Calling all .PST & Outlook Gurus

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by cmcbridejr, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. cmcbridejr macrumors 6502a

    cmcbridejr

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    Alpharetta, GA
    #1
    I thought that I would post here since I am not part of any "WindowsRumors" forums, or any other forums related to Windows. You all are my only hope!

    My company is forcing us to upgrade our laptops from Office 2003 to Office 2007 (on our Dell/XP laptops). However, when Office 2007 is installed, Outlook will no longer be available to us and we can't buy it and install it as our IT department will not allow it.

    This sucks!!! I have thousands of contacts in Outlook '03 (I work in sales) and I can't just suddenly throw away my contact database in favor of the contact management that the IT department is proposing (which is web-based, extremely slow and unintuitive, and not easily accessible since we have to VPN to get to it). I understand that they are trying to protect data from being transportable, and thus, possibly stolen. I am not here to quibble about that.

    So, is there an alternative to Outlook that will import my .PST file? I know the format is Microsoft proprietary, but Outlook is popular and someone has probably made a reliable converter. Most importantly, I want to also be able to import the "Notes" section, as this is the most important data. If it was just the contact data needing to be transferred, I would not need any assistance.

    I am thinking maybe just moving to something more open source so that I do not have this issue again. Any ideas on where I can take my data and rely on for years to come?

    Sorry if my post is too long and does not make any sense. Please let me know if I need to elaborate.

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    I'm sorry but I missed something there.
    If you're upgrading Office then you get outlook still no? I'm confused why you believe that the upgrade of Office will result in no more Outlook and since this is a company, what in the world have they planned on installing to replace it?

    Knowing what e-mail client you will be moving to will be crucial in telling you how to preserve your pst files.
     
  3. cmcbridejr thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cmcbridejr

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    Alpharetta, GA
    #3
    Yes, Outlook 2007 is a part of Office 2007. However, our company is not installing Outlook 2007 on our laptops and will also be deleting Outlook 2003 when upgrading to Office 2007.

    My guess is that the IT department is deleting Outlook from all computers so that it forces us to use the web-based contact database, instead of Outlook (which is very portable and can be taken with you if you move on to a new career). They are probably just trying to protect company data, which I can understand.

    However, this is my database of all contacts that I know, work-related or not. I need this data. What I want to know, is if I can convert the .pst file (or .csv for that matter) into another program with the "Notes" section intact. I am trying to move away from Microsoft, if possible.

    Comprende?
     
  4. MooneyFlyer macrumors 65816

    MooneyFlyer

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    Aside from the idea of IT removing Outlook from every system just being ridiculous on their part -- let me see if I can help. If you are moving to a web-based CRM solution, many of them directly integrate with Outlook to allow syncing.

    PSTs are a horrible beast. But, if you are simply looking to get your contacts out of Outlook it can be done quite easily. I don't have Outlook 2003 (just 2007), but you should be able to open your contacts, select "File->Import / Export..." and choose your format. (note that "export to a file" is an option and you can select CSV there. Also, vcard could be good as well).

    As was mentioned earlier, the critical question is which email client you are moving to. I simply cannot believe that they will force you to online email only (though I guess it depends on your use model. I couldn't work like that).

    Does that help?
     
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #5
    Exactly, export the contacts into a CSV file. As for the rest ... I'm thinking your IT department is worse than mine.
     
  6. cmcbridejr thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cmcbridejr

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    Alpharetta, GA
    #6
    I already understand how to create a .pst or .csv, and I know that a .csv will transfer over (Contact, Address, Phone #, etc.) to another similar contact management program. What I don't know is how to transfer the "notes" section in Outlook. This is extremely important.

    Will this section automatically import into the "Notes" section of another contact management program? Or will I only be able to transfer the standard (Contacts, Address, Phone #, etc.)?

    What programs do you recommended that I move all this contact data to? I'm not fond of Office 2007, so I think I will move away from Outlook 2007. I'm looking for something that is similar to Outlook, is portable or can be synced, and possibly open source.
     
  7. MooneyFlyer macrumors 65816

    MooneyFlyer

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    The notes section of contacts will be exported as well. However, I suspect that there is a limit to the size of the field. So, if you have a lot of text in the notes section you are likely to lose some data. Importing that information depends on the client you are moving to more so than the one you are moving from. (except for the caveat above)

    As far as recommendations, I don't specifically have experience with anything beyond Mail, Entourage, and Outlook. Is Mail/Address book/iCal an option or is it Windows only?

    Assuming Windows only, you could try Eudora (they have some sort of pst import) and check this link: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Import_.pst_files. Looks like there are some good options there but I have no idea if they deal with the notes section.

    I would also spend some time trying to understand why the IT department is not going to allow Outlook 2007 -- it's just foolish. Despite all of the problems with Windows/Microsoft/etc. Outlook/Exchange is actually a good solution. (flame retardant undies donned)
     

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