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Matching the header row on your spreadsheet files


Monday Productivity Pointers

with Jess Stratton and Garrick Chow and Nick Brazzi

Video: Matching the header row on your spreadsheet files

When you sign up for a new service, you want to get started right away. If it's a service that involves utilizing a list you already have, why reinvent the wheel and retype all your data? Especially if you're given the opportunity to import the data. Many times the data can be imported as a CSV file, that stands for Comma Separated Values, here's what the content of a Comma Separated Value file looks like, if you've never actually seen one. This is data that's been exported from another program.
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  1. 34m 18s
    1. Setting up an automatic login for Windows and Mac NEW
      9m 45s
    2. 1m 11s
      1. Welcome back to Monday Productivity Pointers!
        1m 11s
    3. 16m 55s
      1. The Pomodoro technique
        6m 31s
      2. Using accessibility tools to enhance productivity on Mac and Windows
        7m 36s
      3. Designating a Facebook heir
        2m 48s
    4. 17m 32s
      1. Using an Amazon filler app to qualify for free shipping
        2m 11s
      2. Using the free version of GoToMeeting
        3m 35s
      3. Creating mind maps
        6m 23s
      4. Working with a touch app on a Windows 8 desktop PC
        5m 23s
    5. 10h 56m
      1. Running a group meeting with coworkers
        7m 19s
      2. Recording and marketing chat on air
        8m 30s
      3. Creating a quick presentation
        5m 37s
      4. Presenting from an iPad or computer
        3m 36s
      5. Migrating your accounts to
        9m 55s
      6. Setting budgets and goals
        7m 4s
      7. Collaborating on team documents
        5m 53s
      8. Creating an online photo gallery
        4m 58s
      9. Kickstarter: Setting up your project
        10m 41s
      10. Driving traffic to your project
        5m 48s
      11. Conducting a voice call with a virtual team
        6m 40s
      12. Adding video and chat notifications
        4m 7s
      13. Accepting a payment with Square
        4m 35s
      14. Using the Square Wallet
        2m 32s
      15. Setting up shop on Etsy
        6m 31s
      16. Tracking your Etsy sales with Shop Stats
        4m 9s
      17. Raising your Klout score
        7m 3s
      18. Earning Klout perks
        4m 55s
      19. Skydrive: Collaborating on team documents
        4m 56s
      20. Skydrive: Accessing files on the go
        2m 57s
      21. Setting up Google alerts to track your data
        5m 5s
      22. Removing a page from the Google search index
        4m 42s
      23. Browsing privately in public
        4m 38s
      24. Cleaning up your session before logging out
        5m 8s
      25. Troubleshooting a remote computer with TeamViewer
        3m 42s
      26. Taking screenshots from a PC
        4m 12s
      27. Taking screenshots from a Mac
        3m 36s
      28. Setting up Find My iPhone
        3m 36s
      29. Using iCloud to find an iPhone
        3m 49s
      30. Sampling color from the screen
        5m 27s
      31. Using for inspiration
        3m 22s
      32. Get an audio clip onto YouTube using iPhoto
        5m 49s
      33. Creating playlists and customizing your YouTube channel
        5m 41s
      34. Record your screen using QuickTime
        3m 14s
      35. Record your screen using CamStudio
        2m 34s
      36. Using Tempo Smart Calendar when you are going to be late
        3m 9s
      37. Using Twist to let your customers know where you are
        3m 38s
      38. Using Wunderlist to track multiple projects
        9m 0s
      39. Use the Wunderlist browser extension to create tasks on the web
        5m 46s
      40. Using Smart Mailboxes with Mac Mail
        6m 52s
      41. Customizing the Mac Mail View
        7m 13s
      42. What's a firewall?
        7m 36s
      43. What is the Cloud?
        4m 42s
      44. Creating your own recipe with IFTTT
        7m 19s
      45. Browsing existing recipes with IFTTT
        5m 7s
      46. Installing the Feedly browser extension
        6m 34s
      47. Customizing Feedly
        6m 53s
      48. Understanding the basics of Twitter
        9m 9s
      49. Using Tweetdeck to handle multiple accounts
        9m 14s
      50. Working with URL Shorteners
        5m 45s
      51. Using
        8m 31s
      52. Creating Quick Parts to re-use text
        6m 19s
