Well my Treo-ification is now well underway, which is to say that I’ve been immersed in the ever-exciting challenges of how to reorganize my life to be more Treo-friendly. (Oops — I meant to say, figure out how to use the Treo to live my previous life more efficiently.)

Here’s some of what I’ve figured out so far:

GPRS without a net:
Actually, you can’t just take an unlocked phone out of the box and go wild. Gotta figure out your carrier settings, which isn’t 100% easy. Here are the current settings for Fido.

Up until now I’ve been an Entourage user. (That’s what you Windows users call “Outlook”.) I have a recurring event in Entourage that reminds me to reconsider using Entourage every three months. Today, when the bell went off, I wondered whether the Treo might make the ultimate case for switching from Entourage to Apple’s own iCal/Address Book/Mail combination. (Note to developers: giving your software generic names like “Mail” and “Address book” makes it very very hard for nice people like me to find out about your software using the Google method.)

My mind was more or less made up for me by the fact that Entourage appears not to synch with the Treo 650, period. Cruised enough user groups to conclude that my problems were the norm and not the exception. But was it worth giving up the joys of all-in-one mail/task/calendar/contact integration?

Today’s documentation award goes to Anil Bawa for his blog post on
Switching away from Entourage which tells you everything you need to know about how and why to switch. Why: inter-application integration among the various Apple apps is actually more flexible than integration across Entourage features. How: just drag and drop your Entourage contacts into the Address Book; and in iCal and Mail, use the built-in import features and select the “import from Entourage” options.

Not only did Anil convince me that the switch would be quick, easy and useful, but his blog post was also the first place I found anyone saying that YES you can get date from Entourage to the Apple apps. With all the scripts and software out there, promoting their ability to effect this transformation, I had just about concluded that it would require special software before discovering Anil’s post. So thanks, Anil.

Of course I’m hoping that the Apple apps (including built-in handheld synchronization via iSynch) won’t be my complete long-term solution. The nice people over at Airset tell me that they’ll have iCal to Airset sync soon, at which point Airset may become my automatic way of keeping Treo and Mac in sync.

E-mail and messaging
Mark Surman told me that I had to switch from POP to IMAP if my Treo was going to work for me, so I spent last night clearing through a terrifying accumulation of e-mail before making the switch. (Greets to the 39 people who got overdue e-mails from me between 9:30 and 11:00 pm last night.) Now I’m ready to give up POP — which pulls mail onto my computer — and switch to IMAP — which leaves my email on the server, so it can be read by my laptop or my Treo.

But since I am but a lone woman in the high seas of the Internet, I have no IMAP service in place. After a little poking around, I settled on Runbox — again, a Mark recommendation — who offer hosted IMAP service for $29.95/year. That includes hosting my own domain, so my alex_at_alexandrasamuel_dot_com address still works; it’s just now an IMAP account over at Runbox. Note to world (and Runbox): if you’re redirecting your own domain’s email to work via Runbox, it takes a few minutes for e-mail hosting to switch over; possibly longer. Meanwhile your e-mails will bounce. Maybe Runbox could change its bounce message to alert people to the possibility that the email address they’re trying might in fact work again in a few minutes. Meanwhile, I advise making the switch during off-hours.

As for the challenge of reading e-mail on my Treo, I’ve decided to go with Chattermail over Snappermail or Versamail, thanks in large part to a helpful article at Boston College. They came down on the side of Snappermail but that was because Chattermail was still in beta at the time.

I will install Chattermail tomorrow — once I’ve got this whole Entourage switch wrapped up — at which point I’ll also try to get up and running on Mumbu as my IM client. MyTreo had a great article on different IM options that pointed me in that direction.

I’m hoping to resist any further software problem-solving for the next couple of days. But you can keep track of the Treo resources I’m uncovering by watching my Treo links on del.icio.us.