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Switching to a Mac?

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  • Switching to a Mac?

    I am giving serious thoughts to dumping my PC and moving to a Mac. However, I am pretty deeply tied to Outlook and my Blackberry and would like to hear from folks who have made the switch and have used these tools.

    I know there is a DA paper on setting up Entourage to perform the same basic functions as Outlook (although it will not be the plugin, which I think is great.).

    My other challenge is integrating my Blackberry Curve into the mix. I rely on the wireless synch to my exchange server which then updates Outlook for me. It would be a big step back to lose this ability and is one of the main reasons I am hesitant about dropping my windows notebook for a mac.

    Are there others out there using entourage, exchange, and a blackberry who have been able to make it work without spending 40+ hours doing so?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Hold off until Office 2008 ships next year

    I'd strongly suggest that you wait until the next version of Mac Office (200 ships early next year before you even think about making the switch based on the criteria you provided. Entourage in its current version is a bit of a dog from a performance perspective and not a terribly good Exchange client. While syncing with the Blackberry can be done (I'd recommend looking into Missing Sync for that), you will not get the degree of integration you've come to expect from your Windows setup on the Mac today.

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    • #3
      Thanks for your thoughts on this. What are the exact issues with Entourage and Exchange? Is the wireless synch less than ideal?

      Are you currently using a blackberry and a mac?

      Looking forward to other thoughts ass well.

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      • #4
        BlackBerry and a Mac

        The Outbreak, er, Outlook element of your system would be a dealbreaker, I think. I use a MacBook Pro and a BlackBerry every day - seamless, smooth - using Apple's Mail application and the BlackBerry itself.

        I agree that Entourage is an underachiever at best in its current form. Microsoft doesn't have much incentive to improve its Mac products. Same reason I ditched the Palm / Treo platform. They always had minimal Mac support, and they got worse still after consorting with Microsoft several years back.

        If you're tied to Outlook, you're probably stuck with MS and the PC. Moving e-mail and addresses out of Outlook's proprietary format to a Mac is a struggle, though it can be done.

        ON THE OTHER HAND - you can always get one of Apple's Intel-based notebooks or desktops and boot natively into either Win XP or Apple's OS X. Boot into XP and you've got immediate access to the PC version of Outlook.

        Apple's new OS update (codename Leopard) arrives tomorrow (10.26.07) features full support for Apple's Bootcamp utility. I've been using a MacBook Pro for more than a year now with Windows XP on it for occasional use.

        I've used both Mac and PC platforms over the years. I'll never willingly go back to a PC. Call it Apple cheerleading, etc., but the huge advantages of Apple's hardware and software offerings are clear to me.

        Tim
        Last edited by lastgasp; 10-25-2007, 07:35 AM.

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        • #5
          This is helpful. If you are using a macbook and blackberry daily, are you using exchange to manage the wireless synch of mail, contacts, calendar, and memos? Or are you using a cable synch approach?

          Also, are you using a different system for doing GTD? I currently use NextAction on my blackberry for a mobile version of context/actions lists. This would need to synch back to some sort of desktop application, mail perhaps (especially its Leopard upgrade) or entourage.

          Can you offer me more details on your "trusted system?"

          Thanks so much.

          Tim (also)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by thr61 View Post
            This is helpful. If you are using a macbook and blackberry daily, are you using exchange to manage the wireless synch of mail, contacts, calendar, and memos? Or are you using a cable synch approach?

            Also, are you using a different system for doing GTD? I currently use NextAction on my blackberry for a mobile version of context/actions lists. This would need to synch back to some sort of desktop application, mail perhaps (especially its Leopard upgrade) or entourage.

            Can you offer me more details on your "trusted system?"

            Thanks so much.

            Tim (also)
            Happy to expand on this. First, re synching. My e-mail is automagically synched on my BlackBerry and my MacBook Pro. It's easy to set up so the incoming messages on the BlackBerry are also presented (or not, if you don't want dupes) on the Mail app (rather than Outlook). There's nothing at all to it. If you get an e-mail on your BlackBerry that you can't easy process on the handheld, say something with a pretty large attachment, you can just delete it. The message and the attachment will be sitting in your MacBook Pro inbox when you get back.

            I don't use the BlackBerry for calendar, contacts (other than phone/e-mail) or notes. My iPod handles all that, and it synchs instantly with all my built-in contact, calendar and notes applications each time I plug in its USB cable. (Once I can reliably shift an iPhone to T-Mobile, I won't need the BlackBerry at all.)

            If you keep your NAs in a text or note form, keeping them synched on your iPod's simple. I'm sure you could use the BlackBerry to do so as well, but the synching would be simple if you're still using Outlook in XP. The BlackBerry has its own calendar, contact and to-do software, so it might do the trick just as well.

            I'm using a combination of a pocket notebook/Space pen (ubiquitous capture tool), my iPod (contacts, calendar, notes), my BlackBerry 8100 (Pearl) for e-mail & phone service on the road, and my MacBook Pro for everything else. I've been using the alpha version of Omnigroup's OmniFocus for all my GTD stuff for some months now. It's slick. One more reason to join the Mac fold, as OmniFocus will not be available for the PC. Here's an intro in case you're interested:

            http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omnifocus/

            Hope this helps.

            Tim
            Last edited by lastgasp; 10-25-2007, 08:22 AM.

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            • #7
              iGTD

              Well, I ordered a Macbook Pro and have been playing around with iGTD which is a truly amazing application. i am using Entourage via Exchange and BES to manage mail, contacts and appointments. Tasks go through a somewhat clunky model of iGTD to iCal to Missing Sync for BB to the BB itself (all done via USB cable not OTA).

              Others have used this solution and it seems to work. I have merely been testing on my wife's iMac and it seems to be a good solution. If you have not seen iGTD, check it out.

              Any other tips or comments will always be appreciated.

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