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Last post Author Topic: iPod Touch, PIM, and Outlook (WAS: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub)  (Read 12213 times)

daddydave

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iPod Touch, PIM, and Outlook (WAS: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub)
« on: October 05, 2010, 10:24:10 AM »
I have been experimenting in slow motion with Thunderbird, to see if it is possible for me to use it for what I use Outlook for, as a hub for the Four Pillars of PIM: tasks, notes, calendar items, and contacts.

1. How do I stop the Mail Account Setup prompt from appearing every time I launch Thunderbird or go to Address Book? I use Gmail for personal mail.
Screenshot - 10_5_2010 , 11_04_32 AM.jpgiPod Touch, PIM, and Outlook (WAS: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub)

EDITED: I put it my Gmail address and it was very smart about pulling up IMAP and SMTP server from a database, which is impressive but I don't really want to access my Gmail locally at this time.

EDITED 2: Discovered by accident that if I go ahead and set up a mail account and remove the account, it stops nagging me but for some reason I can only remove the IMAP server not the SMTP server.

2. Lightning seems to be the canonical add-on for tasks and calendar, contacts are built in, is there a notes add-on someone could recommend?

(EDIT 3: So far, it looks like ThunderNote)

3. Is there a good way to sync tasks, notes, calendar items, and contacts in Thunderbird with a PDA (any OS)?  I see BirdieSync but it only seems to sync 1 to 3 of these, depending on OS.

Quote
BirdieSync™ allows synchronization of your Windows Mobile device (contacts, events, tasks and mails) or your iPhone (contacts) with Thunderbird™ with Lightning extension installed and Sunbird™ on your PC.


If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 07:42:24 PM by daddydave »

Dormouse

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2010, 11:05:22 AM »
Spicebird attempts to do this. Development has been rather spasmodic but appears to be continuing.

I suspect the easiest sync approach is through gmail, but that does mean having everything in the cloud and again probably won't cover everything (I've not tried).

daddydave

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2010, 11:10:01 AM »
Spicebird attempts to do this. Development has been rather spasmodic but appears to be continuing.

Doesn't seem to do tasks and notes, though.

EDITED: On second thought, if it has calendar by way of the Lightning add-on, it should have tasks, too.
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!
« Last Edit: October 05, 2010, 11:42:16 AM by daddydave »

daddydave

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2010, 11:12:35 AM »
Exported my Outlook notes to a CSV file and importing them into ThunderNotes as we speak, sure is taking a while, I didn't think I had that many notes.

UPDATE: OK, I guess it doesn't work. Nice thought though.
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!
« Last Edit: October 05, 2010, 11:33:27 AM by daddydave »

Dormouse

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2010, 12:57:03 PM »
EDITED: On second thought, if it has calendar by way of the Lightning add-on, it should have tasks, too.

Indeed.

« Last Edit: October 05, 2010, 01:02:12 PM by Dormouse »

dantheman

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2010, 05:26:29 PM »
It's installed but having problems finding icon to make it work.
Did a right click to customize but the icon is humongous!

Quicknote
https://addons.mozil...hunderbird/addon/46/

daddydave

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2010, 10:16:33 PM »
Quicknote
https://addons.mozil...hunderbird/addon/46/

That's an odd one. As far as I can tell, you are only allowed to have 4 notes!
Screenshot - 10_8_2010 , 11_14_48 PM.jpg
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!

dantheman

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2010, 04:34:12 AM »
An odd extension indeed.

Clippings might be a better one:
https://addons.mozil...nderbird/addon/1347/

steeladept

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2010, 10:32:03 AM »
Synching with my PDA/Phone is the very reason I stuck with Outlook (and the only reason I got rid of the Android phone I was using - I HAD to use Google to sync with it! :down:)

dantheman

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2010, 11:57:49 AM »
To be honest with you, i don't have Outlook, nor am i planning on forking out the bucks for it, nor for it's affiliated service in order to sync with my iPod Touch.

At least with Google i can configure my iPod to sync contacts and one main calendar... for free!

steeladept

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2010, 12:55:49 PM »
To be honest with you, i don't have Outlook, nor am i planning on forking out the bucks for it, nor for it's affiliated service in order to sync with my iPod Touch.