      53. Moving your Autotext to a new computer
        6m 7s
      54. Shutting off access to social networks
        6m 18s
      55. Hiding taskbars
        2m 36s
      56. Exploring the iOS 7 Update
        10m 7s
      57. Running a productive online meeting
        3m 44s
      58. Getting meeting minutes faster
        6m 47s
      59. TextExpander for Mac
        7m 6s
      60. Breevy for Windows
        3m 44s
      61. Using Smart Folders on a Mac
        5m 52s
      62. Using Windows Libraries
        4m 25s
      63. Finding large attachments in your email apps
        5m 13s
      64. Use Ninite to install all your PC apps at once
        3m 30s
      65. Use Get Mac Apps to install your Mac apps at once
        2m 56s
      66. Creating a disposable email address with Guerrilla mail
        4m 7s
      67. Creating an email address that lasts only 10 minutes
        3m 16s
      68. Finding and adding local vendors to enhance your iOS reminders
        3m 45s
      69. Adding geofencing to Find My Friends
        3m 20s
      70. Turning a Word document contract into a PDF
        4m 1s
      71. Turning a PowerPoint presentation into a PDF
        4m 10s
      72. Resetting browser site passwords
        7m 11s
      73. Disabling toolbars, resizing screens, and accidentally closed tabs
        7m 42s
      74. Identifying your wifi's weakest link
        7m 59s
      75. Setting up dual band speed on your router
        7m 36s
      76. Add your social media activity to your website
        8m 54s
      77. Using WordPress mobile to update on the go
        4m 48s
      78. Matching the header row on your spreadsheet files
        8m 20s
      79. Using a formula to merge first and last name columns
        5m 58s
      80. Using JoliDrive to browse cloud app data
        5m 11s
      81. Using JoliDrive on an iPad
        4m 31s
      82. Finding deals on eBay using misspelled listings
        4m 18s
      83. Searching for promotional and coupon codes online
        5m 52s
      84. Sending real postcards from your computer with Postagram
        4m 25s
      85. Using Postagram to send a real postcard from your smartphone
        3m 55s
      86. Getting to Inbox Zero
        11m 4s
      87. Using existing GMail labels with Mailbox
        3m 19s
      88. Adding 2-step authentication
        3m 39s
      89. Enabling in-app PIN codes
        3m 31s
      90. Accessing your digital movies
        5m 20s
      91. Copying movies onto a device
        3m 25s
      92. Using Genius Scan to scan your documents
        3m 34s
      93. Sending your scans
        2m 41s
      94. Using Acrobat to ink sign a PDF
        4m 49s
      95. Writing a letter of recommendation
        7m 49s
      96. Constructing a successful press release
        4m 48s
      97. Troubleshooting wireless security
        4m 48s
      98. Writing a claim letter
        5m 22s
      99. The best reasons to try online chat customer service
        5m 9s
      100. How to do a firmware update
        6m 34s
      101. Siri, your iPhone assistant
        4m 48s
      102. Writing an email that gets read
        4m 51s
      103. Writing an email that requires action
        2m 54s
      104. Your Blu-ray questions answered
        3m 50s
      105. Using LittleBit to photograph your goal progress
        3m 9s
      106. Exporting WordPress blog entries
        3m 28s
      107. Understanding how Office 365 works
        5m 9s
      108. Using Waze for crowdsourced GPS
        2m 58s
      109. Downloading your Facebook timeline
        3m 10s
      110. Scheduling email with Boomerang
        4m 24s
      111. Google Labs for Calendar
        2m 58s
      112. Finding missing songs in iTunes on your iPhone
        2m 10s
      113. Requesting your Twitter archive
        2m 59s
      114. Using Doodle for easy group scheduling
        4m 59s
      115. Easily remote to another computer with
        3m 47s
      116. Keyboard shortcuts for YouTube
        2m 58s
      117. Easily annotate images with Skitch
        6m 4s
      118. Get your Google Calendar schedule by email every morning
        3m 3s
      119. Blurring photos for posting on social networks
        6m 41s
      120. Migrating to Google Apps
        9m 31s
      121. Using supplemental To Do apps
        3m 43s
      122. Getting alerts for Amazon price drops
        2m 36s
      123. Four tips to teach kids about websites
        8m 19s
      124. Caring for family members from afar
        4m 39s
      125. Using Google Sheets to make templates
        4m 35s

