Importing overview and tips

Sometimes, you'll need to import an existing list of items to Insightly from outside sources, such as a spreadsheet, a mailing list, or another CRM. 

Insightly’s importing feature lets you import the data on your terms, allowing you to map each column from your file to a field in Insightly.

You can also update large sets of Insightly records by exporting them, changing or adding data to the file, and then importing them with an update option.

Insightly matches the record ID numbers to find the existing records and replaces the field values in Insightly with the ones in your file.

Review this summary of steps, tips, and notes about each object before importing records.

This overview includes three sections:

The Import Process

  1. If your records are in another program, like an accounting system or another CRM, start by exporting your data to a CSV file.
  2. You can create your own import template by exporting records and utilizing the spreadsheet as an import template. If you'll be bulk updating records via import, export the records you'd like to update.
  3. If your file contains specialized information, add your own unique fields as custom fields in Insightly.
  4. The data you're importing can come in many shapes and sizes. Prepare your file by cleaning up and organizing the data. This will help ensure a smooth transfer of information.
  5. Start importing your records.
  6. Import contact notes and organization notes if you have them.
  7. You can always delete recently imported records if you'd like to import them over again.


When your company uses Advanced Permissions, keep in mind that you can only add or update records if you have the Create and Edit options enabled in your profile.

Also, if you don't have permissions to see all records through organization-wide sharing, you may create duplicate records of those you cannot see.

Importing Tips

  • Check your plan limits. Each subscription level has different import limits and total record limits. Check your plan and current usage on the Billing & Account page. For example, if you have a limit of 2,500 records, and you already have 2,000 records, you'll only be able to import 500 more. A larger import file will be rejected.
  • Import from a CSV file format for best results. Insightly accepts the Unicode character set to support special characters (ã, Ú, ø, etc.). Excel files can include formatting data that is hard to read.
  • Start small. When you're importing records for the first time, create a file with 5-10 records to test the process and make sure you've got the hang of it.

Notes for Each Object

We recommend importing records by object in the order below. This will ensure that items are linked together properly and let you find recently imported organizations. (Just skip any objects that you don't use.)

A record will not be imported if it's missing a required field.


  • Required field: Organization Name
  • If your file includes multiple rows with an identical name, Insightly will create the first organization record and skip the duplicates. See Duplicate checks when importing.


    When you want multiple locations to be listed as separate organizations in the CRM, use a distinct name for each record: Store ABC (Main Street), Store ABC (The Mall), Store ABC (Downtown), etc.

  • The Dates to Remember field is not included in the import fields.

Organization Notes


  • Required fields: Last Name, Lead Status, Lead Source
  • Insightly accounts with Professional or Enterprise subscription plans have the option to set up lead assignment rules to automatically assign leads as they're imported.
  • You can only select one Lead Source for the leads in each import file. If your file has different sources for each lead, they will be overwritten by the import selection.
  • If the Lead Status field is missing or doesn't match one of the choices in your status list, the default status from your system settings will be applied.
  • When updating a lead via import, the Lead Status cannot be changed to Converted.
  • See Importing Leads.


  • Required field: First Name
  • If the contact's full name is in a single field, map to the Full Name field. Insightly will concatenate first names, middle initials, and middle names into the first name field.
  • Contacts that include an organization name field during import will be matched and linked to existing organizations. If there is no match, Insightly will create and link the organization for you.
  • When Insightly creates a new organization based on a contact, the work address and phone number mapped to the contact will be added to the organization, too.
  • If you import contacts and organization information without a title field, the default role for the link between contact and organization will be "employee."
  • The Dates to Remember field is not included in the import fields.

Contact Notes


  • Required field: Opportunity Name
  • The currency field must be in the form of the three letter International currency code (USD, JPY, AUD, etc.).
  • Date values for the Forecast Close Date or Actual Close Date need to be valid dates (mm/dd/yyyy).
  • Importing an opportunity with a pipeline stage will not trigger the stage's activity sets.
  • When updating an opportunity's state via import, the new state Reason field will be set to null.


  • Required fields: Project Name, Status
  • Importing a project with a pipeline stage will not trigger the stage's activity sets.


  • Required field: Task Title
  • There is no duplicate checking for task imports, so doing something like exporting, editing, then re-importing tasks will create duplicates.
  • You cannot import tasks for leads.
  • For most date fields, the mm/dd/yyyy (12/25/2016) format works best. The Reminder Date is the only exception, since it includes a time.
  • If Insightly finds no matching data for fields that require a specific value (like Priority or Status), the default value will be used.
  • Tasks can be assigned to a person or a team, but not both. If both are included, the task will be assigned to the person.
  • If an assigned user's first and last name is missing or cannot be matched to a user, the task will be assigned to the person importing the records.
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