In the past 5 years, I have worked in environments using Microsoft Outlook, Novell Groupwise, and Lotus Notes. I find Groupwise and Notes as e-mail clients to be substantially inferior to Outlook from the user’s viewpoint, so I struggle with why their back office benefits outweigh usability when they’re just used for e-mail? Unfortunately, as the end user, I use what is installed on the desktop and currently it is Notes. My latest challenge was how to get my Lotus calendar so that I could view it on both my Palm T|X that I nearly always carry with me, and on Google Calendar where I like to have a backup.
There are applications that will sync from Notes to Palm, of course. We use mNotes to synchronize Palm OS devices to our system. It works for most content – not e-mail or … notes! But I can take my calendar and tasks with me, and that’s really all I want to have on my Palm.
Google Calendar is a great resource because (a) I can build it into my iGoogle page, (b) it’s a nice little online calendar, and (c) I can share it. But I didn’t want to use workarounds to get it to show my Notes / Palm content. One that I saw while perusing the Web was to export each item from the Palm Desktop, and import them individually to Google. Too much work.
A program called Companionlink offers an option to synchronize a Palm to Google for $29.95. But my attempts at using their trial version didn’t work so well – and I noticed that it did something to my hotsync that caused some strange results. If you’re looking for a sync tool to replace Palm’s hotsync, you might still want to take a look at it.
I ended up with Goosync by Toffa Inc., which grabs your Palm calendar and synchronizes it with your Google Calendar. First, it’s $29.95 cheaper than Companionlink and, second, I can sync from anywhere with an Internet connection (as opposed to Companionlink, which required an install on a PC, which was never going to happen at my office due to IS restrictions). It was easy to set up and it worked like a charm. My Palm T|X makes a wi-fi connection, hits the Goosync server, and it passes on the information to my Google Calendar. My needs are simple – I’m only syncing to Google Calendar, not both ways, and I don’t have complex or multiple Google Calendars – so this might not work for everyone. But kudos to Goosync for having such a straightforward way to get information from a Palm to Google.