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Data Import Using .csv Templates
Data Import Using .csv Templates

Import companies, contacts, entitlements, expenses, rates, time off bookings, and users.

Kresimir avatar
Written by Kresimir
Updated over a week ago

If you wish to import your data to Productive you can do that by going to Settings > Data import.Β 

You can import:

You can also import Tasks but for that, you will need to navigate to a dedicated Project screen and select the relevant option there.

For more info, please refer to the following article.

All of these items can be imported using predefined .csv templates.

There is also an option to import your data from Harvest to Productive. If you wish to do that, check the steps explained here.

This article will explain the steps to:

Importing data with .csv template

To import data to Productive, download the .csv templates first, as displayed below.Β 

Once you start filling out the .csv templates with data, please do not delete any columns. If you do, the .csv document will not be recognized by the importer.

When you've filled out a template, simply drag and drop it into the upload box, or click the box to upload the document manually.Β 

When you upload your data and your .cvs template has no errors, it will state the number of items ready for import and show 0 errors.

By clicking on the arrow to the right, you can double-check if the data is ready for import.

If there are no errors showing, click on Proceed to import.

Click on the Import button.

The imported data will be listed in Import history showing the import details - the date, imported by, imported from, imported data, and import status.


When importing Companies and Contacts, the data needs to be imported in this order - Companies first, Contacts second. That's because a Contact belongs to a Company, so the Company needs to exist first if a Contact is going to be attached to it.

Note that the email for a company or contact must be unique in Productive. In other words, you may not have multiple companies/contacts with the same email address.

πŸ’‘ When importing Contacts, make sure the encoding of the CSV file is UTF-8 to avoid issues with special characters.


πŸ’‘ When importing Entitlements, or copying over the existing ones from a previous period, please check this video.


Imported time off bookings will be listed in your Resourcing view here:

πŸ’‘ If the imported booking overlaps with the current booking, the previous booking will remain in Resourcing and the imported one will be created. Also, if the Time off approval addon is turned on, the imported bookings are automatically approved.

Fixing errors

When uploading a file, Productive will automatically check if there are any errors that need to fixed before uploading the file. If some errors occur it will show how many errors are there.

We have 8 errors in the example above. Click further to fix this error.

The problem with this document is Not enough allocated time for a specific date. You can check each error by navigating to the red triangle.

If there are a lot of errors you can tick the Only show rows with errors box, to make it easier to fix what's wrong with the file. If you wish to remove the error data, just click on the purple Remove all rows with errors.

When fixing the error click on the purple button Check for errors. You should get no errors if you've fixed everything.

Click Proceed to import, and then click Import on the next screen.
In case you are using the Numbers application to create CSV files, make sure to disable Smart quotes in Numbers β†’ Preferences β†’ Auto-correction:

Enabling this option before the export of the document in CSV format might result in some unexpected errors during the import, specifically in cases when your text consists of some special characters, such as quotation marks and apostrophes. For that reason, we highly suggest disabling it before proceeding with further steps.

Reverting the import

If you want to remove the data that you've imported, you can look at the Import history below. You will see when a certain file was uploaded and by whom.

To remove the imported data, click the Revert import button.

The screen will show the imported data details and ask you to confirm the revering. To confirm, just type: REVERT and click on the Yes button.


You will only be able to revert the imported data within 24 hours after the import was successfully performed. This is a safety precaution that is implemented to make sure your data doesn't get seriously damaged.

For example, you could import 50 companies and open 50 projects linked to those companies. Your people could start logging time against those projects and in the next couple of weeks, a substantial amount of data would be generated. If you revert the import after a couple of weeks and delete the imported Companies - Projects and Time entries would disappear as well.

If you really want to revert some of the imported data that are older than 24 hours, please contact us directly.

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