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Old 02-16-2005, 03:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help - Outlook is painful after using Palm software

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I have a BB7100 replacing my Palm.
I work as an auto broker and with my Palm was able to maintain a client "Hot List", on one screen client contact info and their buy and sell vehicle info.
BB forces me to use Outlook and cannot accomodate the buy/sell info except on the 4th screen. This destroys the usefulness of the BB.
Can anyone suggest/recommend software or an Outlook fix that would allow me to have a single screen summary?
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Old 02-16-2005, 03:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You can make it one-click! The best way to pull this off is to:
  1. Upgrade to Outlook 2003
  2. Configure the sidebar to display list of "Current Views"
  3. Create a You can have the same contact in multiple categories, so you can have have a "Hot List" category in addition to your regular category.
  4. Create Custom Views that displays lists by category.
    View -> Arrange By -> Current View -> Define Views -> "New..."
    Make one that lists all your "Host List" contacts in either a Card view or Table view.
  5. Now you've got one-click access to your custom contact lists, just by clicking a custom view in the left sidebar.
I used to use Palm Desktop before Outlook a few years ago. It was painful at first for me, but now I wouldn't go back to Palm Desktop!

I have custom versions of the "Detailed Address Card" views:
"Detailed - Business"
"Detailed - Family"
"Detailed - Personal"
"Detailed - Services"
"Detailed - Intercity"
etc.

That gives me one-click access to custom Detailed Access Cards view that is limited to a specific category, for business versus personal purposes. The exact same principle can be used for your "Hot List" contacts! If you prefer a table-view, you can make a copy of the "By Category" table view, and limit it to a specific category, such as your Hot List contacts.

The use of custom fields (buy/sell info) can be displayed on the first screen via using the table view instead (easy way to do it), or by creating a custom Outlook form (this is more work though, but you can customize the layout of the form via Tools -> Forms -> Design A Form...)

Thusly, the addition/removal of an existing contact to a Hot List becomes a simple procedure of right-clicking a contact and selecting "Categories..."
;)

Problem solved, I hope? Yes, this is a pain to configure at first, if you are a first-time Outlook user. Palm Desktop and Outlook is so different, the learning curve is painful. It's definitely not user friendly for the first-time Palm Desktop user. But it gets better from here, if you give it a chance.

The bottom line, is Outlook can be configured for easy "Hot List" and for displaying your custom fields on the first screen (or as re-arrangeable columns in a table/spreadsheet-style list view -- with one-click access to this custom view)
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Old 02-16-2005, 06:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Amen! I still miss Palm desktop and hotsync sometimes, fortunately Outlook 2003 is so much better than past versions makes it easier to live without Palm.
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Sometimes I wonder how great it could have been if the Vx era Palm had successfully made Blackberries and didn't later split-up the company. Just imagine... Blackberry functionality with Palm Vx style and quality.

While there are no perfect solutions, my Berry comes close.
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Old 02-17-2005, 02:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Mark,

I have a question about your suggestion though. In setting up the BB to work with Outlook, I found that creating Custom Forms for Contacts is good and all, but if you want to sync that Custom form to your device, (BB, PALM, PP, etc) it wont let you. In my diggings, I came to the understanding that when you are syncing Outlook to any of these devices, it is syncing the form "IPM.Contact". But once you create a custom form, then you it uses "IPM.Contact.xxxx", and so then it no longer syncs. Have you found this too? But yes, to create a custom view in table view with the custom fields that you want to display is a great idea though. Custom forms to sync with your device is the question though.

The other thing is, when syncing the BB to Outlook, i found that when you are configuring the Field Mapping, the BB custom fields are mapped to Miscellaneous...User 1, User 2, etc. Then if you try to rename User 1 to something else, it wont let you. If you know how to rename User 1 to a different name, that would be great! Also, in the field mapping section of BB Desktop Manager, the custom named fields of Outlook do not show up there, just User 1, User 2, etc, so it wont let me map it that way either to the custom fields on the BB. So i hope this all makes sense, i would appreciate your input. I have been working with Don (the person who originally posted the question) on this, and these are the road blocks that we have come across. Thank you Mark.

Simon
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Old 02-17-2005, 06:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbym
Amen! I still miss Palm desktop and hotsync sometimes, fortunately Outlook 2003 is so much better than past versions makes it easier to live without Palm.
_________________________

Sometimes I wonder how great it could have been if the Vx era Palm had successfully made Blackberries and didn't later split-up the company. Just imagine... Blackberry functionality with Palm Vx style and quality.

While there are no perfect solutions, my Berry comes close.
Palm quality. I will let that one go (I am thinking about the numerous and beloved "hacks" which make the device unstable).

Perhaps you need to wait for the BlackBerry Connect program, where the RIM e-mail software will be incorporated with the Palm hardware and software. The RIM Personal Information Management software may not be right for you.
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Old 02-17-2005, 07:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm currently struggling with the transition and learning a lot along the way. I REALLY wanted to do a direct import of the palm databases into Outlook and couldn't figure out any simple way to do it. (They all involved buying third-party software to convert the file a couple times to make it "importable".) It took me a couple days to figure out that only the root "Contacts" folder information comes across. This required me to merge all the contacts I had in Outlook subfolders into "Contacts". Come to mention it, conversion from Outlook Express to Outlook kind of sucked too. Funny that Outlook doesn't include a .wab extension in its import options. I'm still trying to figure out how I can get a copy of my "Sent" BB emails back into Outlook, along with a few other things. (I'm sure most of this stuff is obvious to more experienced users that actually take the time to read instructions!)
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Old 02-18-2005, 09:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBlackBerry
Quote:
Originally Posted by robbym
Amen! I still miss Palm desktop and hotsync sometimes, fortunately Outlook 2003 is so much better than past versions makes it easier to live without Palm.
_________________________

Sometimes I wonder how great it could have been if the Vx era Palm had successfully made Blackberries and didn't later split-up the company. Just imagine... Blackberry functionality with Palm Vx style and quality.

