For the last 10+ years, I have used a standalone Windows-based PIM called Time & Chaos on my work PC to track my work and personal contact and calendar data. About 5 years ago, I picked up a Palm and got it synced with my PIM. All was well with the world. Then, a year or two ago I got a Mac. And I got a Razr V3. I learned the joys of Bluetooth address book syncing between the Razr and iCal. Life was pretty good. And then my office started using Outlook, and I realized that I really needed to have my contact and calendar data there too (the work-related stuff, at least).
So now if I have a work-related entry, I enter it twice — once into my old PIM, and once into Outlook. (If it’s a personal entry, I don’t want to put it into Outlook because our Outlook data can be shared and I don’t know enough yet about Outlook to assure myself that my personal stuff won’t get shown all over the office network.) If I get new contact data for someone, I may be punching it in three times: once into my cell phone, once into my Palm or my old PIM, and once into Outlook.
I would love to make better use of Google Calendars and my Mac’s Address Book and iCal, too, but it feels like I’m in too deep already. I am drowning in contact and calendar apps.
Hasn’t somebody come up with a way to get all this stuff to work together yet? I would love to simplify things so that I have my contact and calendar data on: (1) Outlook on my work Windows PC, (2) iCal/Address Book on my home Mac, and (3) whatever my mobile device uses, so that work and home and mobile all get synced.
Speaking of mobile devices… my Razr has served me well but the 2-year contract is almost up. And my Palm is nice and solid, but Palm the company seems like a sinking ship these days. I have been thinking hard about jumping to a phone with PDA features as well. The Treo used to hold my attention, but now the iPhone’s siren song calls! My only reservations are (1) the cost, (2) the cost, (3) the cost, and (4) the certainty that I will need to look stuff up while I am on the phone, and how the hell do you do that anyway if you’ve only got one device?
Maybe Google Calendars is the glue that I need to hold all this stuff together. Web 2.0, take me away from all this!