Syncing Outlook Data to iPhone and Android

NOTE:  I posted this article in March of 2012.  Many things have changed, and I don’t think there is much risk of losing your Outlook data anymore.  But in case you are the cautious type…

I came across an interesting article in my tweet stream recently, written by the fine folks at Priacta.  It was a cautionary tale about syncing Microsoft Outlook (for Windows) data with iPhone and Android.  Since I discuss this with clients all the time, what I read there made me nervous. Before you get to his post, I’d like to say for the record that this has never happened to me, nor to any of my clients as far as I know. For information about syncing Outlook Tasks with your iPhone (without an Exchange server) read this post. However since other people have had a negative experience, I think it is important to consider that there are risks to attempting to sync Outlook.  I’ve found the sync from Outlook to iPhone to be rather seamless if you are using an Exchange server.  In my experience, the tasks automatically populate to the Reminders app.  And if you don’t like the view in Reminders, IMExchange2 has worked great for my clients.  The app is free but the sync service costs $7.99 the last time I checked.  I’ve also found it very straightforward to sync Outlook tasks with Blackberry. For syncing Outlook tasks with Android, I suggest you check out CompanionLink from DejaOffice.   There are many efficiencies to be gained by storing your data all in one program, such as the ease in Outlook of creating a task from an email.  However an inability to view your tasks on your smartphone certainly negates any of these advantages, and Nate from Priacta describes some benefits of going outside Outlook for your task management.  He also discusses backing up your PST data, and if you aren’t currently doing that, you can find a how-to video here.  You can also find advice about picking the right electronic tools in Chapters 6 and 7 of my upcoming book. I unfortunately do not have a direct line to Microsoft, Apple, or any app developer mentioned here, so I can’t do much in the way of tech support, but my intention is to provide you with as much information as possible so that you can be prudent and take all necessary precautions when syncing your devices.  Thanks for reading, and thanks to Nate at Priacta for being willing to share his post! A note to Microsoft – if you have anything helpful to add, I will happily update this post with your comments. Read the cautionary tale about syncing Outlook data with smartphones:

Help! Outlook lost all my data!

 

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Comments

  1. Having read this I thought it was rather informative.

    I appreciate you taking the time and energy to
    put this content together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of
    time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still
    worth it!

  2. Thank you so much – I had been using toodledo to sync my outlook tasks but was having issues and deleted it and the necessary syncing software from my laptop. Little did I know that the software was no longer in existence!

    I spent a long time online trying to find a solution that was both seamless (number one priority) and inexpensive.

    I just downloaded imExchange2 and now my outlook tasks are finally back on my iphone – woo hoo!

    The feature I like best is that I can view tasks from most recently modified.

    Regards, Michele

  3. Great post and very informative. Outlook is great application and business professionals love it. Not only it has all the emailing capabilities but manages your personal information as well. Exchange users if want to migrate to Outlook, they can do it easily by converting Exchange EDB to PST. Third party tools such as Stellar Phoenix EDB to PST Converter can help convert the entire database to Outlook.

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