Sync Outlook between PC and Android

Original publication:  January 21, 2012:

CompanionLink Professional and
DejaOffice

together with

Google Apps for Work and
Google Sync for Outlook

Friction Factor = LOW FRICTION with tech support guidance
Value = RECOMMENDED

February 12, 2015 Update: I no longer use Companionlink and DejaOffice. As mentioned below, I have completed transitioning my long notes data out of Outlook. Now I am doing a normal sync to just the Google PIM (personal information manager) tools. I am still deciding whether a Google Drive document or Microsoft OneNote is the best home for my contacts notes data.

In early 2013 I started using Google Apps for Work (its current name as of 5 February 2015) along with Google Sync for Outlook. It is a terrific solution. Now my email (for all of my external, non-Google email accounts), contacts, and calendar stay in sync between Outlook, the Google cloud, and my smartphone. It is beautiful to behold and works perfectly. It took quite a bit of time to get it configured properly but that also highlighted an amazing level of customer service provided by Google. I am very pleased with this solution and strongly recommend it.

However, there remains an issue. For now at least, I still have a lot of information in the notes field of my Outlook contacts. Many of my contacts have notes that exceed what is supported by Android Contacts. So until I find a new home for that information, I continue to use Companionlink (for communication between Outlook and phone) and DejaOffice (for its contacts application on my Android)

CompanionLink
CompanionLink

Companionlink syncing is done wirelessly (WiFi) and automatically. There may be some conflict with Google Sync for Outlook. I won't know that for sure until I no longer need Companionlink.

Installation and Configuration

Installing DejaOffice is as easy as it gets with the convenience of Android Market. Similarly, installing Companionlink to the PC is straightforward and simple. Even the configuration of Companionlink is easy if you follow the setup guide. When I tried to do it without reading the manual, I ended up using the wrong device name, so sync failed until I corrected it.

I replaced the native Android contacts icon in my bottom row with DejaContacts, but I still use the Android contacts app to mark favorite contacts. Then I have a speed dial function of sorts in the native dialer. This is possible because DejaOffice syncs the DejaOffice database to a specific account in the native Android database (Understanding Android Contacts). You can also force DejaOffice to sync with the native account using the "Read Android Data" button in DejaOffice."

CompanionLink-installation2
CompanionLink-installation3

Important Things to Know

If I set syncing to be bi-directional, what will happen to content in the notes field that is formatted in Outlook? 
Answer: If content is changed on the device, then it will sync to Outlook as plain text (for the changed record). That would make me a very unhappy camper, so if you format content in your notes field, don't sync both ways. Instead set it to sync "Outlook to Android".

How to change how DejaOffice sorts records?
Answer: DejaOffice allows you to sort by a variety of fields, including first name, last name, company name, or file as. When viewing the contact list, press and hold (long press) "DejaContacts" at the top of the screen to bring up the context menu and sorting options.

When I temporarily changed a setting (contacts) to sync bi-directionally, and then did a sync, instead of the normal fast sync, it started reading every contact very slowly. Similarly when I changed by to "Outlook to Android".
Answer: Changing the sync direction will force a reread on the PC and device, but this should only occur once after changing the setting. You can check and make sure the reread option is unchecked from the CompanionLink Options menu (at the top, next to File and Help).

I added my gmail account to the Android. Then I signed in and saw that DejaCalendar (or the native Android calendar) synced to my Google Calendar. Nice. However, contacts did not sync to Google contacts.
Answer: Android contacts and calendar data can be stored under one or more "accounts" (Google adds a separate account for Google contacts and calendar). DejaOffice allows you to set which native Android account you wish to sync with - check the DejaOffice settings.

CompanionLink-DejaOfficeContacts
CompanionLink-DejaOfficeCalendar
CompanionLink-DejaOfficeTasks
CompanionLink-DejaOfficeMemos
CompanionLink-DejaOfficeExpenses