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Outlook add-in 2.1 useless for Pocket PC sync!??

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  • Outlook add-in 2.1 useless for Pocket PC sync!??

    Well, I got excited about this Outlook add-in, but I was wondering how the thing handles syncing with the PDA. I'm really dissappointed. Projects show up as Tasks with the category "project" checked. Tasks that are associated with projects lose that association on the PDA. And I don't know what happens to Subprojects. They just seem to dissappear! Am I doing something wrong or is this software really this stupidly written? (NB I'm using an Axim x5 with WM2003 and Pocket Informant--latest version).

    The solution looks like getting rid of the add in and just doing everything with categories. I think manually tweaking Outlook is probably the way to go for PDA users. This software is poorly thought out in my opinion. It's also fairly buggy. I noticed this within minutes of playing with it. What ever happened to the concept of beta testing?


  • #2
    Whoa ! hold on there ........... I"m also a ppc user that wishes it would work with the add-in but I think you're being a bit unfair with NetCentrics .

    First of all , you can't just add things to the outlook [that's why it's called an add-in ] and expect it to sync perfectly with a pda , this is not NetCentrics fault !

    Microsoft makes no allowances for any add-on features to sync with Pocket Outlook , you mentioned you use Pocket Informant [so do I ] ,

    if you check, you'll see that the ABC priorities and the hierarchical tasks [which are PI features ] don't transfer over to your outlook desktop [because those features don't exist in outlook ]

    It still has it's bugs but it's actually a very well written piece of software that accomplishes it's purpose very well .

    It's Micro$oft that you want to be pointing that flame at : )
    They need to allow more freedom to programmers with the pocket outlook features. You can have 20zillion features in a desktop program or a ppc program but if there's no provision for the data to sync with pocket outlook databases via Active Sync ...then you can't have it in both places


    • #3
      Fair enough that PI's priorities don't sync, and Outlook has limitations. However, would it really be that difficult to automatically have the add-in assign the project and subproject as a category? Is this a limitation of Outlook? I disagree. I could do it manually. If it can be done manually it could be thought through and added to the plugin. Why do they say in their manual that it's syncable with your PDA? In the manual they write that "Since the next action is also stored in the task category, if you use a PDA that syncs with outlook categories, you may manage your tasks using the PDA as well". What they fail to say is that your tasks will no longer be categorized as projects or subprojects, indeed these will just show up as tasks (in the case of projects) and just disappear (in the case of subprojects)! How hard must it be to assign projects to categories too? I suppose one work around is to just ignore the projects/subprojects part of the addin and add them as categories, but it will mess up your filtering. This is hardly a well thought out add-in from the point of view of a PDA user. Obvious bugs (obvious on the first perusal) are not acceptable for a $70 USD addin in my view.


      • #4
        Calm down!

        A few points:

        a) Your PPC has limitations which give it significantly less functionality than desktop outlook. This is purely a Micro$oft issue. If the PPC did not have these limitations, you would be happier.

        b) Other things which sync with Outlook, such as Palms, iPods (new feature!), cell phones have their own limitations which are different from ppc's. Palms only have 15 categories, for example. So a "solution" which works for ppc's would not work for these other devices (which outnumber ppc's).

        c) The problem of connecting next actions to projects is problematic, and has received a lot of discussion here and elsewhere. It's hard, and what works for one does not work for another. I have tried mixing contexts and project names in the category. Since I might have 40 or more projects and around 12 contexts, this leads to a long list of items to look at when assigning categories. Others have made this work, but I couldn't. Furthermore, the master category list is maintained in the registry, and does not support changing the name of a category- a stupid microsoft design decision, imho. This makes it essentially impossible to rename a category.

        Although I do not use the add-in right now, it is a very reasonable product for people who are near one pc most of the day, use outlook, and handle a lot of email. It might not fit your needs.


        • #5
          I too am looking for something a system that would synchronise between Outlook and Pocket Informant (on a pocket pc). I was considering asking about the GTD add-in, but this thread has basically answered my question.

          I love the functionality and customizeability of Pocket Informatnt. Then I look at Outlook, and sigh. I gather that the Add-in is not going to be the solution.


          • #6
            I created a macro to add the project field to the category field by pressing a button.


            P.S. I posted it on the netcentrics add-in forum


            • #7
              Originally posted by djblois
              I created a macro to add the project field to the category field by pressing a button.


              P.S. I posted it on the netcentrics add-in forum
              Hi djblois,
              Can you please provide a link to the post you're referring to? For whatever reason, i can't seem to find it.


              • #8
                Here is the link



                • #9
                  Thanx for this post. I tried the macro and it works great. I'm wondering if you're going to write one for subprojects or are you not using that field? Thanx again.


                  • #10
                    I haven't tried it yet, but plan to shortly.
                    thanks for the link & the tip.


                    • #11
                      New Version

                      I just wrote a new version that will do 2 things differently:

                      1) It will now add subprojects also to the category field
                      2) It won't delete any categories you have assigned in the category field already.

                      This macro should work in appointments, tasks, or journals. As I learn more about VBA, I will be adding more functionality. So if anybody has any ideas please post them. The next things I will be working on adding is:

                      1) Have the macro add the project and subprojects automatically
                      2) I will also be taking a crack at adding a project and subproject field to email, and contacts. I don't think I will be able to access the GTD databases for these fields but I might be able to set up a separate drop down box that you can reenter the projects and subprojects.