post, where I describe three steps to import from systems like LinkedIn, the third step has an image of the import screen with some yellow rows and some white rows (scroll to the bottom of that post to see the images). The yellow rows are for those records that we think are already in the system…. so, if you import 100 records today, then pull your contacts from LinkedIn (or Google or wherever) next month, and you have 125, the 100 you already imported will be in yellow, and not imported. The left-most column is a checkbox where you can choose to override the option to not import… but in general, as long as the row is yellow (and in that case, the checkbox to import will be unchecked), you will not create new duplicates each time you import.
That’s pretty cool, huh?
The bottom line is that you will have duplicates… I still get them and I know all the tricks. For example, let’s say I have John Doe as one of my Contacts. His email is John@Doe.com. He emails me from his personal email address (email@example.com), and I reply back with the Email2Log feature without really thinking about it. I don’t take the time to see if the hotmail email is on his record… I just shoot a reply back and… well, I get a duplicate.
This could be frustrating, but really, it’s so easy to clean up and MERGE the duplicates that not only do I not worry about it, it isn’t an urgent need to merge the duplicates. I can continue to put Log Entries on both records… and when I finally get around to it, merge them, and all Log Entries are merged under the one record. It makes duplicates a minor nuisance, but not a mess that you might think it would be.
Here’s Michael’s original question and comments, which I thought was too darn cool to just summarize as a question (Michael, thanks for the kind words!). I’ve took the liberty to throw a comma in here, and make other visual changes to his comment: