6 Replies Latest reply: Oct 15, 2013 12:35 PM by WhySoSerious?!
mrks_ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi there,

I just want to share an approach that made my day.

 

My objective: I want to have my contacts available on iCloud and all attached Macs.

 

My issue: The primary source of information is my Exchange account so I have the data available on my iPhone but unfortunately not at home on my Macs.

 

My painpoint: A clear segragation (private/business) is not an option for me (BTW: This is true for the calendar as well; if I am out of the office for some private reasons it does not make any sense to have such appointments entered in a different calendar because this would not reflect availability in the office).

 

My approach: Look for a solution that allows copying data within Outlook locally. It seems that any "sync option" one is going to install within Outlook simply adds some new folders but actually there is nothing I would really call "syncing". So I did some research for tools that are capable of syncing Outlook folders within Outlook itself. Finally I found a company called CodeTwo (www.CodeTwo.com) offering an Outlook plug-in named "FolderSync" for free. I installed this tool and configured the tool to sync my (more or less) local contacts folder with my newly created iCloud contacts folder. And it seems to work!

 

However, there are some drawbacks:

  • The sync has to be kicked-off manually (via an icon that installs into the ribbon).
  • There is no option to select either one-way or two-way syncing (it is always two-way which is not really what I want, I'd prefer one-way Exchange->iCloud).
  • You can configure different folders to be synced (will be done in sequence) but you cannot change this sequence afterwards (I started off with the Exchange -> iCloud sync and wanted to add some backup to another local folder upfront if data gets accidentally destroyed in iCloud).
  • If the tool runs into a MAPI error (happened several times for some mailing lists or weird contacts) it shows the error and stops (instead of caring on doing whatever can be done; BUT the good news is that if you restart the tool it will continue where it left off so it might take a while but after 5 to 6 times I had all my contacts in iCloud apart those that had issues).

 

Anyhow you might check this out for calendars, too (I did this for a sample calendar but had really lots of MAPI errors that required a lot of restarts of the sync). Maybe this will work for Hotmail and other connectors supplied by Microsoft, too.

 

Markus

And - no - I am not affiliated to this company.

  • e5c4p3artist Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)

    Thank you for this info!

     

    I was trying to use an app (ContactsXL) that sets up groups for group messaging. I could not get it to work with Outlook contacts. In retrospect, there may have been a way to make it work and I was just doing something wrong. However, it started me thinking about how my Outlook is on my company laptop and how, if I ever leave this job, how will I take my contacts with me?

     

    My solution was to sync (or duplicate) all my contacts from Outlook to iCloud, but I could not figure out how to do it. Your suggestion of the Code Two FolderSync plug-in worked nicely. Now all my Outlook contacts also exist in iCloud and the plug-in keeps them up to date when I make changes.

     

    As to my original issue though, using ContactsXL to create text messaging (and/or email) groups.  It allows you to set up "smart" groups - like everyone whose Company is BMC or such. But when I created a group like this, now each contact that matches the criteria shows up twice! Assumedly one is from Outlook and the other is from iCloud. Fortunately the iPhone is smart enough to know not to send two text messages (or emails) when a contact is added twice, so no big deal.

     

    But thanks to the OP for the research and suggestions. If I quit my job tomorrow, at least I will take all my contacts with me.

  • TeddyDo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi guys, thought I would let you know that CodeTwo has just released a new plugin for syncing iCloud with the default Outlook pst file automatically. So it is no longer to necessary to fire off the synchronization manually etc. It even has some syncing modes, like one-way or two-way. Here are some more details:

     

    http://www.codetwo.com/sync-for-icloud/

  • Csound1 Level 8 Level 8 (38,880 points)

    Just add your Exchange account to your Mac, iCal, Address Book and Mail are all compatible (unless it is an old Exchange account)

  • samsoyy Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    What if you don't have an Exchange account? You gotta go for CodeTwo sync for icloud then.

  • Csound1 Level 8 Level 8 (38,880 points)

    samsoyy wrote:

     

    What if you don't have an Exchange account? You gotta go for CodeTwo sync for icloud then.

    The OP has an Exchange account and that is who I was replying too, not you.

  • WhySoSerious?! Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    What if your exchange account gets disabled?

    Answer: You lose all your contacts.

     

    The point of the OP is really to sync Microsoft Exchange with iCloud. Not Microsoft Exchancge with your iPhone; That works without a problem.

     

    I'm in the same boat as the OP. I'll look into CodeTwo.