Customer Reviews: DejaOffice
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on May 25, 2012
For a long time, I have been synchronizing my iPod Touch with Outlook FOR FREE. How surprising to discover that to sync Outlook with my new Kindle Fire will cost me $50.00. Yes, I knew ahead from the other reviews that I would have to buy the $50.00 Companion Link software (for my desktop) along with the free DejaOffice on my Kindle Fire in order to synchronize Outlook on the Kindle Fire.

But, I figured I'd do it, and Companion Link promised a much more complete experience. Color coded contacts and calendar events would move flawlessly from my desktop to my Kindle Fire, and contacts would move with all categories in tact. (When you have hundreds of business contacts, you have to have categories, or you'll never find anything.) When the iPod Touch synced with Outlook, it ignored all the categories.

So, the Companion Link/DejaOffice sync on the Kindle Fire works pretty well with one ENORMOUS exception. As promised, the colors and categories transfer fine with a little tweaking. The calendar appears pretty well with color coded events. You have to do some serious work on "preferences" but eventually you get the calendar looking pretty good. Notes and tasks transfer fine.

Now the ENORMOUS EXCEPTION. When contacts are copied from Outlook on the desktop, to the Kindle using the synchronization window from Companion Link, the alphabetized contacts go haywire. You can enter contacts by first name/last name in Outlook, but then there's a line that says "file as" and, of course, as I was always taught and all phone books still do, you file as "LAST NAME/first name." (That is, unless you are a kid with a cell phone.)

When Companion Link syncs Outlook to the Kindle Fire, the alphabetized names go nuts... some are listed by first name, some are listed by last name. There is no pattern to any of it. Now, I have to say that with the free sync from Apple in iTunes, the same thing happened, but it was free, and I learned to live with it. (The new iPod Touch may have solved this, I don't know.) But, with hundreds of contacts, and at a cost of $50.00 for CompanionLink/DejaOffice, I expect all my contacts to be listed LAST NAME/first name.

I will try to fix this with Companion Link. They seem to have a working phone help line, and other ways to contact them. If it gets fixed, I'll let you know.

PS. 5/31/12, After contacting CompanionLink at their website about the alphabetizing issue I got a simple reply which said I should just make a preference selection in DejaOffice which would list my contacts last name first. Of course, I had already done that, and it didn't work. Instead, after endless head scratching, I found a preference that said, list by "file as," which is where all my contacts in MS Outlook are listed last name first. I did this and it worked.

There are a few other minor issues with DejaOffice on the Kindle Fire. For instance, the program crashes when you accidentally touch the phone icon in contacts. The Kindle Fire is not a phone, so there should not even be a phone icon in the Kindle Fire version of DejaOffice. But, I finally have DejaOffice working in a manner I can live with, though at $50.00 for Companionlink, it is still way overpriced. This experience has me leaning more and more toward switching entirely to Apple devices where such synchronization of contacts, calendar, etc is effortless, seamless, automatic, and free. Yeah, I know the Apple devices are much more expensive. I got the Kindle Fire free for Christmas, and the iPad alone starts at $500.00. But, at some point it may be worth it to get on with one's life rather than spend hours trying to solve these compatibility problems between different operating systems.

Sorry this post is so long. Maybe it will save someone else some time.
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on June 14, 2012
For those who just want the summary: if you need to sync Microsoft Outlook on your PC with your android smartphone, save yourself some money and a lot of grief by using Android-Sync instead of CompanionLink. (CompanionLink is a paid product that you must install on your PC to sync with DejaOffice on your android.)

I've been syncing Outlook with various handheld devices for decades. I'm syncing 600 contacts, 4,000 calendar events, and several hundred tasks. I have a lot of notes, but I use Evernote for those, since Evernote's capabilities are far superior to Outlook's, and it provides automatic syncing among various devices.

I've been using Windows Mobile for my smartphones, since those phones come with free, reliable syncing software. But last year I finally switched to an android phone - Motorola's Droid Razr Maxx.

I've been amazed at what an improvement the android OS is compared to Windows Mobile. But there is that lingering problem of how to sync Outlook with the android. I read many reviews, and CompanionLink (with its companion DejaOffice) was often mentioned as the best available product, although at a steep cost ($49.95).

I shelled out the $49.95 for CompanionLink, and would have been happy to pay that if it had worked well. I've now spent four frustrating months trying to get it to work reliably and accurately, and have mostly given up because of the variety and persistence of the problems. Here are some of the problems I've had:
* Messages asking if I want to delete anywhere from hundreds to thousands of calendar items in Outlook, even though no calendar changes had been made on the android or in Outlook.
* Very strange, seemingly random, changes made to contacts, such as one person's e-mail being replaced with that of another person.
* Repeated messages that CompanionLink and DejaOffice are using different Wi-Fi device names, even though the names had been working fine, and no changes had been made. (And when this happened, a check of the names on the PC and the android always showed them to be the same.)
* Strangely, this message complaining about different Wi-Fi device names would come up frequently even when I was trying to use a USB connection, with no Wi-Fi involvement.

