Importing Ideas and Attachments together for all campaigns

Instructions to import ideas with attachments for all campaigns

Path: Community Settings >> Data Management >> Import Data >> Import Ideas

Generation of Template and its Details
Importing Ideas for Single Campaign
Process of Importing Ideas & Attachments
Data Migration

Administrator of the community can import ideas as well as attachments at the same time to save time. Below is the step-by-step guide on how to do this.


1 . To import ideas with attachments enable the switch 'Upload Attachments'.

2. Select the campaign where the ideas need to be uploaded from the drop-down of 'Select Campaign' or choose to upload ideas to all the campaigns at a time, in which case select 'All Campaigns' in the dropdown.

3. Generate Template button - The Generate Template option provides a readymade spreadsheet with all the required column headers. The administrator has to simply enter the data to be uploaded.

Note: In case there is malicious content, virus or malware during the upload it will show an error and the upload will fail.


4. Disable Notifications- This option is used for disabling email notifications to the users during the time of importing votes.

Below is the screenshot of the template generated for uploading ideas to "All campaigns". It has 5 sheets:- Ideas, Stage IDs, Custom Fields, IdeaScale- Attachments, and Moderator Tags.

Let's discuss these in detail.

A. Ideas Sheet

Ideas sheet has to fill in with all the idea details. The details are as follows:

1. Idea Id - (Mandatory) Idea ID can be any unique number.

2. Title ( Mandatory ) -  This is the subject of the Idea.

3. Description ( Mandatory)  - In this column, you have to idea description.

4. Tags (Optional) - Make sure all the tags (if any) are comma separated.

5. Idea Submitter Email (Mandatory) - If you are planning to upload ideas on behalf of users, then you will have to populate the "Idea Submitter Email" column. If not then this column should contain the Community Owners / Admins email address.

Note: This column cannot be left blank. The sheet won't upload if this column is left blank.

6. Idea Submission date
(Optional)- This column can be left blank if you do not want to upload the pre-dated ideas. When left blank, the ideas will be shown as submitted on the date on which you upload them.

Note:- The date field has to be in MM-DD-YYYY format. While populating dates excel automatically converts the field to date type. Please set this column to the "text type" field.

7. Stage ID ( Optional) - The second sheet in the template file has all the Stage IDs mentioned. Enter the ID of the stage to which the ideas has to be uploaded. You can upload ideas to various stages in one go. The Stage ID field can also be left blank. When left blank, the ideas will be uploaded in the first stage of the funnel.

8. Idea Number ( Optional) - It's an optional column. But if you specify the Idea Number, then the sheet has to be sorted in the Ascending Order of the Idea Number.

Note: The idea numbers have to be unique i.e. they cannot be the ones that are already given to any existing ideas in your community.

9. Anonymous idea
( Optional)  - If the campaign allows anonymous submissions, admin can select to submit the idea anonymously. If the idea is anonymous enter the text 'TRUE' and if it is not, then select 'FALSE'.   Leave the column blank if there are no anonymous submissions.

10. Private (Optional) - If the campaign allows private idea submissions visible only or admins, moderators and authorized groups, admin can select to submit ideas anonymously. If the idea is private enter the text 'TRUE' and if it is not, then select 'FALSE'. Leave the column blank if there are no private submissions.

11. Custom Labels (Optional) - Add custom labels to the ideas if any. If there are more than 1 custom label, it should be comma separated.

12. Co-submitter's email - This column will be available only for the campaign that has enabled this option in the idea submission tool. In case of more than one co-submitter for the idea, the email address has to be separated by a comma after each email address.

13. Link Ideas (Optional) - There are 5 columns for adding in linked ideas URL. The columns are Similar Ideas, Substantially Equivalent Ideas, Related Ideas, Is Part Of Ideas and Contain Ideas. Idea ID must be added in order to link ideas. You would need to add the Idea ID of the idea that needs to be linked in the specific column for linking the ideas.
Please Note: Linking ideas will work only for new ideas in the community.

14. Campaign name - Admin will see the 'Campaign Name' column only if they have selected 'All Campaigns' under the 'Select campaign' option. NOTE: Enter the campaign name exactly like it is in the community. This field is case-sensitive.

15. Custom field values are specified after this column. . The values are specified in the order in which the custom fields appear in the 'Custom Fields' sheet. This order is changeable in the custom field sheet but once the order is specified then the idea custom fields have to be filled in the same order.  If you select a specific campaign, the custom field column will automatically appear in the template. Multiple choice custom field's answer options should be comma separated.


Note:- HTML tags/entities in the text of Idea title, description, and custom fields are not supported for eg:- greater than, smaller than signs, bullets, smart quotes ( curly quotation marks), &, © copyright  ® registered trademark, etc. . Ideas or any related fields, containing these characters would not be uploaded.

