Synchronization without Microsoft Exchange
I only wish this article offered you a solution to the problem at hand. Rather, it is a plea to those in the tech community to help the world find a solution when Microsoft Exchange is out of our reach.
The Benefits of Microsoft Exchange
The combination of Outlook 2007, Windows Mobile 5.0 with Outlook, and Exchange Server makes a seamless, problem free e-mail and calendar and task and contact management system.
When I add a contact to my phone, shazaam! It appears in Outlook. When I delete a message from Outlook, whabang! Away it goes on my phone. If I create an appointment in Outlook, bizong! It’s on my phone. Computer crashed? No problem, you could try these out or just reconnect to Exchange and everything is there, except for personal preferences and signatures/stationery.
Exchange just makes my life without a day planner excellent. I never forget anything. Take that away and what do we have?
What Replaces Exchange for the Individual Business Owner?
I haven’t figured it out yet. I abhor POP3. I hate downloading multiple copies of my messages on different devices. If I’ve read a message once, I don’t want it to remain unread in some other mail client. I want it to be marked read on the server.
IMAP seems like it’s a great solution, but it doesn’t handle Calendar, Task, and Contact folders, so I’m back to manually synchronizing my phone to my computer(s) and at risk of generating duplicate information. What to do? Not to mention Outlook repeatedly crashes when I have it connected via IMAP to my hosting provider. They’ve even come up with an application that runs as an add-on to Outlook that synchronizes Calendar, Task, and Contact folders. The problem with this is that it’s yet another application I have to manage, and if I have a large number of contacts, it bogs the whole process down.
The synchronization tool even works on my mobile phone under windows, but again, it’s slower than crap, and I have to repeatedly manually initiate the synchronization.
So, this is a plea to all of you out there who know better than I. I would love to maintain an Exchange Server hosted account, but I haven’t found one that won’t cost me more than it needs to, and unless I have my own server, I really have no creative control over how e-mail is managed on that server. With that, I resort to something else, that I hope you can help me with.
My Treo 700W has turned out to be a pile of junk. It’s missing 5 screws, which hold the phone together, and Verizon has offered no solution to fix the defect. The phone crashes daily, won’t ring every time, and delivers messages a day late. I find the iPhone to be the best bet, but AT&T service in this area is 10-years ago spotty, according to some of my friends.
I’m not sure why Google hasn’t solved this problem, and perhaps they have and I just haven’t stumbled upon the solution, nor the time to figure it out.
So my question is this:
If I have an iPhone and a PC, what tools are the best to use for e-mail, calendars, contacts, and tasks that will automatically synchronize without connecting directly to the computer and without using bluetooth? When I add a contact to my iPhone (which I don’t have yet) I need that contact to show up on my computer and vice versa.
The key here is automation. Does anyone have any thoughts on the best setup, or perhaps just insight on how you manage all of your inbound and outbound information?
I may just bite the bullet and move my MX record to a hosted exchange account provider…yish. Any advice would greatly be appreciated.
Thanks for stopping by!