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GTD Newbie + Outlook + BlackBerry

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  • GTD Newbie + Outlook + BlackBerry

    Hi. I just finished reading GTD and I'm ready to start! I already use a desktop version of Outlook and use it primarily for contacts, calendar and notes but I want to take my info on the road in digital form. I use Gmail and Yahoo for my email. I'm ready to purchase a BlackBerry but have no idea which model syncs best with Outlook. My carrier is Verizon (only one with good coverage in this area). Any help/advice would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance for your time.

    p.s. Forgot to mention that I am a small business owner (self employed) so I'd be using a handheld Blackberry and not a company server network. From some of the research I did yesterday online I read that BB's don't sync well with handhelds as they do with a company server network. Is that true?
    Last edited by defragged; 02-06-2008, 10:10 AM. Reason: Included p.s. note

  • #2

    I too am a small-business owner (consultant) using BlackBerry on Verizon Wireless. BlackBerry and Outlook always worked fine together for me. I prefer a model with a full keyboard as opposed to the Pearl's smaller keyboard with predictive text, but YMMV. I've read that all models sync with Outlook equally well.

    You have a couple of options re: connectivity:

    The least expensive way is to sync Outlook manually and use Blackberry's free BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS). You can set it to collect mail from up to 10 email accounts. One downside is that there's a delay in mail arriving on your BlackBerry. The delay varies but it can be several minutes. Another is having to manually sync.

    The option I favor is to subscribe to a hosted BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). There are several options out there including ExchangeMyMail and Link2Exchange, both of which I've used. It's an extra $25/mo., but it allows you to keep Outlook and your BlackBerry always in sync wirelessly. Email to your BlackBerry arrives instantaneously. Changes made in Outlook appear on your BlackBerry in seconds and vice versa.

    This will work if you have an email address for which you control the domain. It won't work with Gmail and Yahoo mail directly. Once it is set up, you can automatically forward your Gmail and your Yahoo mail to your hosted exchange server account. This is what I do.

    For more information, search - that's where I learned what I know.

    Hope this helps!

    - Jon


    • #3
      WOW Jon! Thanks for the reply. It was exactly what I wanted to know and I too am a consultant. One more questions ... which BlackBerry do you have? I'm leaning toward the Global model with Verizon wireless simply because of the bigger keyboard and screen. The cost for the phone and monthly fee is not a deciding factor for me.


      • #4
        I've got the 8703e, but I'd get the one you're thinking of. The trackball on the 8830 has got to be better than the trackwheel on the 8703e. Over time the trackwheel on the 8703e has gotten a little sloppy. It's slightly annoying, but I'll hold off and replace mine in July taking advantage of VzW's "new every two" discount in combination with BlackBerry's buy back offer, if it's still available then.

        - Jon


        • #5
          Hi Jon. Thanks for the help.... here's the situation now... I think I have a mess ... just got my 8830 over the weekend. Love it but want to use it to sync with Outlook for calendar, contacts, tasks and notes. (I don't use Outlook for email, btw.) Problem is I have Outlook 2003/Windows XP on my desktop and Outook 2007/Vista on my fairly new Dell laptop E1405 (not much else on it!). I can't get Outlook 2003 or 2007 to run on Vista ... tried both ... extremely high CPU usage (running Outlook in safe mode works fine). Sorry ... I know these are OT questions... any idea why Outlook 2003 nor 2007 will run on my E1405 Inspiron Dell laptop except for in safe mode? I have nothing else on it. And can I sync the BES services with both versions of Outlook without data corruption or errors? Maybe I need to uninstall 2007 from the laptop and reinstall 2003 so everything is the same?


          • #6

            Can't advise re: Outlook on Vista machine - I stayed w/ XP after hearing so many Vista complaints.

            Re: syncing BES w/ Outlook on more than one computer ... I don't think it should be a problem, but that's a question best asked to BES host tech.

            Re: not using Outlook for email ... if you auto-forward your Yahoo/Gmail incoming messages to the email address for your hosted BES account, those forwarded messages will show up in Outlook. You can process them there or only process it on your BlackBerry.

            I'm not an expert on this, but I don't think you can keep your Yahoo or Gmail mailboxes in sync with your hosted BES account. If someone knows of a way to do so and shares it, I may learn something new. I only process mail in my BES mailbox. With all mail forwarded there, I can't remember the last time I actually opened any of my other mailboxes.

            Hope this helps.

            - Jon