3.7 - How to import your asset data from an existing file

In Timly, you can import your assets, people (e.g., employees), and other key data via a CSV file. The CSV import function can also be used to update existing data, such as for mass check-ins/check-outs of assets.


CSV Import FAQs


How does the CSV import work?

You can carry out the CSV import in four simple steps:

1. In your Timly dashboard, click on the main menu in the top right corner and select "CSV Data Import" from the dropdown list (available to admins only).

2. Upload or drag and drop your CSV file. In the same window, you can also download a pre-formatted CSV template. Further details on the required formatting are provided below. At a minimum, the CSV file needs to include the name, location, and root category of the assets to be imported. Click "Next" in the top right corner to proceed to mapping your data.

3. Map your CSV headers to the relevant Timly attributes. Click "Next" to submit your data.

4. In the import preview, you will see the number of assets created or updated, along with any errors. If errors are displayed, click "Back" in the top right corner to return to step 2 and adjust the mapping. Or click "Back" once more to return to the upload screen and upload a revised CSV file.

5. Once you are satisfied with the details displayed in your preview, click "Import" in the top right corner to complete the import.

6. You can now view the results of your import, including a summary of who executed the import and when. You can also download a PDF report.


What types of data can I import into Timly with a CSV file?

The CSV import function is currently available for the following data types managed in Timly:

  • Objects: These are your assets.
  • People: This can be your employees (or students, etc), with both personal and professional details.
  • Companies: These are third parties, such as suppliers or service providers.
  • Containers: These can be offices, sites, or projects to which assets are connected.
  • Check-out / Check-in: This allows for mass checking in or out of assets.
  • Organizational Units: These can be your overarching organizational locations, such as foreign branches or subsidiary companies.


How should the CSV files be formatted?

Although it's possible to edit a CSV file with a simple text editor, it's easier to work on your file as a spreadsheet and save it as "CSV UTF-8." This will ensure correct formatting and proper encoding of special characters.

In your header row, include the attribute names to be mapped to Timly. At a minimum, the required attributes are:

  • Name (name)
  • Root category (root_category)
  • Location (location)

If you are updating records already in Timly, you will also need:

  • Item ID (item_id)
  • Reference number (ref_no)
  • Inventory number (inventory_number)
  • Serial number (serial_number)


Where can I find examples of correct attributes for the CSV import?

In the CSV import window, you can download pre-formatted CSV templates with the attributes pre-filled in the header row for correct mapping.


Is it possible to import from other data formats?

Timly has prioritized CSV import because it's simple, universal, and widely supported. Many other formats can be easily converted to CSV. For importing from other formats, please contact our support team for a custom solution.


What are the benefits of importing via CSV file?

Using CSV files, you can quickly import a large number of assets or other objects managed in Timly without manual entry, saving time and reducing errors. You can also easily update existing data sets.


What should I do if I receive an error message during import?

Most often than not, errors occur due to incorrect CSV formatting. The file needs to meet specific requirements for automated processing to prevent data inconsistencies. Common issues include missing required attribute categories and using files not saved in UTF-8 encoding.


How can I ensure my data has been imported correctly?

After starting the import, you can track the progress in the status window. A log will be generated, which you can review and save. This log will also indicate whether the import was successful.


Can I update existing records in Timly via CSV?

Yes, you can update existing records in Timly via the CSV upload. Select the "Update existing" option in step 2, the attribute mapping step. The easiest way to update is by first exporting the data with the "Inventory CSV" option for the objects you want to update. The tables will already be correctly formatted, and you can easily add or modify the desired records. Ensure the file is saved in the "CSV-UTF-8" format.


What is mapping and why is it important?

Mapping is the process of specifying which column contents in your CSV correspond to which attributes in Timly. This is crucial because each attribute must have a unique identifier for automated processing.

To make this easier, you can use Timly’s predefined attribute names when creating CSV files. These predefined names are available for categories such as employees, companies, containers, mass check-out/check-in, and organizational units in the import file selection mask. For inventory import, use the dropdown fields in step 2. In the CSV import window, you can also download a preformatted CSV template with the correct column names, eliminating the need for manual mapping and ensuring accuracy.


Can imports be undone?

Except for the "Check-out / Check-in" category, imports cannot be undone. Therefore, we recommend carefully reviewing your CSV files before importing them. In steps 2 and 3 of the import process, you can review your import and see any flagged errors before completing it. If you have any doubts or encounter issues during the import, our team is available to help. If an import error occurs, keep the import file so our support team can review it.