For the purpose of using the messaging capabilities in Magpi (and for SMS data entry), it can be useful to import a list of contacts in bulk, rather than adding them one-at-a-time. You can import a list of contacts from a Microsoft Excel xlsx file (it won't work with the older xls files).
An example Excel file (xlsx) can be downloaded here:
The sample excel file in the link above includes two worksheets:
- the first has an example contact list
- the second has a pulldown menu of timezones (see Time Zones section, below)
We suggest downloading the sample and copying your contact list into it for import into Magpi. You can also create your own Excel file, if you like. The Excel file can have the following columns:
First Name (or First or FirstName)
Last Name (or Last or LastName)
Mobile or Phone
Time Zone or TimeZone (optional)
Organization or Organisation (optional)
The first three column headings are required (first, last, mobile). Capitalization of the column heading does not matter.
The sample file looks like this:
Mobile number column formatted as text – the Mobile column in the sample Excel sheet is, and must be, formatted as text rather than as a number. If you download the sample sheet and use that, this formatting is already taken care of. If you create your own Excel sheet from scratch, make sure to select the column with the heading "mobile" and choose Format/Cells/Text to format the column as text
Mobile numbers formatting – mobile numbers should include the country code, but no punctuation. So, for example, a US phone number in New York City, with the 212 area code, would look like this: 12125551212. A Kenya mobile number would look like this: 254727866100.
Groups – “groups” are categories of contacts, and are highly recommended as they will help you sort through them later (the use of groups for contacts in Magpi is very similar to the use of tags for forms and messages in Magpi). For example, you might have a contact who is at CDC and works in malaria, so you could assign them to the malaria group and to the cdc group.
Time Zones – if you use the sample Excel sheet there will be a pulldown menu associated with column E (Time Zone). If you choose not to assign time zones, Magpi will assume that your imported contacts are in the same time zone as you are. To find out what timezone you have set in your Magpi account, click the Messaging link at the top of any Magpi page. You will see something like this in the top right of the screen to indicate the time zone for the logged-in user:
2013-11-04 14:17 (America/New_York - [GMT -5])
Once you have prepared your file to import, just click the Import link in grey above the contact list. You will have a chance to choose the Excel xls file you have created.