Standalone Outlook Sync - No debate, just solutions

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by jstbecuz, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. jstbecuz
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    jstbecuz New Member

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    Hi everyone -

    I followed the other thread to it's bitter end and think we need a new one. This thread is for people who DO NOT use microsoft Exchange and are looking for solutions for offline syncing with Droid.

    Please, no debate over why this is necessary or whether it is a defect that the phone doesn't already have the functionality built-in. Let's just all accept that some people need it and it's not currently there.

    I believe the old post referred to three possible solutions to this, all in development with the first expected in December. If anyone would like to share what they know about them, or other alternatives, I (and several others are all ears).

    For now, my personal workaround is:
    For calendar: Google Calendar Sync on my laptop which pushes my calendar out to Google which then pushes to my phone.

    For email: No Sync. I can read new mail via pop off my email server (with a copy left on the server for my laptop to later pop permanently) and I can send mail to my smtp server from my phone with a bcc to myself so that I can add it to my Sent mail on my laptop at a later time.

    For contacts: I exported my contacts to a .csv file and imported them into google (which then pushes to my phone). There is no auto sync right now between my computer outlook and google, but my contacts don't change that often. I plan to re-do the export weekly and have not tried it yet, but am really hoping I don't get duplicates in the process.

    For tasks and notes: I have no current solution. I can live without tasks on my phone anyway, and I'm learning to put notes on my phone instead of in my computer outlook that way they're always with me. I believe there are some notes apps with encryption that are mentioned in another thread. I haven't tried them out yet personally but I plan to and will comment in the thread that refers to them

    I realize these won't work for everyone, but they're working for my needs until a better solution is developed. Any other workaround ideas would be great. That's what forums like this are best for.

    Mods, if someone has already created a thread like this and I missed it, feel free to delete.
  2. techguru
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    techguru Member

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    IMHO

    Email: Go direct. If your provider supports iMap, then boxes will be synchronized.

    Calendar: Current best are Google Calendar Sync unless you get Windows Livemeeting or Cisco MeetingPlace invitations which won't synch, or CompanionLink, which works great, but costs $40.

    Contacts: Go Contact Sync (free) or CompanionLink ($40).

    Tasks: This is a tricky one. CompanionLink will sync them, but it puts them as all day events in your calendar. I haven't seen anything better yet though. Lots and lots of task managers for Android, just none that sync to Outlook.

    Notes: Also tricky. Companionlink puts them in your Contacts (sorted to the beginning by prefixing with a "|" and using the contacts notes field). I think this is an ugly solution, but I only care about getting my notes to my computer, not to Outlook, so I use Upvise which syncs notes to a web site, and can import existing notes that are in files. Also has a shopping list, contacts, and some other cool apps.

    If you are a Google Apps Premium user, there is a sync app that does Calendar, Contacts, Notes, and Tasks, but it is not available to Google Apps standard or non Google Apps users.

    There appears to be a need to an app that will do a direct wireline, Bluetooth, or WiFi synch to Outlook without using Google or another intermediary, and that does not seem to currently exist.

    Alan
  3. digitaldewd
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    digitaldewd New Member

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    Excellent idea for a thread.

    Techguru - I am in the same boat you are and am waiting (and willing to pay) for a 3rd party solution that I'm sure someone will address. Hopefully I don't have to write it myself... :)

    See my post here: https://supportforums.motorola.com/thread/17291

    For now, I have similar work-arounds as you, however for my Notes, I am using a program I found (on the app store) called TextEdit. It's just a simple text editor that allows me to save text files onto my SDCARD. Seems to work well.

    Of the 3rd party standalone Outlook sync apps out there in development, I have found the following that "appears" to be the most promising. They mention a beta version of the program that I'm chomping at the bit to try - but even the beta is not ready:

    http://www.markspace.com/products/android/missing-sync-android.html?source=picker_android

    Good luck - I'll check back at this thread for any updates.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009
  4. mmarino
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    mmarino New Member

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    It's funny, I was just at the Verizon store and the sales guy (young and cocky) was really confident that sync would work with the included USB cable and some included software. That does not correspond with this thread and other posts I've been reading. Right now, everything points to CompanionLink for Google. What was the guy in the Verizon store talking about?
  5. pete1230
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    pete1230 New Member

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    companion link works, use it as a trial and transfer your phone book. as far as keeping it updated, just wait...
    gtasks syncs gmail tasks with phone...no problems. download from market.
  6. SoCal65
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    SoCal65 New Member

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  7. I H8 5_0 Stangs
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    I H8 5_0 Stangs New Member

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    i'm just looking for a way to sync my college email which uses MS outlook to my phone so I get push notifications.

    i know there is a widget that says "email" and i tap it and it says enter email and password, which i do, but then what do i do?

    there are three options, POP3, IMAP, and exchange account.

    i selected exchange but dont know what to do after that.

    a little off topic but maybe someone can help me out
  8. sherri
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    sherri Member

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    Microsoft Outlook is an e-mail management system, not your e-mail internet service provider. Who is your service provider (usually what comes after the @ in your email address...)? For example, my email address is xxxxx@optonline.net so my internet service provider (ISP) is Optonline. Some use Yahoo, some use Google, there are many.

