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Old 04-16-2008, 02:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Just jumped from Palm to BB: omigosh, there's no desktop PIM!

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As a Palm user for eight years, I have tolerated increasingly poor hardware (my Treo 700 was a better doorstop than telephone) because I was so dependent on Palm's desktop calendar and contacts. For the phone itself, I used a Palm-based aftermarket PIM software called DateBook5, which provided a sophisticated system for calendar alarms and time management.

I concluded that the End is near for Palm, and took the plunge a week ago: I now own a BB 8830 WE and a two-year Verizon contract. The good news: for the first time in years, my cell phone will actually make phone calls predictably and without drops! The bad news: there is no desktop management for my contacts or calendar, and the BB handheld PIM system seems rudimentary at best.

Now I am in the ludicrous and embarrassing position of carrying around my old, deactivated clunker of a Palm Treo so that I can turn it on, check my appointments, and look up phone numbers ... then place the calls on my Blackberry. Unless I am missing something major, I need to A) get my Palm contacts and calendar loaded onto the BB, and B) buy a third-party PIM software tool so that I can view my calendar and contacts on the desktop, and, hopefully, have a more robust system of alarms and calendar management on the BB itself.

From reading the forums I can tell that I need to first convert the Palm data to Outlook. This scares me, as it's years of data I'm dealing with, but I will work up the courage and do it. But when I finish, and convert everything to BB, I will still need to buy some good PIM software.

Price is really no object: I need a good, user-friendly program so that I can continue to function at work and at home. If I cannot find one, I fear I will have to abandon the BB world and return to the (dying) Palm system.

I will be very grateful for suggestions.

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Old 04-16-2008, 02:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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why not use outlook
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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As Sith suggested, OUTLOOK. I have had it on my computer for years but have never used it. I had an hp200lx palmtop which had a desktop version of the built-in pim and used that. When I switched cell phones and "organizers" in Jan, I found I needed something for the desktop. Outlook was there.

I'm not sure that I like Outlook all that much but it does work.
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (life goes on! yes it is tough)

Do you dislike outlook that much?
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The outlook organizer and the BB organizer are nearly identical.
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The BB can also sync with yahoo calender, note, contacts and task
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Outlook Contacts should work fine, I agree. But the Palm (and the aftermarket DB4 program) let me assign icons to my calendar, view my schedule in six different views (month, week, etc), assign icons to different future events, create templates for frequent calendar events, color-code my on-call schedule (am a surgeon with a very complex, multi-site schedule), set alarms for each meeting, create "Floating to-do's (in which I was reminded to do a task every morning until I checked it off), etc, etc, etc.

Will Outlook allow me to do all that, both on the BB and on the desktop?

Thanks again for the expertise.
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjb89 View Post
Outlook Contacts should work fine, I agree. But the Palm (and the aftermarket DB4 program) let me assign icons to my calendar, view my schedule in six different views (month, week, etc), assign icons to different future events, create templates for frequent calendar events, color-code my on-call schedule (am a surgeon with a very complex, multi-site schedule), set alarms for each meeting, create "Floating to-do's (in which I was reminded to do a task every morning until I checked it off), etc, etc, etc.

Will Outlook allow me to do all that, both on the BB and on the desktop?

Thanks again for the expertise.
The Palm was a PDA, and I think you're hoping to achieve the same functionality from your BlackBerry... which is most certainly NOT a PDA.

The BlackBerry is in a whole different category. It's a mobile email device first, and everything else is pretty much secondary. You get a pretty decent phone and very basic PIM functions.

While the BlackBerry is always improving and evolving, I'd still say it's PIM features are in their infancy.
Only recently is has the BlackBerry started to support multiple calendars and color-tagging, etc.
Very new to the BlackBerry world.

On the other hand, Outlook is full-featured, and you should have no problem adjusting to it.

I think you'll enjoy your BlackBerry experience much more if you try harder to NOT compare it to your old Palm. Hopefully the BlackBerry ends up suiting your needs and you don't need to revert back to your other device.
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Check out PocketDay...PocketDay
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Sage advice from Penguin. Markedly different from that of the Verizon rep, who excitedly explained that I would have all the same functionality from a BB, just sign the two-year contract here... (I know, only fools believe everything a cellular company rep says).

PocketDay is intruiging ... well-reviewed on Handango and other sites.

