New Palm OS Device Users Beware!

It may already be too late, but before you set up that Palm PDA, or other handheld brand you may have received over the recent holidays, here are a few issues that you need to consider. First, and most importantly, are you part of a department or group synchronization program? Which version of ACT! are you using? And, which "linking software" are you using to "sync" your PDA to your desktop (or laptop)?

The software application provided with your new PDA will "sync" data with its own desktop application (i.e. the Palm Desktop). To "sync" with ACT! you will need to install another linking software program. The links that come with the Act! program (free or downloaded from work well between the Palm OS handheld and the desktop (or laptop). However, if you are part of a department, or group of users who routinely synchronize their data with one another, there is a serious potential problem. You should be aware that the supplied applications (even the new Act! Link 2.0) should NOT be used in this type of environment. This is due to the lack of transaction log entries (i.e. no time/date stamps for data entries). The central database that you synchronize with will think it has the most recent information and therefore overwrite your current data. You can probably imagine the problems that will result, and the time it will take to trouble-shoot this situation.

But don't throw that new gear away. There are several third party applications that will keep your data secure. While I do not endorse or sell the following products, I have had the opportunity to successfully work with them: CompanionLink from CompanionLink Software ( and Intellisync from Puma Technology ( Both applications are relatively inexpensive, and either program will create the transaction log entries that will enable the smooth synchronization of your data from PDA to desktop to Central Database.

The alternative is not to use your PDA for data entry. When you set up your PDA for synchronization with your desktop, always have the desktop database overwrite the PDA. Your PDA may become an expensive electronic "rolodex", but the integrity of your synchronization with a central database will remain intact.

While I am on the subject, and assuming that you are not part of a synchronization program, here is a brief synopsis of what's new with ACT! Link 2.0.

The flexibility to map ACT! and Palm fields such as mobile phone numbers, e-mail, and other Palm custom fields is a welcome enhancement. This feature enables Palm categories to be mapped to the ACT! fields that best meet your needs.
Also new is the ability to synchronize up to ten ACT! contact notes and histories for each contact record with their Palm notes. You can even select the types of histories that you bring down to your Palm, providing you even more flexibility on what data you manage on the go. The default for the number of histories sync'd is 5. This may be changed in the setup preferences to 10. Try it out, but be advised to backup your Palm notes prior to the installation of the ACT! Link 2.0. The installation process overwrites any Palm notes on the first synchronization.

Many of my clients use the Group feature in ACT!. ACT! Link 2.0 lets you synchronize by group with your PDA. Selecting only certain groups to synchronize with will limit the number of contacts involved. The result will reduce synchronization time and conserve memory on a your PDA.

Finally, for each Palm To Do List priority (1-5), users can map a corresponding ACT! priority (High, Medium, or Low).
The new Act! Palm Link 2.0 requires ACT! 2000 and the following Palm hardware and software:

A Palm handheld or a Handspring Visor (or other Palm OS handheld device)

At least 2 MB of storage capacity on the handheld device
Palm HotSync Manager 3.0 or later

if you do not have flash
download it here

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