Apr 03, 2008 / software ~ osx ~ mac
Synchronising Exchange & Outlook with OSX iCal and Address Book

I recently switched to Mac, and it's been annoying me that I have to switch into Windows (using VMWare Fusion) to get at Outlook for my Contacts and Calendar.

I think I've found a great way of sorting this out now that's essentially FREE :) It's called Plaxo.

The setup I had before buying a Mac was this:

  • Outlook 2003 on home PC synced to Exchange Server
  • Outlook 2003 on work PC synced to Exchange Server
  • Exchange Server hosted by 1&1
  • iMate SP5 phone synced to Exchange

Then I swapped my work PC for a MacBook, and my home PC for an iMac. Both run VMWare Fusion for .NET development etc.

I searched the web and blogs for ages, and couldn't find a good way of getting OSX iCal and Address Book to reliably sync with my exchange server. But then someone mentioned Plaxo. This works flawlessly as far as I can tell. You simply install Plaxo on Windows, and it synces up you calendar and address book from Outlook up to the Plaxo server.

Then, you install Plaxo on OSX, and it instantly pulls all contacts into AddressBook, and all calendars into iCal. Perfecto. The 2-way sync is very fast and works great. I can easily add new contacts on the mac and they just appear in Outlook. Similarly, I can update my iCal and updates appear in Outlook or vice versa. You can have multiple calendars too.

I've also got the piece of mind that, if my Exchange server goes down, then Plaxo has a backup.

Great stuff eh!

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