The Perfect Getting Things Done Mobile Sync


You realize that finding a professional mobile PIM solution for Getting Things Done with the perfect sync usually requires splicing together a hodgepodge of different web services and third party applications that never play well together.

Neither iOS nor Android, the only two real players, offer a complete business class PIM and sync solution – calendar, contacts, email, notes, and to-dos.

If you are in love with Apple and iCloud, please stop reading – iCloud is not a professional grade PIM.

Even Google which comes closest on Android devices, fails to offer a mobile task solution.

What usually follows from the naysayers and tweakers is a long laundry list of workarounds and impassioned arguments about why their new soon to be defunct web application with shoddy encryption is the second coming of productivity, yet is about as reliable for security as a Walmart greeter.

To humor you, the best apps for cross platform sync splicing on iOS and Android for me include Nozbe, Pocket Informant, Remember the Milk,  Toodledo and Touchdown that’s it. These applications are consistently the most bug free.

However, if you want a complete PIM solution out of the box, I strongly encourage you to start with IBM Notes or Microsoft Exchange as your base system. I prefer IBM Notes because I use eProductivity which to me is the best GTD tool on the planet.

Up until today, most companies using IBM Notes and eProductivity have relied heavily on using the IBM Notes Traveler PIM solution on iOS and Android which compared to everything else on the market is pretty bullet proof.

Over the last several months, I have worked tirelessly with Eric Mack to find and to test a new mobile PIM solution that works out of the box on iOS and Android devices. I first introduced the idea to Eric who encouraged me to run with it. In fact, I believe I might have gotten Eric kind of excited about this solution.

The solution I am going to recommend to you will work perfectly fine, I believe, with vanilla IBM Notes or Microsoft Exchange; as well as with eProductivity and the GTD Outlook plugin.

Before I proceed further, please spare me your sync splicing suggestions – anything you are about to suggest – I have already been there and probably tried—at least once or twice. Your talking to someone who has at last count owned  over 80 smart phones over the last 6-years—the length of my marriage. My wife is with a watchful eye keeping score of devices.

CompanionLink Professional

For mobile, I use CompanionLink with DejaOffice.

CompanionLink is device agnostic allowing me to work on all major mobile operating systems – Apple, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone. Its sync component DejaCloud offers a free web interface called DejaCRM.  Imagine that a completely functional web based PIM – maybe Microsoft could learn from them—instead of emasculating its web tools!

DejaOffice with its sync component DejaCloud is far superior to IBM Notes Traveler as a PIM solution and yes it is every bit as secure.  Note Dejacloud offers the same level of security as Microsoft Exchange and IBM Notes.

The software looks and works like the old Palm interface which is still to my mind the best calendar PIM bar none.

CompanionLink has been around since 1987; so they are not going anywhere.  I have been a tester for the company for over 6-months helping improve its compatibility with eProductivity.

The software that I use for IBM Notes is CompanionLink Professional with Dejaoffice.   I use DejaOffice on both an Android (Samsung Galaxy Note 3) and an IOS device (iPAD 4). CompanionLink’s DejaOffice is under heavy and rapid development – so they are always improving and squashing bugs – they are also extremely receptive to user feedback.

I believe that CompanionLink offers a great product and a traditional PIM that is second to none. I have no hesitation in recommending it for enterprise.

Frankly CompanionLink is more expensive than your typical sync solutions, but it is also feature rich — it can sync with almost every CRM and PIM on the desktop. Their team will even help you configure it for your computer.

When setting up CompanionLink for the first time, I strongly recommend that you opt for their DejaCloud sync solution – start with manual sync rather than push sync to make sure everything is setup properly.

Similarly, I also suggest that you use DejaCloud as your primary sync source for calendar, notes, contacts and to-dos on your mobile device.  Here’s the rub, the more PIMs you sync to your mobile device the more you are opening yourself up for chaos and confusion. Don’t ask me to sort your mess out later.

If you have any intention of actually doing Getting Things Done, do not bother using your corporate Exchange or IBM Notes workplace offering unless you own the business.  I strongly recommend that you invest in your own PIM solution separate from your employer! If history teaches us anything you should never trust your employer with your personal information. Also, I think it’s ridiculous to operate with two separate PIMS.

You can always sync your work calendar and forward your mission critical emails to your personal time management system. You should be using the same tool to manage your work and personal life — today, it’s extremely doable and not cost prohibitive.

Pursue the two mainstays — either IBM Notes or Microsoft Exchange.  Plan on having a personal tablet or laptop to work separate from your employer.   Again the investment in personal productivity is far too mission critical to be left to chance—you have to be willing to invest in your personal success!





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The Perfect Getting Things Done Mobile Sync

4 Responses

  1. Are you at all interested in explaining the deficiencies in IBM Traveler? Since you decided to not use it? Or at least to explain why your described solution is superior? I mean before I go to all the trouble of leaving Traveler and implementing your solution. Thanks.

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    July 24, 2014 at 9:54 pm #
    • Absolutely– IBM Traveler for ToDos lacks the ability to offer advanced sorting features such as alphabetical order. There’s no web based PIM for IBM Notes that is really functional for viewing ToDos. Companionlink offers this. IBM Traveler lacks memos support for syncing with iOS and Android. All really important. Note, I use IBM traveler for email on my Android and iOS mobile devices.

      Jason August 24, 2014 at 8:01 pm #
  2. I believe it would be helpful if you mention the fact that you must use an integrated mode version of eProductivity. Otherwise it would not work with CompanionLink. I have been trying so many settings and it is not working for me, only later to find out that syncing does not work with a stand-alone version of eProductivity. Grrr.

    helderweirtTom November 5, 2014 at 5:53 pm #
  1. CompanionLink A Unique GTD Mobile Sync Solution | Open NotesOpen Notes - May 28, 2014

    […] What follows is a brief interview with Rushang Shah the Director of Marketing for CompanionLink Software. I believe the interview is straightforward and helps to explain what makes CompanionLink such an unique Enterprise level mobile solution for Getting Things Done. You can read my original discussion of it here. […]

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