Search for Outlook email contacts in Twitter, via iPad

14 May

I have a lot of email addresses of people I send and receive email from in Microsoft Outlook. I was certain many of these folk would be on Twitter, and wanted to find out who – this would seem to be an easy thing to do in concept, but I could not find a quick and easy way – here is how I did it using Outlook & Twitter iPad.

A Google search revealed various tricks and tips, but none seem to be that easy, or be quite what I wanted. Using the Twitter web site, you can import Gmail or Yahoo contacts. But my email addresses were in Outlook, and were not all neatly filed as contacts. A bit of experimentation, and an hour later I had it sorted. Here’s how.

Step 1 – Grab all email addresses into a contact folded in Outlook on my PC.

To do this, I used MAPILabs Add Contacts:

Untitled

This scanned all my email folders in Microsoft Outlook, and created a stub Outlook contact for every email address found (in a separate Outlook Contacts folder).

This programme is free for 30 days – plenty of time for me to grab all historic email addresses in my email box.

Step 2 – Sync to iPad.

My Outlook is connected to a Microsoft Exchange server – so all the email addresses synchronised with Outlook. As my iPad is connected to the same exchange server, all the contact were synchronised with my iPad. So not really a “step” at all, this happened for free – I just needed to wait for 5-10 minutes for it all to happen.

(I worked via Exchange, as this was easy for me. I suspect syncing via a cable to a PC and iTunes will work just as well).

Step 3 – Link to Twitter App on iPad.

This is a built-in capability of the Official Twitter App on iPad. Click the “# Discover” on the left hand side, and is scanned all my iPad contact (as sync’d from Outlook) and told me who was in Twitter.

twitter photo

I could then simply hit the “follow” button on selected people.

Sorry if this is obvious to everyone, but it did not seem that obvious to me at the start of the exercise, so thought I’d share my experience.

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