Sunday, April 1, 2001

Synchronize your electronic devices with ReadySyncGo!

PRODUCT REVIEW

By Bob Draper

In today's busy and ever-changing world, your Palm device can be a great asset. But, if you're like most mobile professionals, your Palm device isn't the only electronic gadget you carry around. You might also have a wireless phone or pager, among other things. If you travel a great deal, you might also use several different desktop workstations.

Managing all this information, scattered across various platforms and locations, can be a real headache. It's no wonder, then, that several companies, including Palm, Inc., have launched Web-based portals that allow you to HotSync your Palm device online, thereby reducing the problems associated with synchronizing your Palm device on numerous computers.

This month, I'll be discussing one of these Web-based PIMs (Personal Information Managers) that goes far beyond just giving you an online calendar and address book. Synchrologic Inc.'s ReadySyncGo! (at http://www.readysyncgo.com), is a free Web-based PIM that offers data synchronization across a number of electronic devices, as well as with Microsoft Outlook. That's an impressive feat, especially for a free service, and based on my experiences over the past month or so using it, ReadySyncGo! has performed rather well.

Before we get into it, here's a rundown of the system requirements:

  • Palm OS3.x;
  • Microsoft Outlook 97, 98, or 2000;
  • Windows 95, 98, ME, NT 4.0, or 2000;
  • Web-enabled phone;
  • SMS (Short Message Service) text messaging (phone and pager).

The browser requirements are Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 or later, or Netscape Communicator 4.6 or later.

Initial installation and set-up

Set up is quite easy. Simply head over to http://www.readysyncgo.com and select the Sign Up Now button. You'll be taken to a page similar to Figure A.

FIGURE A

Just fill in the blanks, check some boxes, and you're ready to go! (click for larger image)

The setup process is fairly intuitive and well-designed. You'll be asked to provide device-specific information depending on what kinds of devices you'll be using with ReadySyncGo!. You'll then have the chance to confirm that your phone or pager has been configured correctly.

During the setup, you'll also install the ReadySyncGo! client applications on your Palm device and Windows PC. Then, as the setup concludes, you'll be asked to specify what kind of notifications you'd like to receive, as shown in Figure B.

FIGURE B

Make your choices, click Submit, and you're done. (click for larger image)

Using ReadySyncGo!

ReadySyncGo!'s Web-based PIM is easy to use and consists of five basic components. Your RSG! (ReadySyncGo!) Home, pictured in Figure C, provides current weather information, as well as links to your RSG! Trips and RSG! Appointments. We'll get to those in a minute.