While there are no perfect solutions, my Berry comes close.
Palm quality. I will let that one go :) (I am thinking about the numerous and beloved "hacks" which make the device unstable).

Perhaps you need to wait for the BlackBerry Connect program, where the RIM e-mail software will be incorporated with the Palm hardware and software. The RIM Personal Information Management software may not be right for you.
_________________________________

When I wrote of Palm quality I was referring to the build and design of the V and Vx devices. PalmOne and their newer PDA devices all suck badly; in light of Palm's decline RIM has saved the day with many excellent devices and superior wireless. I'm picking up a 7250 in March. :D

[Edit by Mark Rejhon: Fixed formatting problem by clearing the 'Disable BBCode' checkbox]
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Old 02-19-2005, 08:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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All this nostalgia is making me misty-eyed

The other day I was looking for some rarely-used information. I couldn't find it anywhere. In the course of my search I found my old Newton 2100. I charged the battery, and found the needed info. I was so impressed with this 8 year old technology. I simply blows todays PDA's out of the water. Its form-factor is huge, its processor is slow, it has almost no memory compared to today's devices, its screen is monochrome, but its OS is so powerful and user-friendly. I played with it for hours. . . .

Actually, you could stuff a blackberry board into one of its TWO (count 'em) PCMCIA slots.

Now there's a handheld! . . . OK OK two hands!

A pox on you Steve Jobs!!!!!
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Old 02-19-2005, 02:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5
I'm currently struggling with the transition and learning a lot along the way. I REALLY wanted to do a direct import of the palm databases into Outlook and couldn't figure out any simple way to do it. (They all involved buying third-party software to convert the file a couple times to make it "importable".) It took me a couple days to figure out that only the root "Contacts" folder information comes across. This required me to merge all the contacts I had in Outlook subfolders into "Contacts". Come to mention it, conversion from Outlook Express to Outlook kind of sucked too. Funny that Outlook doesn't include a .wab extension in its import options. I'm still trying to figure out how I can get a copy of my "Sent" BB emails back into Outlook, along with a few other things. (I'm sure most of this stuff is obvious to more experienced users that actually take the time to read instructions!)
About importing: One way to do so is to merge is to put the subfolders into separate categories, then import, then re-split back into subfolders while in Outlook. But I think you already did this.

Now, in regards to two-way email synchronization, the best way to do it is to get "Hosted BES" at between $10-$25 per month (for more info, see the links in my BlackBerry FAQ). This will provide the bonus of wireless 2-way synchronization between Outlook and your BlackBerry, including email folder structure (OS4+BES4), Sent mails, unread/read indicators, contacts, calendar, tasks. BES is one of the cash cows that the manufacturer of BlackBerry has, so your email synchronization is very limited without BES.

If you want to avoid BES, you may want to get the Dynoplex software (eOffice), which is reported to have offline email synchronization capabilities. It is fairly expensive, though. But it's a one-time fee.
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Old 02-19-2005, 03:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Custom view in table view, is the easiest way to do things. Then you can just add custom filters (custom views) and put these buttons on the sidebar, so you can switch between different custom table views very quickly at one button click.

Also, I heard of a way to replace IPM.Contact directly (so you don't have to use IPM.Contact). I am not familiar with the specifics, but I did this once to add buttons that launched a web-based relay service dialer from the phone numbers inside Outlook, and it still synchronized fine with BlackBerry, although I never moved any fields around, just added buttons to the default IPM.Contact form. I believe I used a VBScript to automatically set all existing contacts to the new contact form, and also to set the new default contact form. This was two years ago.

Try undoing all the mapping (make sure no user-defined-field mapping exists in both Outlook or BlackBerry Desktop), then rename the custom fields, then re-add the mapping. This may allow the fields to be unlocked for renaming.

Be careful to make backups of your Outlook .pst file (or if you use BES, backup the Exchange server data), before you do huge amounts of experimentation, especially if you run scripts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon
Hi Mark,

I have a question about your suggestion though. In setting up the BB to work with Outlook, I found that creating Custom Forms for Contacts is good and all, but if you want to sync that Custom form to your device, (BB, PALM, PP, etc) it wont let you. In my diggings, I came to the understanding that when you are syncing Outlook to any of these devices, it is syncing the form "IPM.Contact". But once you create a custom form, then you it uses "IPM.Contact.xxxx", and so then it no longer syncs. Have you found this too? But yes, to create a custom view in table view with the custom fields that you want to display is a great idea though. Custom forms to sync with your device is the question though.

The other thing is, when syncing the BB to Outlook, i found that when you are configuring the Field Mapping, the BB custom fields are mapped to Miscellaneous...User 1, User 2, etc. Then if you try to rename User 1 to something else, it wont let you. If you know how to rename User 1 to a different name, that would be great! Also, in the field mapping section of BB Desktop Manager, the custom named fields of Outlook do not show up there, just User 1, User 2, etc, so it wont let me map it that way either to the custom fields on the BB. So i hope this all makes sense, i would appreciate your input. I have been working with Don (the person who originally posted the question) on this, and these are the road blocks that we have come across. Thank you Mark.

Simon
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www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0301.html - specification
www.realjabber.org - open source
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