Previous posts will show that I resided practically in MS Outlook for most of my computing life. Even when I switched to Mac OS X last year, I find this powerful software from Microsoft to be indispensable. In fact, I kept running Outlook under a virtual windows machine after the switch. Unlike others who even integrated other software (Mindmanager, etc) with Outlook, I however stuck to the basic PIM already built-in. I used Outlook for everything that has to do with emails, to-do-list, address book, and the occasional syncing of contacts and calendar with my mobile phone.
I found myself using Outlook less and less after I got the iPhone 3g last August. With the use of the nuevasync software, it does not matter if I input an appointment online in GCAL or on the iPhone. Both will be synchronized for as long as the iPhone is connected to the internet. This post by Ian Fernando is exactly what I used in making nuevasync run flawlessly in the iPhone 3G.
What about my to-do's and emails? Well, that is what netbooks are for. With the ubiquity of internet connection (at work, home, malls, even in the car via USB modem) and the Sugarsync sync tool, I could grab any of my computers, work on all personal information and I am a happy camper. Oh, did I say that for calendar only inputs, I can also use the iPhone?
I guess the most significant factor that made the "g'bye" possible was the maturity of cloud computing particularly the applications now being provided by Google: GMAIL – for email & contacts, Google Tasks- to-do-list, GCAL for my schedules. Yes, this is a complete PIM functionality all under one roof (single tab browser) of my Firefox with the added boost from GMAIL Labs. With the activation of just a few GMAIl Lab features, I can work on my email, calendar, contacts, and tasks right inside GMAIL.
Overall, everything I used to do in Outlook, I can now also do in GMAIL. The only thing missing is offline backup. Should a DOS (disturbance of service) hit Google, fingers crossed, technocop will be reduced to 'SOL.' With the customary yearend hard drive backup just around the corner, I should be able to pick the ideal gmail backup solution.
This is by no means intended to rant at Outlook. I am sure that others, especially PC users, would still find MS Outlook very useful. But, for now, I am happy and very productive with everything that Google has to offer.