I think step one is to get data from Palm to Outlook, then ride that horse for a while. Then perhaps PocketDay.
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:03 AM   #11 (permalink)
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As someone who went down a fairly similar path, I think that you will find the conversion from Palm PIM on the desktop to Outlook to be fairly simple and free of headaches. A little bit of an adjustment, but not huge.

On the handheld, however, as Penguin points out, you won't have quite the flexibility -- especially with regard to color coding. That may change in the future.
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:30 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I had a Palm Zire for all my contacts and calendar functions and had no problem setting it up with outlook and then syncing it to my BB. I also missed some of the PDA functions that Palm had compared to BB, but the functionality of everything else trumps some minor adjusting to my calendar views on my Curve
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Moving your data from the Palm to Outlook is easy, I've done it. I also carried my T|C with me for the first year that I had my BB. Another option COMING is Agendus by Iambic. They have recently posted that they are about to go into Beta with a BB porting of their software.
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Old 04-19-2008, 01:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I hear you, rjb89. Years ago I moved from a Palm PDA (and DateBook4) to a Windows PDA (and Agenda Fusion). I do not require the communication or browsing tools BB purists use. After some research and consideration I bought a BB Curve, which I like a lot: (1) Hands-down it is the best mobile phone I have owned. And, (2) it allows taking with me all my PDA data, which is somewhat hefty, in a single small device. My use is more on the PDA side, but hated the prospect of carrying 2 devices with me. That being said:

On the desktop side: The move from Palm Desktop to MS Outlook may take some getting used to, but should not be a big deal. In my view Palm Desktop was more flexible, while Outlook tends to be more database like. Both work.

RIM has done a great job with its syncing software. For Contacts, my Win PDA sync on a contact-by-contact basis. BBs sync on a contact field-by-field basis. MSís approach is on the safe side, yet somewhat error prone. RIMís approach is certainly thorough and has not failed me (so far). Please note that I have a 1600+ contact database.

On the handheld side: Considering where you come from, you may be disappointed. There are no PIMs like DateBook in the BB world. (With this I mean a single app integrating Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Notes.)

As said, the BB is not a PDA. I would amplify this as the BB not being a dedicated PDA. The native PIM apps are simpler than Palm or Win counterparts, but serve their purpose for what is primarily a communications device. Now, its OS is flexible enough to allow/create 3rd party apps.

I bought and use PocketDay. Please note that it is a Today-screen type app and not a full-fledged PIM. Regardless of that it adds to/integrates the functionality of the native BB PIM apps in a single package. I find it useful (I am only an end user, BTW). You can download a 30-day demo and test it yourself.

Lastly, Pocket Informant for the BB, a well-respected PIM in the Win PDA world, is in private beta testing at this writing. I look forward to acquiring and using this app once it is available , even if in public beta: For all the apps I owned/used in my Win PDA, this is the type I miss the most.

I hope this helps.

Last edited by Technocracy : 04-19-2008 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Good stuff all around.

Same situation...

I had been carrying my T5 with me, as I missed DB5 and Agendus. My biggest gripe is recurring tasks. Also, I do miss the Palm Desktop, as I had come to rely on it very much.

Having said that, I am quite happy with my curve, and I'll be giving Outlook a try. The missing piece would be a task manager application with my precious recurring functionality.
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Old 04-25-2008, 06:08 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Tre - I'm not sure what you might be looking for with the task manager but if you check out IdeaMatrix or Todomatrix at www.Rexwirless.com. That might give you something you need.
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Old 04-25-2008, 11:44 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Tre, Agendus for BB is being developed and it is to launch on 07/15/08. Check the following links, respectively:
Agendus for BlackBerry - iambic Community Forums

Agendus for BlackBerry: Development Underway
Additionally, Pocket Informant for BB remains in private beta and is apparently improving. WebIS has not stated a launch date to avoid disappointing customers:
WebIS, Inc. Forums -> Alex's Blog
With 2 renowned Pocket PC PIMs moving into the BB OS, the coming months will be interesting times indeed.
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Old 05-08-2008, 06:40 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Some pictures of Pocket Informant for BB:

WebIS, Inc. Forums -> Alexxxx39;s Blog
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Old 05-11-2008, 09:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Iambic Agendus

Finally... mid June for the beta release of Agendus for BB.

Features you'd really like to see in Agendus for Blackberry thread - iambic Community Forums
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Old 05-14-2008, 08:46 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Pocketcopy

You should try Pocketcopy Copy Palm Desktop data into Outlook Contacts, Calendar, Tasks and Notes with PocketCopy. to transfer your PALM PIM data to Outlook first.
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