B. Stage IDs Sheet

This sheet contains the list of all the stage ids in the community. 

When the template is generated, this sheet is automatically populated. It is a reference sheet from which Stage ids are added.

Note: This sheet should not be edited.

C. Custom Fields Sheet

This sheet is included only in the template generated for uploading ideas to 'All campaigns. Below is the screenshot of the Custom field sheet which is a Reference sheet:

For Eg. for the campaign Website: the custom fields are 'Country' and 'Department'.  The values 'Canada' and 'HR' are therefore specified in that order in the ideas sheet.

Campaign Product has the custom fields ' Is this new Product?' and 'Who would be the target users?'. The values for the idea custom field are specified as 'Yes' and 'Children'.

The order of the custom fields can be changed in the custom field sheet eg,  - you may choose to have values for the Custom field "Department" first and then "Country". Interchange the columns accordingly in the custom field sheet. Now In the idea sheet, make sure you specify 'HR' (value for custom field 'Department') in the first column followed by 'Country' ( ie 'Canada').

D. Ideascale - Attachments Sheet 

Screenshot 2022-09-23 at 10.05.56 AM

Idea Id specified in the 'Idea Sheet' indicates the idea to which the attachment would be uploaded.

1. Idea ID - If an idea has multiple attachments, the idea ID will remain the same (for eg, Idea Id 924854 underline in red). 2 attachments will be uploaded to idea id 924854.  

2. Author Email - Email address of the user on whose behalf we are uploading the attachment.

3. File Name - This should contain the file names of attachments that are included in the .zip file.

4. Note - Add notes to the image for your reference.

Note: When uploading an attachment the users have the option to also add a note to the attachment. This column can be left blank if the user does not want to add a note.

Date - Specify the date of the upload in the format YYYY-MM-DD-HH-MM-SS. The attachment date could be the same as the idea date but not earlier than the idea date.

Note: Create a .zip file of all the files which are to be uploaded as attachments.

E. Moderator Tags Sheet

Moderator Tags sheet has the below-mentioned columns:

  1. Idea ID - It's the idea Id of the idea to which the moderator tags would be uploaded

  2. Tag - The tags words which would be assigned as moderator tags. If the community has predefined moderator tags, then the tag column should have exactly those tag words. It's best to copy the tag from the community's moderator predefined tags list.

  3. Tag submitter Email - It's mostly the email address of the moderators, but if users from a certain group are permitted to tag ideas with moderator tags, then this column can include the email addresses of the users belonging to that group.

Note:  Ensure that the email Tags submitter email address is either a global moderator/campaign moderator /Custom field moderator/group moderator of the idea to which the tags are submitted to.

For eg:- uploading a moderator tag on behalf of would be possible only if he is a global moderator/campaign moderator /Custom field moderator/group moderator for Idea with idea ID 924853 - He should have the moderation right over the idea tagged with the moderator tag.

A campaign moderator will be able to submit moderator tags only for the Campaigns to which he is assigned as a moderator. In other campaigns, he is a regular user so he will not be able to use the moderator tag.


Importing Ideas with Attachments for individual campaigns is essentially the same as uploading ideas to all campaigns. 

The template generated for uploading ideas to an individual campaign has 3 sheets. It does not include the Sheet for Custom fields since custom fields values are filled in the ideas sheet itself.


Once the spreadsheets are ready for upload go to Community Settings >> Data Management >> Import Data >> Import Idea and browse the file from your computer or simply drag and drop it in the area.
Before starting the upload make sure of the following: 

  1. Select the campaign to which the ideas are to be uploaded

  2. Under 'File to upload' select the spreadsheet of ideas to be uploaded. 

  3. Under 'Attachment file to upload' select the zip file with the attachments

  4. Click on Upload.

Data Migration

When ideas from one community have to be copied to another community.
Export the Ideas from the original community from Community Settings >> Reports >> Export Data >> Export Idea Data.

1 . Output Format
- Select output format from the dropdown.

2. Export Ideas attachments - This will return a zip file with all the attachments (if any) on ideas in the community.

3. Start and the End Date -  Specify a start and end date to export data for a limited period. In case you want to export all data, leave it blank.

4. Select your timezone - You may retain the default timezone or select a suitable time zone.

5. Campaign - Choose to export data for a single campaign or for all the campaigns.

6. Include GeoLocation - Enable this switch to include the Geo Location details in the export. 

Once you export, it will return two files - an Excel file and a Zip file. The excel file will contain all the idea details. The last sheet in this excel file will be a new sheet named “Ideascale - Attachments” which contains the data related to attachments. A zip file will include all the attachments if there are any.

As mentioned earlier, a ready-made spreadsheet can be generated and the exported idea data can be used to populate the spreadsheet to be uploaded.

The zip file returned here while exporting ideas is selected as  'Attachment file to upload' while importing the ideas. 

Note: It's optional to upload the attachments.