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  1. #1
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    Best method to sync Outlook to iPhone?

    I use Outlook 2003 with several POP3 mail accounts. I do NOT use Exchange. I plan to buy an iPhone and I'm looking for the least painful methd to keep my email, calendar and contacts in sync. I have read a great deal of less-than-complete (and often a bit dated) instructions on performing such a sync.

    Does anyone have direct experience getting this to work? I don't want to convert my accounts to IMAP, nor pay for Exchange service. My email accounts are hosted in various venues (an ISP, one @msn account, one on a paid hosting site), but all POP3.

    The iTunes method seems to be fairly straightforward, but requires physically connecting the iPhone to the laptop to sync.

    The thing I would find the most intolerable is something I suffer with currently: At my day job I can't use my laptop to access email (corporate firewall, no WiFi) so I log in via the internet. Although I have Outlook set to "Leave a copy of messages on the server" and "Remove from the server when deleted from Deleted Items", that only works one-way. When I delete messages while logged into the webmail sites the deletions never sync back to Outlook (so I have to delete them again in Outlook - a real pain).

    I'm hoping for a low maintainence solution. Any experience?
    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    My iPhone connects to several email accounts.

    For non-Exchange accounts I use IMAP as it really is the simplest method. If for some reason you don't want to or can't use IMAP and have to fall back to POP, then set both the iPhone and Outlook to leave copies on the server for a predetermined time (say 14 days), then if Outlook downloads the mail it will still be available on the server for the iPhone to pick up.

    Next you need to think about contacts and calendar. I use a dedicated gmail account for this and sync my contacts from Outlook to gmail Then I have the gmail account on my iPhone set to use contacts and calendar but not mail. I used to use the Google Calendar Sync, but found it buggy and not actively supported by Google so I switched to Sync2 which works perfectly.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    For non-Exchange accounts I use IMAP as it really is the simplest method.
    I thought IMAP would be simplest too, but I haven't been able to get a test account to work. My ISP says it supports IMAP. They posted some instructions for setting up IMAP in Outlook but it's not 100% complete and they don't "officially" support IMAP in Outlook (via their tech support).

    Next you need to think about contacts and calendar. I use a dedicated gmail account for this and sync my contacts from Outlook to gmail Then I have the gmail account on my iPhone set to use contacts and calendar but not mail. I used to use the Google Calendar Sync, but found it buggy and not actively supported by Google so I switched to Sync2 which works perfectly.
    I'm a little confused about your using BOTH the gmail account AND Sync2. If you use Sync2, can't you simply tether the phone to the (laptop or desktop) to sync? What's the added advantage of bouncing things through gmail?

    Also, does your solution cover other Outlook items such as Tasks and Notes?

    Thank you!

  4. #4
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    I thought IMAP would be simplest too, but I haven't been able to get a test account to work. My ISP says it supports IMAP. They posted some instructions for setting up IMAP in Outlook but it's not 100% complete and they don't "officially" support IMAP in Outlook (via their tech support).
    I'm afraid I can't help much there, perhaps you ISP is different. Outlook supports IMAP out of the box: my ports are standard 143 incoming and 25 outgoing. My email provider does not require SPA.

    I'm a little confused about your using BOTH the gmail account AND Sync2. If you use Sync2, can't you simply tether the phone to the (laptop or desktop) to sync? What's the added advantage of bouncing things through gmail?
    For me, it is important that if I make an appointment or change a contact on the move, that it is synced over the air to my calendar in Outlook. In theory iTunes could do it tethered, but my work is dynamic and I can't guarantee that I would remember to sync manually, or indeed wish to fire up iTunes. So, I have a separate gmail account that I use for that purpose. If i make an entry in Outlook, sync2 syncs it to that gmail account, which is also on my iPhone. Similar if I make a change while on the move, it is made in my gmail calendar account (on the iPhone) and synced to Outlook via sync2. It means I no longer have to worry about remembering to conect the iPhone to the desktop or to sync with iTunes. I can go days or weeks between connecting the phone to the PC.

    I tried iCloud once, but it made a real mess of my contacts and lost appointments. I cant afford to risk that again.

    One final aspect on the sync2 is that I have shared calendars, both for family and work use. By sharing the calendars in gmail (using two separate gmail accounts) I can have the two calendars on the phone and synced using the single sync2 tool to Outlook. My wife for example can enter an appointment in her calendar while at work and I can see if I need to be at home to cover domestic duties etc. - a useful feature in a busy household where we often forget the minutia of each-others schedules and where I'm constantly juggling time. Some people might say that we should talk more - well of course we talk, but we also have a household with two teenagers and a pre-teen, two schools, loads of out of school activities and two workplaces - it's not always as easy as saying "I told you about this or that"!

