I am writing this post for ALL that need to solve this problem, hopefully we will get technical distinct answers that we can post to the FAQ.
I want to get a Droid phone... BUT I do have several active businesses and have requirements for ANY mobile device.
I have over 20 email accounts (all pop) most of which are through Network Solutions. They are all separate businesses with separate domains, but I think my problem if solved cleanly will help many others.
Like most of the business world, I am forced to work with Microsoft Office. Excel, Word and Outlook mostly. I do not want to debate this.. it is just a fact.
I currently have Outlook setup to with 20 email accounts. My inbox has multiple folders within it. Actually it is more of a tree of folders. I use the rules engine in outlook to move the incoming email messages to their folder so I can sort and manage my insane email scenario. Some folders are for friends, so when a friend sends an email to any of my accounts it goes to the friend folder. I mention this to make the point that it is not one folder per account.
I also have ONE calendar and ONE huge contact list that needs to be synced wirelessly.
Now I am willing to make changes to the configuration but I need folders or something similar that has nesting capabilities (tree structure) and the sync has to be of a push nature. I can't wait 10 min for an email to cycle through.
I have ALWAYS has Verizon as my carrier, best overall coverage (again no need for debate). Now in the past the only way I was able to pull off the sync was to run a desktop app that monitors the .ost file from outlook and syncs up the email, contacts and calendar to a web site. Verizon OEMed Intellisync for this purpose. It sends all of your info to a web service which in turns syncs to your phone on a push (if selected) method. This works for Palm and Windows Phones. There are a few catches however. For one Verizon has NOT updated their OEM install of IntelliSync in a long time (today is 11/12/09) and as a result Outlook 2007 is not fully supported. What that means is that everything works except for appointment reminders. If you have an appointment in outlook 2007 with a reminder. The reminder will fire on the phone properly but never acknowledges in outlook. Meaning you will continue to see the reminder even after you dismiss it. It also corrupts the outlook database for that appointment and the only way to fix it is to delete the appointment all-together (the command line switches does not fix the corruption). So it if far from perfect but it does support folders... dumping ALL my emails into one inbox just is not the way to go.. it is almost 2010!!! There MUST be a better way..
Now Google wants to be the center of the world. So it seems that they want you to sync all of your mail sources with GMail and magically everything will work. Not the case. I was willing to try that. I created a GMail account and began adding POP accounts. GMail does not have folder but does have labels which are close but does not seem to support nesting (like a tree). I can NOT add any Network Solutions email accounts there since their SMTP port is 2525 and that is not a valid GMail SMTP port, and since neither will change I am stuck.
I am willing to install exchange if needed.
I do see third party apps that will run on Droid but they seem to sync calendar and contacts only. Honestly I don't see a way to avoid some form of desktop or server monitoring tool since the rules for the folders are in outlook. The cycle time from getting an email, getting it to the phone and replying back has to be reasonable.
The sad thing was that I had this functionality for years with Palm and then with Windows Phones.. Then Crackberries can around like it was a new thing... but it does seem like it is going backwards. I understand that many are not using POP anymore... I am willing to use IMAP if it makes sense but I need a single source for all my email that I can backup and recover etc.. I am not sure IMAP will let me do that or even if it will solve my problem. One solution I have heard is to use Outlook Web Access (OWA) via the internet.. While that is possible it removes the ability to attach images from the phone or view files on the phone (pdf etc..) easily. The interface is also slow since it is using the internet for the connect and sending the graphics for the site along with the email. If this is my only option I will stay with my not so good windows phone and reboot every day. The solution should be built into the phone itself. I can see how some would use the OWA to get email and use a third party tool to sync contacts and calendar... but that seems like a patch to a primary business function for a smart phone..
So, after that really long intro.. here is my question.
Giving all of the above what is the absolute best way to sync my outlook, folders, email, calendar and Contacts with my new Droid phone from Verizon????
Notes would be nice, but not needed.
One think I do like about the IntellliSync solution is that if a hard reset my phone back to factory settings.. all I have to do is re-enable wireless sync and everything in outlook is back on my phone... contacts, email and all my calendar entries.. etc..
I don't think it is much to ask to be able to do this on a brand new, cutting edge phone..
Please advise and be as technical as possible...
Many thanks for anyone brave enough to read this far...