How do split personalities synch their calendars and e-mail?
December 11, 2007 10:11 AM   Subscribe

Posting on behalf of Mrs. Shallow Center: I've started a new job and am going crazy trying to create a system to help me manage my multiple e-mail accounts, calendars, and hardware.

Here are the facts:

* I spend most of my time at my client's location, where I have my own workspace and desktop PC (owned by the client). I also have my own e-mail account on the client's domain. Most of my clients e-mail me at this account. I also use this account to maintain a calendar to schedule meetings through Scheduler.

* I also have my own company's laptop at my workspace, which I use to access my e-mail and calendar from my own company's account. I receive a fair amount of e-mail at this account. I can only use dial-up with my laptop, and it is painful. The company has wireless access, but they won't let outsiders use it with "non-client" hardware.

* I do have a company BlackBerry, but my workspace is in somewhat of a "dead" zone, and I get e-mail and calls only intermittently. I have got a Verizon wireless card on order, but I fear this won't work from my location.

* I can access my client e-mail account through the Internet via webmail.

Any ideas -- technical or manual -- to help me keep things organized and work more efficiently? Thanks!
posted by shallowcenter to Work & Money (9 answers total)
auto forward everything to the email that works, unless confidential data will be going over the client's network. One inbox is the secret to staying organized. Run your whole life through the computer that works, find a way to get that email on a web service when you aren't at the location.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:24 AM on December 11, 2007

Is using Scheduler absolutely necessary to get meetings scheduled; i.e., is it needed to touch base with other attendees? Because if not, moving all scheduling to Google Calendar would be ideal. Per Ironmouth's comment, you might just want to forward everything through to one e-mail address unless it's super-confidential.

Mrs. SC might also want to explore Portable Apps, which will let her put an email client (and a desktop calendar app) onto a thumb drive and run it from any number of PCs. I used it for a while here at work so I could jump between my work desktop and my home Windows-based laptop before the office got us all Macbooks.

What I do is have my Gmail forward to my work address and check it all in Thunderbird. I also have an account on TB set for my site's mail. When I want to send from my domain, I just switch the "From" in TB. I can show you how if you want.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 10:30 AM on December 11, 2007

I can't say without knowing what her company is/does, but I'm going to guess that Ironmouth's suggestion of forwarding her company email through to the client's network is probably going to be met with massive IT resistance. Know that this is, policy-wise, totally justifiable (companies don't want internal info sent indiscriminately to another company's network) and the upshot may be that she is SOL.

She should bring this issue up with her boss, in the context of her inability to receive/respond to important company emails in a timely manner. I'm not going to actively suggest that she do so, but a strategically "missed" (wink, wink) email might light a fire under someone's ass.
posted by mkultra at 10:32 AM on December 11, 2007

She could also use Gmail or Yahoo to fetch her work email and get all the mail in one account that way without asking IT to enable forwarding. That assumes they haven't blocked the ports from outside the corporate network.
posted by COD at 10:45 AM on December 11, 2007

Plaxo will allow you to sync all your calendars.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:51 AM on December 11, 2007

brief derail - blue_beetle, do we know of any security issues with plaxo? they're asking me for my gmail login information. I rarely give that out, so I just want to make sure it's relatively safe.
posted by damnjezebel at 11:12 AM on December 11, 2007

She could also use Gmail or Yahoo to fetch her work email and get all the mail in one account that way without asking IT to enable forwarding. That assumes they haven't blocked the ports from outside the corporate network.

I'd advise you to never, ever do this. It is a fireable offense in a lot of companies, and generally a stupid, stupid idea to let Yahoo, Google, or anyone else retain a permanent copy of all of your work email that they would then have a property claim on.
posted by mkultra at 11:39 AM on December 11, 2007

IANAcomputer person. But at my office, despite all sorts of security measures regarding access to the network, to wireless and to email, I can just yank the network cable out of the back of my desktop and plug it into my personal laptop to get fast internet access. If I'm reading your post correctly, doing this and then accessing the client email account throuh webmail would seem to address some of your issues. Maybe this is impossible for you, or really unwise for other reasons, I don't know.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 11:54 AM on December 11, 2007

damnjezebel: I'm not aware of any security issues, but admittedly I haven't really looked too hard. I've been using Plaxo for months, and haven't had any problems. YMMV.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:16 PM on December 11, 2007

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