Transfer Outlook to Mac (iCal, Address Book)

A recent client bought a new MacBook Pro. She asked my help in moving her data from her old Acer to the new Mac. Simple enough, right? Ummm, yeah.

I was able to move her documents, music, photos, etc. with no problem. But, she used Microsoft Outlook. While my every fiber wanted to run screaming, I had to contain it and assure the client, “Yeah, I can do that.”

Straight to Google and I found many, many things to try. Exporting from Outlook is awful because the file formats it exports to are …. well, useless, really. There were suggestions to import Outlook into Mozilla Thunderbird, but that did nothing for the calendars, plus it didn’t seem to work 100% with the contacts. Not sure why, but I didn’t spend much time worrying about it. I tried using Windows Mail (Vista) and Windows Live Mail. That also didn’t work for me.

Then I remembered something I had read about a week or two ago: MobileMe for Windows. I started to think about it but was worried about using my MobileMe account information and mixing my data with the client’s data. But, then…..

Remember the scene from How the Grinch Stole Christmas when the Grinch finally understands Christmas? I had a similar dawning, without stealing any trees.

iTunes and iPhone.

I picked up my spare iPhone 2G, plugged it into the old Acer. Launched iTunes and told it to sync Contacts, Calendars, Mail, Bookmarks, and Notes.

When it was done, I moved over to my MacBook Pro, used an account I created specifically for the client, attached the iPhone and did a Merge. Voilà!


I love it. The best way to export data from Microsoft Outlook is by using Apple’s iTunes with an Apple iPhone/iPod. Sweet.


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