NOTE: I posted this article in March of 2012. The most recent update was 4/11/16. Many things have changed, and I don’t think there is much risk of losing your Outlook data anymore. But in case you are the cautious type…
I came across an interesting article in my tweet stream recently, written by the fine folks at Priacta. It was a cautionary tale about syncing Microsoft Outlook (for Windows) data with iPhone and Android. Since I discuss this with clients all the time, what I read there made me nervous. Before you get to his post, I’d like to say for the record that this has never happened to me, nor to any of my clients as far as I know. Here is information on how to sync Outlook Tasks with iPhone (without an Exchange server). However since other people have had a negative experience, I think it is important to consider that there are risks to attempting to sync Outlook. I’ve found the sync from Outlook to iPhone to be rather seamless if you are using an Exchange server. In my experience, the tasks automatically populate to the Reminders app. And if you don’t like the view in Reminders, IMExchange2 has worked great for my clients. The app is free but the sync service costs $7.99 the last time I checked. I’ve also found it very straightforward to sync Outlook tasks with Blackberry. For syncing Outlook tasks with Android, I suggest you check out CompanionLink from DejaOffice.
Another option that syncs data from Outlook to iPhone, Android, and Windows devices is called AkrutoSync. With AkrutoSync you could establish a two-way syncing between Outlook and your mobile device no matter what platform it’s running on. In other words, you could sync Outlook calendars, tasks and contacts to any iOS, Android or Windows Phone devices. It supports syncing with multiple devices and lets you decide what type of data you want to sync with each of your phones and tablets.
For example, you could sync Outlook items with both your iPhone and your Android tablet, for example. This feature enables users to easily switch platforms and remain syncing. As of April, 2016, Akruto Sync costs a one-time fee of $34.95, with a 7-day free trial, which I would recommend before purchasing.
There are many efficiencies to be gained by storing your data all in one program, such as the ease in Outlook of creating a task from an email. However an inability to view your tasks on your smartphone certainly negates any of these advantages, and Nate from Priacta describes some benefits of going outside Outlook for your task management. He also discusses backing up your PST data. You can also find advice about picking the right electronic tools in book. I unfortunately do not have a direct line to Microsoft, Apple, or any app developer mentioned here, so I can’t do much in the way of tech support, but my intention is to provide you with as much information as possible so that you can be prudent and take all necessary precautions when syncing your devices. Thanks for reading, and thanks to Nate at Priacta for being willing to share his post! A note to Microsoft – if you have anything helpful to add, I will happily update this post with your comments.
Read the cautionary tale about syncing Outlook data with smartphones:
Help! Outlook lost all my data!
Having read this I thought it was rather informative.
I appreciate you taking the time and energy to
put this content together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of
time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still
Thank you so much – I had been using toodledo to sync my outlook tasks but was having issues and deleted it and the necessary syncing software from my laptop. Little did I know that the software was no longer in existence!
I spent a long time online trying to find a solution that was both seamless (number one priority) and inexpensive.
I just downloaded imExchange2 and now my outlook tasks are finally back on my iphone – woo hoo!
The feature I like best is that I can view tasks from most recently modified.
So glad to hear it helped you, Michele! Thanks for reading!
Great post and very informative. Outlook is great application and business professionals love it. Not only it has all the emailing capabilities but manages your personal information as well. Exchange users if want to migrate to Outlook, they can do it easily by converting Exchange EDB to PST. Third party tools such as Stellar Phoenix EDB to PST Converter can help convert the entire database to Outlook.
Jenny, thanks for reading and for the added information!
There is certainly a lot to learn about this topic.
I love all the points you have made.
Nice work and helpful article. Also if you want to move your outlook data to Apple mail then you can convert OST file created by Outlook to MBOX file and import it in Apple mail.
Thanks for the tip!