At least with Google i can configure my iPod to sync contacts and one main calendar... for free!
I don't blame you.  If it weren't for the fact that I get the entire professional suite for $10 through Microsoft's Home Use Program I wouldn't either.  But there is a free alternative.  Microsoft Mail (via their Live Essentials) is the updated version of Outlook Express.  I don't know if the Touch will sync with it or not, but I think it does.  Now if you are looking to avoid Microsoft products, then I can't help you other than to suggest going Linux where there are a lot of similar programs.  And use an Android system while you are at it, though that tethers you to GMail closer than the iPod tethers you to Apple  :huh:

daddydave

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2010, 03:51:08 PM »
To be honest with you, i don't have Outlook, nor am i planning on forking out the bucks for it, nor for it's affiliated service in order to sync with my iPod Touch.

At least with Google i can configure my iPod to sync contacts and one main calendar... for free!
I don't blame you.  If it weren't for the fact that I get the entire professional suite for $10 through Microsoft's Home Use Program I wouldn't either.  But there is a free alternative.  Microsoft Mail (via their Live Essentials) is the updated version of Outlook Express.  I don't know if the Touch will sync with it or not, but I think it does.  Now if you are looking to avoid Microsoft products, then I can't help you other than to suggest going Linux where there are a lot of similar programs.  And use an Android system while you are at it, though that tethers you to GMail closer than the iPod tethers you to Apple  :huh:

Good old HUP.. :)

And correct me if I am wrong, but neither Microsoft Mail nor iPod touch has any native tasks support, correct? I don't care about syncing mail. What I care about is tasks, notes, calendar items, and contacts, pretty much in that order.
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!

dantheman

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2010, 04:18:49 PM »
Did you consider saving your notes as email drafts?

Another option would be to consider adopting Postbox free edition.
This program is based on Thunderbird and can take in many of the same addons.
Apparently it syncs with Omnifocus (tasks, notes with Apple stuff like iPod's etc.).
http://www.postbox-i...com/express_features

daddydave

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2010, 05:26:21 PM »
I had pretty much decided that, in the case of notes, this is a hard enough problem to solve without the constraint of it having of be a Thunderbird addon, so I broadened the search to all note taking programs for Windows plus any PDA OS (hence that thread) and not necessary things tied to Thunderbird: Keynote NF, Tomboy for Windows, Cherry Tree (because you can never have too many versions of GTK for Windows installed), and wikidpad. Unfortunately, almost no thought was put into import of existing notes with most of these (Wikipad comes close with its Multipage text format, but it does not seem to recognize non CamelCase wiki words, nor is it able to prompt for manual import to correct import errors). And once I solve that problem, I have another problem to solve, finding a PDA version of it. BladeWiki is the only one I've found with a reasonable import (there is not an import function, but it uses plain text files which are straightforward to manipulate). And there is a PDA version for Windows Mobile by the same author, which I have used before my Dell Axim went bye. So Bladewiki is scoring 2, everything else is scoring 0. Even so, I found myself in need of a renaming utility to match the note names with the file names (the filenames it recognizes will have %20 instead of space for example), it works well but I have a 10 step naming rule so far and I'm not done yet! Plus I would still have to filter out illegal characters in both filenames and wiki words which were the Outlook note names. I have decided I have spent enough time on this nonsense.

I should point out Keynote NF did just fine at importing my notes as separate tabs once I split them with Chopping List. But I wanted to import it into tree based notes, it's a pain to navigate through 100's of tabs. I still may use Keynote NF for other things, though.

Overall, though, I would gain absolutely nothing by moving exising notes out of Outlook format, I just wanted to see if it is possible without too much pain. I think that question has been sufficiently answered.

I don't see a version of Omnifocus for Windows btw.
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!
« Last Edit: October 10, 2010, 05:31:03 PM by daddydave »

daddydave

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2010, 05:39:35 PM »
What I went from Palm OS to Windows Mobile, I was using Outlook for my PIM functions (an infinitely better experience than Palm Desktop) and all I had to do to migrate my PIM functions was do a sync from Outlook again. But if I bought a Palm Pre, I would not have that experience, because Palm pre memos are not backwards compatible with the old memos, nor do they sync with Outlook. Sad. I was a registered user of MemoLeaf, too, which built on existing Memos functionality. I miss that program, there is really no equivalent on Windows Mobile, there are only things which copy your notes to a different folder altogether which seems unnecessary. Not sure what my next platform will be.
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!

bob99

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2010, 05:45:34 PM »
Have you looked at VueMinder Calendar?

http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=24113.0
and
http://www.vueminder...o-feature-comparison

I have just started to use it and it seems to have the 4 things you are looking for. The generous discount in the above post is over but there is a free lite version, 60 day trial for the Pro and upgrade programs.  Says it will import & export Outlook files.  Haven't tried it yet.

dantheman

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2010, 06:41:16 PM »
I'm not quite familiar with Outlook but i hope this can help.

