You’d have thought that by now synchronizing calendar, to-do and contact lists between computer and portable devices would be a reasonably straightforward task. Well I’d have thought so anyway, especially as I have a Mac and iSync is a service built into the OS. Inspired by my progress with Getting Things Done I had envisaged syncing my lean and mean task lists to my Sony Ericsson P900 so that even when away from my desk I’d always know what the Next Action is. How naive I was. It took ages to reconcile synchronization conflicts and duplicates and I’m still not convinced I have all the data that I started with. But the biggest problem is much more fundamental. Despite finally getting my desktop Mac, laptop and phone to talk to each other and sync properly, the most important data doesn’t sync. Categories do not make it through iSync conduits.
It seems that there is no standard way of implementing category metadata across different platforms. Some cross platform category sync seems possible, for example Palm sync appears better integrated and preserves more metadata (can anyone verify this?) but I’m out of luck with my Symbian UIQ phone. Can anyone suggest any Mac solutions for creating task and calendar information with categories that syncs with a mobile phone PDA?
So how come learning technologists can get their metadata standards sorted but consumer electronics companies can’t?