Keeping In Sync


Lots of phonesLike many web workers, one of my challenges is keeping my data in sync between the various devices and apps that I use. I stopped using my Palm (s palm) handheld over a year ago, but I’ve continued to use the Palm Desktop application, because it’s one of the easiest-to-use and most mobile-friendly applications ever, even though I now have a BlackBerry (s rimm). Finding a solution that can keep my data in sync between Palm Desktop, my BlackBerry and the other apps that I use has been difficult.

For a while, I’d sync Outlook (s msft) and Palm Desktop, and then Outlook would update the BlackBerry (I didn’t actually use Outlook at all, it just acted as the middleman). It worked great. But then my dependence on Google Calendar  (s goog) grew, because I could access it from any computer as well as my BlackBerry, and it wouldn’t work with my sync setup.

I investigated many tools and synchronization applications to find a perfect sync solution. I didn’t want to use lots of different applications to syncing needs.

The almost perfect solution was to find a dedicated synchronization app. Mine comes from CompanionLink. This method cuts out Outlook for good. CompanionLink now has a Google edition available that synchronizes all of Palm Desktop’s features with Google, too. For updating my BlackBerry, I use Google Sync for Mobile. It’s still not perfect, but it works and I can access and update my information in Google or Palm, while my BlackBerry just has access to the information.

If you’re struggling to find the perfect syncing app, here are some options (some free and some paid):

  • Chapura: PocketMirror has been around for a long time, and syncs Palms with Outlook. Its Echo and PocketMirror work with Palm Pre.
  • CompanionLink: Syncs Google, Palm Pre, ACT!, LotusNotes, Outlook and many others.
  • Google Sync: free Google syncing applications for Mac, Linux, Android and others.
  • gSyncit: Syncs Outlook and Gmail.
  • Mark/Space: Sync apps for Macs (s aapl).
  • Sync’Em: Connects Macs with Exchange and Outlook.

How do you keep your data in sync?

Photo credit: djwudi


Paul Barrow

Crossing platforms between Mac and PC has always made my syncing life difficult. Just this year I made changes in order to get away from Microsoft Small Business exchange server and migrate to Google aps. Email was pretty easy, docs are still challenging. But my big epiphany and motivation toward Google was simplifying and syncing voice mail with Google Voice. It ROCKS! If you’re interested watch this video:

Rhonda Burgin

My issue is getting my database (Sugar) to my Blackberry. Currently I have to go to Outlook, sync with Sugar, then go to Blackberry Desktop and sync to my phone. Does anyone know if there is a better way, I hate Outlook and would prefer not to use as the middle man.

Meryl Evans

Worm, great pointer. Yahoo fans will be happy to see that.

Lisa, good to meet another Palm fan. Have had at least four Palms starting with the Palm Pilot. Let us know how it works out with Remember the Milk.

Toby, Mac users will appreciate another option. Always good to have choices as we all have our preferences (me especially).


I’ve been a Palm user for nearly a decade. I now have the Palm Pre and it is perfect for keeping my Outlook, Palm and Google calendars synced automatically. I also use Evernote to track my to-do lists and other documents and web content that I might need access to anywhere. Power to the cloud!

I just signed to try RememberTheMilk to see if that is even better for task management. We’ll see!

Meryl Evans

Mark, would you believe? CompanionLink has worked for me all this time — then yesterday, it corrupted my Palm calendar (the rest is fine) and I can’t get it working. Not even importing saved calendars works. I’ve submitted a tech support request. We’ll see what happens. It must’ve been waiting for me to do this post so I’d look bad! :)

Nancy, ah! Good to know Mobile Me works and it’s good for something. I don’t like using iPod/iPhone as an organizer because it doesn’t have a desktop data entry app (Outlook doesn’t count).

John and Jody, thanks for mentioning Goosync.

Koen, hadn’t come across Funambol — thanks for posting.

Aymeric, many will be happy to hear your process works for PCs and Macs.


Don’t bother with CompanionLink.

I used it hoping to sync my Palm and with Google calendar and contacts. The trial worked fine, but once I registered ($30), for some reason, it made a mess out of my contact database (we’re talking HOURS to clean it up). Just creating duplicate entries would be bad, but it intermittently altered and scrambled contents of individual contacts.

CompanionLink support was responsive and really tried to help but this product just did not work.

Meryl Evans

CompanionLink update: I received a reply to download a new version. I just ran it and everything’s right with the information world again. So contact CompanionLink. Really — I’ve had no problems and when I do, it’s fixed within 48 hours.

Aymeric Marlange

I use Google sync for calendar and contacts. And for keeping documents synced and backed up between my computers (mac & pc) and device (iPhone). Works automatically in the bacground.



I use Funambol ( to sync my Calendar and contacts.

John Sembrot

Google paradigm for me, and I am using Goosync. pay service, with it’s own database, or Googles, and some other features. The key for me is OTA sync for my Symbian S60 v3 device. Supports lots of phones and mobile OS’s.

Nancy Nally

I have an iPhone and a MacBook. I just finally last week subscribed to Mobile Me largely for the data syncing convenience. I can’t believe how much easier it is to have my data synced immediately without having to plug in and sync!

Comments are closed.