Resophnotes a Windows note taking app. It's small but not small enough to be in DCF but says it can import Outlook .csv
It syncs to a service called Simplenoteapp.com which will sync to your Apple gizmo.
http://www.resoph.co...phNotes/Welcome.html

The author just recently updated it so i guess it will in for the ride for a while.


SKA

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2010, 08:38:06 PM »
Resophnotes terms of use look very peculiar

http://www.resoph.co...es/Terms_of_Use.html

SKA

steeladept

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2010, 07:05:19 AM »
Good old HUP.. :)

And correct me if I am wrong, but neither Microsoft Mail nor iPod touch has any native tasks support, correct? I don't care about syncing mail. What I care about is tasks, notes, calendar items, and contacts, pretty much in that order.
Actually the iPod touch does have support for calendar and contacts - those were my two prerequesities that turned me away from Android and forced my hand to an iPhone - I had the touch and knew it would work with the iPhone too without forcing me to change to it (i.e. switching to GMail for everything).  Not positive about notes or tasks, as I don't really use that feature, but I think it does (I set calendar items in place of tasks and notes I only access on my device, not on my PC).  It is all done through iTunes, which I am not thrilled with, but is functional enough.

EDIT:  If you can wait about 10 more hours, I will set a reminder to check it out when I get home from work to verify that you can, indeed sync Notes and Tasks as well.  I will check in then as well with that info.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2010, 07:11:13 AM by steeladept »

daddydave

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2010, 07:33:30 AM »
If you can wait about 10 more hours, I will set a reminder to check it out when I get home from work to verify that you can, indeed sync Notes and Tasks as well.  I will check in then as well with that info

I appreciate that, and there is no urgency at all. While you are at it, if it does sync tasks, can you make sure it doesn't just dump them in the calendar, a "solution" I've seen in other places. I had the impression there were no native tasks on the Apple products to sync to, I will be happy if I am wrong.
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!
« Last Edit: October 11, 2010, 07:38:00 AM by daddydave »

steeladept

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2010, 07:49:18 AM »
I appreciate that, and there is no urgency at all. While you are at it, if it does sync tasks, can you make sure it doesn't just dump them in the calendar, a "solution" I've seen in other places. I had the impression there were no native tasks on the Apple products to sync to, I will be happy if I am wrong.
I am pretty sure that is exactly how it works, but I will check.  I don't know of any separate task program and even if I did, I would expect it wouldn't work through iTunes like that.  If it synced at all, I would think it would have to be through it's own interface, and that is such an issue for most software that they won't even deal with it.

Dormouse

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2010, 10:38:34 AM »
LeaderTask (free on GOTD today) seems to have what you are looking for. Tasks, notes, calendar & contacts. Syncs with Outlook and Gmail.

And free; today at least.

daddydave

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2010, 11:35:47 AM »
LeaderTask (free on GOTD today) seems to have what you are looking for. Tasks, notes, calendar & contacts. Syncs with Outlook and Gmail.

And free; today at least.

Nice find, I'll check it out. :)
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!

steeladept

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2010, 03:41:09 PM »
Okay, just completed the check of the iPhone sync with outlook.  It definitely syncs quite well with Notes, Calendar, and Contacts.  Tasks do not sync at all with the native iTunes app sync, though a third party app may (again it is something I never do so I never tried).  As a side bonus to everything else, it also can sync podcast feeds subscribed to through iTunes, your music (of course), videos, and TV episodes.  And I can tell you that my music was never bought through iTunes (haven't tried any of the video entries yet).  It isn't EXACTLY what you are looking for, but with a minor tweak of how you view tasks, it *MAY* still fit your needs.

steeladept

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Re: Thunderbird as a PIM Hub - questions
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2010, 03:43:43 PM »
And if you are just at the research phase at the moment, don't forget iTunes is not the only game in town.  In addition to checking out the iTunes app store, you can look at the Cydia store too.  You have to jailbreak your device, but that is trivial right now.  Once jailbroken, you can download apps that Apple doesn't allow through their store as well as apps the developer just doesn't want to go through the Apple hassle with.

Just did a quick search and there is a third party app that may work well if you have a device to try it out on.  It is called Smart Tasks 4.  According to the reviews, the only thing it is missing is a calendar app, but then you can still use the Apple calendar app for that.  Apparently they have a full line of apps that handle each of these tasks separately.  It looks like it was designed to work with Google Apps specifically but lists Outlook as well.  Smart Tasks 4 is in both free and paid versions.  You can look it over to see the differences and what other apps they have available.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2010, 03:52:08 PM by steeladept »