I'm the kind of person who likes to read a lot of reviews before buying a new product, and I hadn't been able to find a solid recommendation for any syncing software other than CompanionLink. But while recently searching again for an alternative, I was surprised to come across a product called Android-Sync, which I assume is new. I was skeptical, since I couldn't find any reviews. But since I was desperate, and since they offer a "60-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee" for $29.95, I decided to give it a try. I've only been using the product for a few days, but at this point I'm very glad I spent the money.

Android-Sync is much easier to set up and use, it syncs faster, and I've yet to find any errors in the syncing. I'm using an optional feature that causes it to sync automatically whenever the android is connected to the PC with a USB cable. (CompanionLink claims to have such a USB capability, but it often failed to work, even after I changed my USB connection mode, which Android-Sync does not require.)

I've found that Android-Sync works well for syncing with the native android calendar, contacts, and tasks applications. I much prefer Business Calendar to the native android calendar, and that works smoothly, since Business Calendar automatically syncs with the native calendar. So I'm getting good two-way syncing between Business Calendar and Outlook.

I'm happy with the android's native contacts manager (and my contact categories in Outlook are syncing nicely with groups on the android), but I do find that the task manager in DejaOffice is superior to the native task app that Android-Sync uses. Because of that, I'm continuing to use CompanionLink, but now only for syncing tasks. With that much smaller job, it has (to my surprise) been working well for several days, via Wi-Fi.

I'll update this review if my experiences change significantly.

Update on April 3, 2014: After using Outlook for decades, I never thought I'd be able to live without it. But it's now been many months since I switched to Google for email, calendar, contacts, and tasks. There's nothing about Outlook that I've missed, and synchronization is done automatically and seamlessly among my Android phone, my android tablet, and my Windows 8 PC, with no special software needed. I'm still using Evernote for all kinds of notes, and find amazing capabilities along with automatic synchronization. It's hard to believe, but all of my synchronization problems are gone!
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on April 18, 2012
Have been using it for over 6 months.

I have been a Palm Desktop user for over 10 years, since the early days. Even Google (who I respect) doesn't "get it" like the original designers of Palm Desktop.

I have a LOT of Palm data. Migrated to my Android device(s) just fine. I use the WiFi sync.

I like to keep my private data on my own machine(s). Nothing against Google, but my personal data is not safe with them. Any government (current or future), or other 3rd parties, or hackers, can go in and harvest my data (along with a gazillion other users) for their own purposes. Governments and courts (and possibly hackers) trump Google. Nobody is going to care enough to break into my (fairly well protected) LAN, because the payback is not there for them.

I also like to be fully functional when "off-line". Deja Office makes that happen.

Bottom line ratings (1-10, with 10 being perfect):
7 stability - reasonably stable product (still needs some work)
8 functionality - pretty solid. Configuring recurring events is still a little weak compared to Palm Desktop
6.5 user interface - OK, but not great. Some recent changes are a step backward. No HD (high def) interface for tablets. Some UI design inconsistencies.
4 navigation and multitasking - This aspect of the application is weak. As a highly experienced programmer, I notice when people miss the mark on this aspect of the application's architecture. This aspect of the application is still confused and awkward, with occasional instability
8 synchronization - works fairly well. A little wonky to get WiFi sync setup between the PC and Android device.

Not as good as my old Palm devices yet, but Palm never figured out how to create a sustainable business model. HP (who bought them) have shown 0% understanding/inspiration of the (still existing) potential on the Android platform. There are still gazillions of loyal Palm Desktop users out there.

Buy this app! It pulls its own weight today, and has an established trend of (generally) getting better.
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on October 13, 2013
Tried to get help, but non forthcoming. Very complicated and difficult to understand. Nothing intuitive about it at all. WRote for help and am still waiting for that 24 hour max for a response. We are into hour 72 now. I'm on the two week trial and doubt i'll buy it. What is really needed badly is a simple synch for those of us moving from a Blackberry to a Samsung Galaxy - for synching our Outlook data from pc to Galaxy same way we synched the Blackberry!!! Many of us will be moving away from Blackberry and whoever makes it the most seamless for us, will win our business!!! Who will it be!

Love to get a response!!!
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on July 7, 2011
If you are looking for a MS Outlook clone for android, here it is. Ths App looks and acts just like Outlook and with the paid PC program ($40 and worth every penny) it syncs seamlessly with the full Outlook system including Notes and Tasks. If you are a former Palm TX user like me you'll love this one even more.
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on April 14, 2012
If you are a former Palm user, this is the app you've been looking for. If you're not a former Palm user, you still need this app. It is absolutely the best sync app for Outlook to the Kindle Fire that I have ever seen. The app on the Kindle Fire is free, but you will need to pay for the software that needs to be installed on your computer. I know some people might balk at the cost of the computer program, but I have to say that I think it is worth it.

I am so pleased to finally have all of my calendar, contacts, notes and tasks available on the go again. If you are even remotely interested in this type of app, you should at least try the 14 day free trial that's available. I think you will be hooked in the first ten minutes and go right back and pay for the program.

