A little while ago I wrote an article called Using Gmail for All your Mail. In it I wrote, “You can import all email and contacts from your other email.” It sounds so simple and straightforward you may have missed it. Actually, it’s quite a big deal, especially when you think of AOL. We have worked with many people who wanted to switch from AOL to something else but couldn’t, because AOL did not give you a way to export your contact list. I think they figure you won’t ever leave AOL if they hold on to your contact list. (This has recently changed – but Gmail is still easier.)
With this Gmail feature, it’s easy to get your contacts. First you need a Gmail account. It’s free, just go to www.gmail.com and sign up. Once you have an account, you can click on Settings, and then Accounts and Import.
If you are leaving AOL, you probably want to import everything. But, you don’t have to. This is a great tool just for getting a backup copy of your contact list. After you click on ‘Import mail and Contacts’ – you will fill in the email address and password for your other account (AOL) – then you have some choices. You could just check ‘Import Contacts.’
If you have a lot of contacts, or you choose to import everything, this can take a while. The Gmail Help on Import indicates it may take up to 48 hours! When it is complete, you will see a status message in Settings, Accounts and Import.