Importing directory data
If you have your data already compiled and want to jump-start your directory, you can bulk upload some information from a CSV file under Home > Getting Started with Instant Church Directory.
This data won't be your entire directory, but it will get the basic family inserted (learn more about why below).
There are two ways you are probably working with your data.
1. Using an existing excel sheet and saving as a CSV file (most common)
2. Using a tool (such as notepad) and creating a CSV file with that
Using Excel to create a CSV file
Here's what your Excel (or Google) spreadsheet will look like before you export to a CSV file. Notice that you can put multiple first names, child names, phone numbers, and email addresses in the same column. (Click on the image to view a larger version.)
Once you have your data formatted as you see above, you can Save As a .csv file and then use that file to import into Instant Church Directory.
Watch a quick tutorial on uploading a CSV file to populate your directory at the end of this help document.
Using Notepad (or similar tool) to create a CSV file
To import data, you will want to be sure your CSV file is set up your file has the following fields in it:
Here is an example of what your file will look like. (Click on the image to view a larger version.)
After You Complete the Import
You still may need to do some manual entry for details like individual email address, phone numbers or birthdays. These listings are unique to each individual as members will need to Opt-in or Opt-out of having their email or birthday show in the directory or opting into a text message plan. Learn more about protecting your member's privacy in our article:
Considering your church member's privacy.
Some frequently asked questions about importing data
I made an import mistake, how can I start over?
If you need to delete the information on your directory, you can do so by logging into your account online, select the "My Account" link on the right-hand side of your screen, and choose the
Option. You have the option to delete the sections shown by clicking the section box and hitting continues. This is a permanent deletion and cannot be undone.
We have CDM software which can include pictures. Can we import the roster data AND the picture into your software?
If your CDM software (or any other member management software) can export member data as a CSV file or a tab-delimited file, the information can be imported into Instant Church Directory. However, the photos will need to be imported using Instant Church Directory's photo import tool.
Can the import feature of Instant Church Directory be used to add families to an existing directory that is already populated with other families?
Yes, you can import a CSV file into an existing directory. However, if there are names in the CSV files that are already in the directory, you'll end up with duplicate entries.
New imported names will be integrated into the existing alphabetical list in the correct alphabetical order.
Will Instant Church Directory let me save my directory as an HTML or XML page?
Our program doesn’t have the capability to directly export HTML or XML pages. However, the Instant Church Directory PDF file can be exported as HTML or XML by using Adobe Acrobat 8.0. That program can export a PDF as HTML 3.2, HTML 4.01 with CSS 1.0 or XML 1.0.
Adobe Acrobat 8.0 may be a bit pricey for some churches ($159-$449). More information about Adobe Acrobat 8.0 is available at
Is there a way to export all of the ICD Online pictures and directory if we have a need?
Currently, you can only export the images as a PDF. You can export the family list as a CSV file from the link on the bottom left side of the Family tab.
Can I transfer my existing Instant Church Directory CD or download version to Instant Church Directory Online?
Yes! You can transfer your existing Instant Church Directory CD (icdx file) or download version to Instant Church Directory Online at any time. Once you've created an Instant Church Directory Online Account, choose Contact Us and we'll send you a special link to the page for importing from your CD file. Here is a video that explains how the import will work.
Click below for a quick tutorial about Importing an existing directory built on the CD version of ICD: