Understanding bulk updating with imports

This article is part of the Insightly Importing Guide

When you import records into Insightly, you can update existing records in bulk by matching the Record ID in the CRM to the Record ID in the file you import (for example, a CSV file).

What's a Record ID?

A Record ID is a number that's assigned by Insightly to a record as it is created. The Record ID is displayed in the highlights bar and in the Details tab on the default page layout of every record.
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If you cannot find it, ask your administrator to create a new page layout that includes it. 

Do I have to use the Record ID? Couldn't I just use the name of the record?

Yes, you will need to use the Record ID when bulk updating via import. Bulk updating your records using your record's name could update a different record with the same name.

For example, say you do business with two schools that are both named Sierra High School. If you just used the name, Insightly could import your data to the wrong school. Using the record ID ensures that your data is connected correctly.

How to add the Record ID to the import file

The easiest way to do this is to export the records from Insightly first. If you can export it from Insightly first, the Record ID will be included in the export file and found in the first column of the file. 

To do this:

  1. Export the records you'd like to update from Insightly.
  2. Update the file as needed.
  3. Import the file back into Insightly and choose Update Existing Records or Add New Records and Update Existing Records.
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If you cannot do this because you are starting with a file from a source outside of Insightly, you will need to add the matching Record IDs to the file yourself.

To do this:

  1. Export the records from Insightly that correspond to the records you want to update (contacts, organizations, etc.). Save an extra copy of this file in case you make errors.
  2. Add a field for the ID to the spreadsheet that you'll be importing into Insightly.
    For example, if you are importing into an Organization, label the field Organization Record ID.
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  3. If you don't have many records to update, you can manually find and enter the matching record information into your import file. 
    If you need to update many records: Using Excel or Google Docs, you can use a VLOOKUP formula to match to the record names and update your record ID field for you. This will be dependant on how your files are set up. Check your software documentation or consult an expert.
  4. Once the records are updated, use the Save As or Download As options to save the file as a comma-delimited CSV file.
  5. Import the file into Insightly and choose Update Existing Records or Add New Records and Update Existing Records.
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