    It sounds like you don't have that set up on you phone yet. Once you tell us who it is, we can better help you. (Optonline is a POP provider. Google is IMAP...too many "unknowns" at the moment!)
  9. I H8 5_0 Stangs
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    I H8 5_0 Stangs New Member

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  10. I H8 5_0 Stangs
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    I H8 5_0 Stangs New Member

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    bump...can anyone help me out???
  11. jstbecuz
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    jstbecuz New Member

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    You're more likely to get help if you start a new thread. This thread is for standalone outlook sync issues only, not for pop/imap connectivity between Droid and an email server.
  12. ygohome
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    ygohome New Member

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    excellent thread. Looking for a solution as you describe which doesn't require gmail or google calendar. I use my current HTC Touch Pro running WinMo 6.1 and MS ActiveSync. My lil sister just got a motorola droid and now, of course, I want one too. :D

    But I absolutely must be able to perform a 2 way sync (merging phone and laptop contacts, calender, tasks and notes (i keep all of my server names, IPs, userids and pwds in those)). I need to be able to sync at least once and sometimes a couple times a day to keep my contacts and calendar up to date. Going through gmail, csv files, google calendar, etc just wouldn't be feasible.

    What is in the works so far? Can you tell us more about what is coming in December? How close do you think it will be to what I require?

    Thanks again,

    Ben


    *PS to others... lets keep this as much on topic as possible. Thanks :)
  13. bodean
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    bodean New Member

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  14. jmed99
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    jmed99 New Member

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    I just tried companionlink but it duplicated all of my contacts in outlook. Instead of syncing both google contacts and outlook contacts, it just copy each set of contacts to the other list of contacts so everything got duplicated.

    That sucks! I finally got the contacts lists fixed but I'm not going to try comanionlink again!
  15. alkaholic
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    alkaholic New Member

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    I can't have my stuff in the cloud, but the info I'm getting from The Missing Sync is giving me a warm fuzzy. They're the only one of the three companies that e-mailed me back, their solution is just what I need (although some may have problems, since while it avoids the cloud you DO seem to need both USB and WiFi connectivity for full sync), and it supports the syncing of all kinds of stuff that wasn't available on previous smartphones I've had. As soon as it betas on 2.0 I'll be on board, but I was hopi g for some feedback from somebody that's used the product on an other platform.

    Until that point I've been dealing with the note issue by sending pw protected word docs through e-mail...but it is getting old fast.

    Al
  16. ygohome
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    ygohome New Member

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    The Missing Synch does look like a good solution.

    They say they do not support Android 2.0 or Motorola Droid phones yet... but they say it will soon.

    I'll wait till they get to their version 2.0. As of now their beta doesn't sync outlook calendar... only contacts. I will watch their website closely for updates.

    Thanks!

    Ben
  17. pseyler
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    pseyler New Member

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    I don't know if you solved your problem already, but from the web address, it appears that your college is using an Exchange server. The same folks who gave you that login string can give you the username, password, etc. You enter those at the prompts.. I think there's another thread here that discusses linking with Exchange.
  18. pseyler
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    pseyler New Member

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    Regarding sync solutions - I tried companion link and found it a bit unpredictable. It pulled notes and tasks from outlook and added them to my gmail/phone account, but then the notes would show up back in outlook as new contacts. Then they would be exported back to Gmail as new contacts, and the cycle would continue. Sometimes they would appear 4 or 5 times each. If you have lots of notes, it can get ugly.
  19. JimmyD
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    JimmyD New Member

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    I'm glad I found this thread!

    I already use Google Calendar Sync to have my Outlook and Google calendars automatically synced up every 2 hours. It's working well.

    For syncing Outlook contacts, I think I'm going to give that Go Contact Sync program a try before paying for Companion Sync.

    HERE'S MY QUESTION.....
    In order to avoid duplicating contacts, would it make sense for me to:
    1) export all of my Outlook contacts into a CSV file,
    2) then import the CSV contact file into Google contacts,
    2.5) clean up all my contacts in Google that need deleting or updating
    3) then delete all of my Outlook contacts,
    4) then sync up (one way at first from Google to Outlook) using Go Contact Sync.

    That's my plan... do those steps above seem feasible?

    Any further insight or suggestions would be appreciated.
  20. pseyler
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    pseyler New Member

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    You mentioned using Google Contacts as your "master" contact list. I'd have a couple of reservations about that:
    • First, Google Contacts don't separate first and last name. For the life of me I can't figure out why they would build in such an obvious limitation. The Droid native contacts app DOES have first and last name fields, but when you pass your contacts through Google, they get merged unreliably. Then when they get to Outlook, if you correct them, they sometimes get passed back as a new contact and voila, you have two contacts for the same person.
    • There are other fields in the Outlook contact (Birthdays, etc.) that don't exist in the Gmail contact. I'm not quite ready to kiss that information goodbye, or have it dumped in some "miscellaneous" field where I can't get it back.
    Good luck
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