This tip will explain one of two methods of creating contact groups in Outlook from an Excel spreadsheet. The guide assumes you have the contact details in an Excel spreadsheet sorted into the appropriate groups. Our example uses an Excel spreadsheet of family contact details sorted into each child’s enrolment group.
If you need a refresh on reorganizing or combining columns refer to this related tip: Tip – Reordering columns and combining columns in Excel.
Add a new Outlook Address Book
Before using either method, add a new address book in Outlook People. This will help keep the new contacts organized, separate from other sets of contacts and allows you to delete or redo the address book without confusion.
Open Outlook and select People. In the My Contacts navigator right click on the Contacts for your email and select New Folder. Note if you have the option “New Folder Group” instead of “New Folder”, this means you incorrectly right clicked on the navigator title.
Add Contact group – quick copy/paste method.
This method doesn’t add each family as an Outlook contact, it simply pastes the addresses into a Contact Group.
In your spreadsheet ensure you have a full name column next to the email address column.
Find the group of contacts that you want to add to a specific group.
Drag a selection over both columns so you have the name and email address cells selected for all the families in the group. If the columns have a title header do not include that line in the selection.
Continue creating groups and pasting in the appropriate selections from Excel.
Note in our example, two of the selected contacts were from the same family with different names but matching email address. Only the first instance of the email was added to contact group.