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Watch the Online Video Course Monday Productivity Pointers
12h 16m Appropriate for all Mar 25, 2013 Updated Aug 24, 2015

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube,, Etsy, and more. Learn about topics ranging from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.

Business Education + Elearning
Jess Stratton Garrick Chow Nick Brazzi

Matching the header row on your spreadsheet files

When you sign up for a new service, you want to get started right away. If it's a service that involves utilizing a list you already have, why reinvent the wheel and retype all your data? Especially if you're given the opportunity to import the data. Many times the data can be imported as a CSV file, that stands for Comma Separated Values, here's what the content of a Comma Separated Value file looks like, if you've never actually seen one. This is data that's been exported from another program.

At the top I can see my header data. All my column labels like first, last, company, street address, any typical data you'd see in a contact information. Underneath that is every record on a new line. Each record has different cell data, and it's all separated by, you guessed it, a comma. For example, first name, last name, street address. There are spaces, but everything the computer needs to know is that the comma is what designates the new piece of data for that record.

At the end of the line, we move on to the next record and it starts again. So when you export the data, You're not usually given a choice as to how to format that data itself, it spits out the data, you can open it up and look at it, and there it is. So when it's time to import into the new program or service, it may take some editing of this file on your end. This is what I'm going to show you how to do today. A CSV file can also be open with a spreadsheet editor, such as Microsoft Excel.

In fact I'm going to open it up with Excel right now by right clicking. Choosing open with and then selecting Microsoft Excel. Although normally you can just double click the file and it will open up in Excel anyway. When you look at the data in a spreadsheet here is where it becomes much easier to see. In fact you can see how you could very easily change this data if you wanted to. You can also sort it and move columns around and manipulate it and do other things. So here's where we can easily change this data to format it as to how the new program needs it.

Learning how to manipulate this data is a fantastic skill to know how to do to make yourself extremely resourceful when it comes to importing data. The first foundation piece of information you need to know is that a successful import all stems from the header rows. The header rows are the labels of your columns. And again, these labels tell the program where to put the data. Here's the first name, here's the last name column, here's the company, street address, and so on.

I'm going to close out of this. If I'm going to import data into another program Like this contact list, the first thing I want to do is look for the import menu item. After that, I need to decide how I'm going to import the data. For example, I've opened up Microsoft Outlook. I can browse all these menu items until I find the import option. Now in whatever program you're importing into, I can't tell you where that import item is going to be, but that's the first things that you need to look for.

In this case, it's under the file menu. So I'm going to select import and now I need to decide how I'm going to import it. It's asking me what do I want to import. In this case, I'm going to import contacts. I'll click the right arrow, and here's where it's going to ask me how I want to import it. So you need to look for the option to import from a tab or comma-delimited text file. Sometimes you'll see the word CSV, I'll select that. And here's where I can browse to my CSV file, I'll click import and here's where I'm given the ability to map these fields.

On the left is how Outlook needs to field names in that header row labeled. On the right, here's my header rows. Now, you can see they're not the same. In this case, I see the word First, Last, Street Address, City, and on this side, the way Outlook needs them is in a slightly different format. It's looking for First Name, Last Name, Work Street Address. So because those header rows are different, Outlook can't map them without my help, so it's up to me, to take this side and drag it in, and match them up.

Now your program may work a little different. I can see in the stop right that it's telling me the instructions as to how to map those fields, it's telling me to drag the field, where I want it to go. So in this case, I can keep matching them up and now it will import successfully. But I'm going to click Cancel right now because I don't actually want to match them up. I just needed to tell you how to do it. So here's why understanding this is a good skill, because some programs don't allow you to match the fields manually like this one did. It can let you choose a button to import, it can let you choose your CSV file But it's going to assume that your header rows match what it's looking for.

If it doesn't match, your data will never line up correctly or won't import correctly. So if you keep importing data and you're coming up with blanks, that's probably because the header fields don't match and your program can't figure out where the data should actually go. Here's a great trick: First, export data from that app, into CSP format. That way, you can look at the header files that the program exported, see what it's looking for, and adjust yours accordingly.

So I'm going to show you what I mean right now. I've got a successful contact list here in outlook. And I'm going to back to the file menu, except instead of import, I'm going to choose export. Where I choose what I want to export, I want to export my contacts to a list. Unfortunately, it's already going to export it to a tab de-limited text file. I don't have to choose that I want it in a CSV format. I choose where I want to save the exported contacts. I'll save them to my desktop. That's fine. It's going to export all the contacts. And once it's done, we're going to open that up and examine it and look at those header rows.

Here's my contacts list. We're going to right click, choose Open With and choose Microsoft excel. Here's the list that it exported. So what I would advise you to do, is look at this header row. Write down all these labels like first name, last name, company, all the columns that you know you absolutely want imported into your program, work street address, for example. Now I'm going to close this out. I can choose don't save because I'm done with it. I'm going to come back up to my contacts list, the one that I just can't get to import correctly, and I'll choose excel, and now, I'm going to take these header rows and change the text to match what it wants.

I'll just change one more. When I'm all done, I can save it. When you're saving it as a common separated value. You have to save it twice, because Excel's going to yell at you, saying that it doesn't like the format. It wants you to save it in Excel format, but in this case, click continue and don't worry about the fact that you have to save it twice. It's an Excel thing. So now let's do this one more time. I'm going to choose file, import, I'll again choose contacts I'm going to import from a comma-delimited file.

I'll choose my contact list, select import, and now look what's happened. Because I changed these to be what Outlook wants, it's now a ready map these correctly. So I don't have map them manually. So that's a neat little trick if you can't get your data to import correctly. Is to first export it, see what it's looking for, change your column headers to match, and then re-import it. This is how you can learn to do a successful import, every time.

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