I have been on a life long quest for an even mildly acceptable way to sync my personal data (PIM: contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, etc). Given I've significantly complicated this process by recent switches to the Palm OS from Windows Mobile, and to Mac OSX from Windows XP, there has never been an elegant solution.
To further this point, please take a look at what could be one of the most concise and self explanatory Personal Information Network diagrams I have ever see:
If you couldn't tell, I was being sarcastic. Its completely ridiculous to think that in this day and age you have to jump through so many hoops to get your data where and when you need it. The worst part is that there are still manual steps in this process. Do people really think they are going to remember to manually export their contacts into gmail? How do they expect to merge these contacts successfully with their other address books?
Isn't Funambol is supposed to have SyncML syncing, which I thought was for syncing directly to mobile devices. Why would you want to go through the trouble of using Outlook to sync to your phone?
Anyway, it is clear that Personal Information Managers have never been that good, and they have been completely inadequate when it comes to getting that data to connect or sync with all the other devices that we come into contact with in our daily lives.
Here is the problem I am trying to solve:
1) I love gmail, I want to do all of my e-mailing here. Gmail builds an Address Book for you based on all the e-mails you are sending/receiving messages to. This is a great place to start building an address book, and therefore its completely reasonable to want to sync with another device. Unfortunately they only have a manual CSV file export
2) My phone of choice is the Treo 650. Between the Missing Sync, exchange server syncing, and the Entourage sync I think I might be able to find an acceptable solution. Though I've had to adapt my GTD system to address the loss of Chapura Keysuite, since it doesn't work with Mac OSX.
3) My two main sources of contact information are gmail and my cell phone. I'm out collecting phone numbers with my phone, and all people who send me e-mails eventually end up in my gmail contacts. Once I get the syncing capabilities, I'm going to need a way to merge these to Address Books. Most likely I'm going to want to make sure I get my e-mails from my gmail contacts, and my contact's mobile number from my Treo.
It shouldn't be all that complicated!!!