    As regards Tasks and notes, I use Evernote on both desktop on mobile devices. I found Outlook Tasks and Notes a bit cumbersome and really like the ability to be able to clip url's or articles into a note and have them available on my devices.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Tinto Tech; 2012-03-15 at 17:08. Reason: to add comment about icloud

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Thanks so much Tinto Tech!

    I've already established the tethering habit, since I still use a Palm PDA (why have we had Bluetooth and WiFi for years and developers have never really tapped either one for sync'ing or data transfer?). But it would be nice to move beyond tethering! And of course tethering doesn't solve mobility issues. Cloud computing will (someday. Maybe!).

    Too bad so many people like yourself (and soon myself) have had to cobble together platforms to accomplish such a common task. I realize everyone's needs are different (I'm just beyond the hectic years you mention), but calendars, contacts, email and tasks are pretty common!

    Thanks for the mention of Evernote. I had read good things about it, and plan to try it out as soon as I get the smartphone.

    And as soon as I get the phone, I'll begin playing with your solutions. You may have had to resort to a rather complex web to get set up, but it sounds like it works well enough.

    If this thread stays open long enough, I'll post my experiences here.

    Thanks again!
    Michael

  6. #6
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    I have had an iPhone 3 for a while now, and have found the easiest way is to use iTunes to sync to/from Outlook 2010. Given that you connect to the PC to charge the battery (I have to do this almost daily) it will sync when it is plugged in to a USB port, than it can be 'ejected' from within iTunes to just leave it charging. Different sync options can be configured within iTunes. Works for me here. Hope this helps

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    Thanks Robertos.

    I made my first decision, which surprisingly was to go with an Android phone. I had been pretty certain I'd get the new iPhone 4S, but at the last minute I changed to the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX, which has the new 4G (LTE network) capability (much faster wireless). iPhone doesn't have it. And another big reason is that the RAZR MAXX has the biggest battery of any phone currently sold - a gigantic 3300 mAh.

    So I have an Android phone (or I will when it arrives next week). I should still have the option of any solutions suggested so far.

    I'm still working on the IMAP thing. I did get Outlook to connect to a test IMAP account. But then I created a new folder on the webmail and so far haven't got it to show up in Outlook...just the main Inbox so far.

    I'll keep posting back.

  8. #8
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    Laughing,
    I have a similar scenario to you... I actually had the IPhone for a few weeks before "gifting" it to my daughter. I hated relying on Itunes for Sync and Icloud made a mess of my stuff.
    I turned around and got the HTC Thunderbolt. It syncs w/ Google and My company server with POP3, and the calendar and contacts get synced via HTC's very lightweight sync program with a cord to my Laptop/Outlook.
    I also recommend evernote, the outlook plugin works well for me.

  9. #9
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    I also have the same problem of transfering my iPhone contacts to Outlook 2010. I tried as suggested above, but my iTune I could not find "Click your iPhone on the iTunes panel and click the "Info" tab. Click "Sync contacts with" and select "Outlook." It appears " Your contacts are being sync with your iPhone over the air" and i cannot change or reset it! What can I do? I want to transfer my contacts and songs and movies onto my computer outlook and harddisk for my backup. so that when I buy a new iPhone or iPad and can transfer all those onto them.
    Transfer Contact from iPhone to Outlook
    Sync Contact from iPhone to iPhone
    Last edited by sunmykim; 2013-02-28 at 09:09.

  10. #10
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    Thumbs up Transfer, Manage and Backup Anything on iPad/iPhone/iPod via PC - YouTube

    Watch Video Demo: http://youtu.be/SzQw-YqnOhw

    Wondershare MobileGo for iOS can help you transfer music, movies, TV Shows, music videos, iTunes U, podcasts, audiobooks, playlist, contacts, SMS, photos and more from iPad/iPhone/iPod to computer/iTunes easily, and vice verse.

    Different from iTunes, it can convert music and extract music from video to iOS devices directly. Moreover, you can share files freely between your iPad, iPhone and iPod without erasing anything!

  11. #11
    Silver Lounger t8ntlikly's Avatar
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    If you really want simplicity Laughing1 take a look at the Windows Phone 8 no muss, no fuss when it comes to synching mail contacts to-do lists etc.
    Thanks John
    Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at. (Murphy's War Laws #39)

  12. #12
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    Hi t8ntlikly

    Are you using the Nokia Lumia 920 and are you synching with Outlook 2010 or outlook.com and what operating system are you using? I have just asked this question on another post and ruirib says he is unable to do this. So I am very interested to hear how you are doing this.
    http://windowssecrets.com/forums/sho...008#post901008
    Thanks
    Caric

  13. #13
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    Hi Caric,

    I don't think t8ntlikly does it any differently. I am thinking all he meant was that syncing works really well with Windows Phone, although you are not synced to your local copy of Outlook. As I meant in my early post, getting email, syncing your calendar and contacts works very well. In all honesty, I don't miss the local Outlook syncing I used to use with my previous Nokia 5230.
    Rui
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