Importing data from other estimating solutions

Learn how to import your estimate from Excel, spreadsheets, or other estimating solutions

If you’re not using WinEst, Sage, or DESTINI, you can still easily get your information into Join. This article will explore two ways you can do this. The first is using the Join Milestone Template to import your data. The second is to copy-paste the data directly into Join.

Using the Join Milestone Template

Using the Join Milestone Template is the preferred method to import a new Milestone and allows for the highest level of integration with Join. When using this method, there are a few best practices to consider:

1)     Automate the Milestone Template - If there will be multiple milestones produced from a single spreadsheet we recommend adding formulas to populate the Milestone Template from your existing workflow. When the milestone is ready, copy the Lines and Markups tabs into their own file. This new file is then ready to be imported into Join. The Lines and Markups tabs must be the only tabs in the file for the Milestone to import properly.

2)    Set your columns before exporting the spreadsheet template- To save time set the column layout in Join before exporting. Add your Custom Categories and extra columns to mirror your work breakdown structure. (Learn how to create Custom Categories or How WBS works in Join)

3)    Use the right columns for categorization- There are two columns for each category in the template Number and Name. This allows for the categorization (Number Column) and a description (Name Column) to be added if applicable. This is useful when the categorization doesn’t give a meaningful description. For example, a location code such as A1 would be the categorization and the description would be Northwest building. If the description is not necessary you can leave it blank for that category but the column must remain for the import process.


 For a step-by-step guide of how to create and use the Template click here.

Copy-Paste from a spreadsheet  

Using the copy-paste method is fast for getting the data into the Milestone. This option is optimal for a high-level/conceptual estimate or budget taking place outside of estimating software or one-off milestone imports. When using the copy-paste method there are a few best practices to consider.

1)     Set up the spreadsheet for repeat functionality- If there will be multiple uses from the spreadsheet it is recommended to format an independent tab to allow for the quick copy paste ability with equations populating the necessary fields. This way, your pre-existing platform can operate without disruption and it will make the copy/paste process easier for populating your next Milestone in Join.

2)     Flatten the data- To capture your WBS properties the data must be flat. This means that any nested structure with relational data is not be captured. Take the relational data and add a column and place that information in the new column for each line item.

 For a step-by-step guide of how to Copy and paste the lines of data directly into the Join click here.