Blackberry + Google = Intergration

Its been nearly 60 days since I made the dramatic move from my trusted Palm 680 to the new Blackberry Curve. During the initial days of getting to know my new toy, I discovered a few important and necessary items that everyone should use or at least consider.

The integration of our day-to-day lives with our pocket toys has made working with others easier and more efficient. But how does one integrate your primary applications when the computer you use at the office and the hand-held you carry daily doesn’t even speak the same language? You turn to an interpreter of course.

There isn’t a lawyer out there that hasn’t asked the question how do I get the appointments of my calendar and my contacts to sync up between my computer. If  you use a windows based product as your primary platform the questions are easily answered.  If you have a tech department that monitors what needs to be installed on your machine the process is even simpler, but what if you don’t? Or what if you are like me and left windows for open source many years ago?

This post is not about MSFT products, except for my recent upgrade to windows 7 on my laptop, I’ve run my office from an Ubuntu machine since version 7.04. I find it reliable, functional and sturdy. Enough said.

Back to the original question; How to make them talk?

The office platform; OS: Ubuntu 9.04, Email: Thunderbird 2.0, Web browser: Firefox 3.5 & the Mobile connection: Blackberry 8520 on ATT.

To get things moving in the right direction first download the Google sync application and install it on your mobile device

Second, register for a Google Calendar and Gmail Address if you don’t already have one.

Finally after registering and completing the installation processes you can now sync the calendar and your contacts between Blackberry and Google.

Now that you’ve got your contacts and calendar talking and playing nice with Google its time to get the contacts from your email application on your desktop or laptop imported into your Blackberry as well.

Thunderbird has two add-ons or extensions that I use to sync with the Gmail Address book. They are Zindus (for my laptop/windows environment) and Google Contacts for my Ubuntu Desktop.

Both applications create a dedicated Address Book in Thunderbird that stores your email contacts and their details. Both have proven effective to sync the details and the notes normally kept in a contact file entry and both can be set as the default address book so when you add an email address it will automatically be added to the contacts in your Blackberry when the sync occurs.

I’ve  found that the auto sync feature the Google uses is very effective at getting everything in the same place. Once in a while, I do need to force the sync through the Mobile Application but only when I need to get the details quickly to my Blackberry, otherwise its there within a few moments.

If you are like me and juggle multiple calendars, the sync feature allows you to select which ones you want with you and which you don’t. Most times, its more data than less.

Enjoy staying connected

The Modern Lawyer