This is a well designed and very useful app. For example, there are mutliple ways to sync your content. I use the WiFi interface which allows me to initiate a sync from either the Kindle Fire or my computer. Others might prefer the USB sync, but in my case I wanted to stay "cordless". It took me a total of 15 minutes to get everything set up and running. If you want Outlook on the go, then do yourself a favor and try this app.
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on January 31, 2013
I downloaded this app probably on the day that my new Fire arrived. I have been Very Happy with how this works.

It's made to synch with Outlook, ACT, or other software packages, but I use it as a stand-alone. I keep all of my contact information as well as all of the things I would use a calendar for. I particularly enjoy that I can assign categories to pretty much everything and that I can color-code those categories to make things pop out at a glance. (I used to have a Palm and missed that aspect in other, similar apps.)

The only thing I found lacking was that the birthday and anniversary information entered in with my contacts did not automatically update my calendar. I contacted the developer and received a quick and well-presented response. (Basically, it wasn't something included since it's meant as a companion app.) They made add this functionality down the road; I hope so for those that obtain this app in the future.

I can't say how well it works when used to synch with other apps and programs, since I don't use it in that way. However, as a stand-alone I am quite pleased with this!
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I just discovered this app a little over a week ago when I was looking for a way to sync Act! Pro v16 (2014)- Includes 1 hour ACT! 101 training webinar held weekly with my Kindle Fire HD. I also downloaded Deja Office for my iPhone and iPad to sync that with the same program. In order to do that I had to purchase the Express version of CompanionLink software that's from the same company. Amazon doesn't carry the version for Act so I had to get it from the company's website. Since I've started using Act! for my work I needed a way to sync to my mobile devices and I didn't want to store that information on a cloud. This software allows me to sync directly over my WiFi network in my office.

Although Deja Office is free, the Express version of Companionlink was $79. This seems to me to be a reasonable price for software of this complexity, at least with the Act! software. Act runs on a SQL database and has some pretty powerful features which seem to transfer seamlessly so I can see the data in much the same way on my mobile devices. I don't understand how all of these features work under the hood, but I do know that with Companionlink and Deja Office my data is available much like it is on my PC, but in the palm of my hand. That's worth a lot to me.

I'm really happy with the software because after working through a few quirks in the settings, I can sync my database to my mobile devices in a minute or two and it's simple to do. I like the graphic interface on both the iPhone, iPad and Kindle. It is clean and easy to read even on the phone. I can choose to sync one way or both ways and choose which end takes presidence. Initially I'm syncing only from Act to my devices because I'm still getting used to both programs and want to make sure I understand the process so I don't change something without meaning to.

I initially downloaded the 14 day trial of Companionlink which I need to use with Deja Office. After about a week it was working much better than anticipated so I purchased it. Tech support is excellent, both over the phone and by email. When I emailed questions at night I had replies early the next morning. The support people were very nice and had simple fixes for the couple of problems I came up with. (The problems had more to do with the Act software than with Companionlink.) I'm very happy with this software. It is making my work life a LOT easier!
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on June 13, 2015
Before reading any further, go back to the Product Description page and look at the number of fixes on one release!! Does this give you confidence?

I have been using this since June 2012 for my Kindle HD and a couple of Windows 8.1 phones that I've had. I needed something to sync my Contacts and Calendar to both. I tried Microsoft and gave up on them. It's a shame they can't sync their own software's data. Anyway, DejaOffice & CompanionLink for Outlook [Download] offered a very reasonable solution. All I can say about it now is, "the software is great WHEN IT WORKS! When it doesn't, WATCH OUT!" And, always keep good copies of your Outlook data that you can reload.

The first problem I had was with DUPLICATES and TRIPLICATES. It was a mess! They opened a support ticket for me. Part of my complaint to them, explaining the problem, was, "I have spent two days completely uninstalling/re-installing DejaOffice on my phone and Kindle. I have wiped DejaCloud several times, recreating it, as well as wiped the data on my devices, with no success. Although my Outlook on my desktop has remained constant, having no problems, DejaOffice on my Windows Phone and my Kindle keep producing duplicates [and triplicates] and it is impossible to deal with and our hands are tied because we can do nothing to correct the problems. It just messes up our entire work environment!" They eventually provided a fix, but I wasted a tremendous amount of time!

I am currently dealing with another problem. It is truncating FIRST NAMES that have more than one name, like: Mary Elizabeth, Ann Marie, Terri Ann, John Paul, Billy Jo, Pastor Bob, Cheap Frank, etc. I enter data this way because this is how they are called. I can begin with a new Outlook file (from a good backup), sync (one-way) Outlook to DejaCloud, wiping it first; then uninstall and reinstall DejaOffice on my phone, choosing to read (one-way) from DejaCloud and the data appears exactly as it should. If then I change the settings for both CompanionLink on my PC and DejaOffice on my phone to sync (push) both ways and automatically, and do something like add two new contacts to my phone and one appointment, I run into trouble! If the changes don't appear right away in Outlook, then I initiate the sync manually from CompanionLink. When the sync is completed (this was the first two-way sync on a new Outlook file) whatever followed the first name/word in the First Name field was truncated! This is a new problem! It has worked with my Outlook data for the past three years. It worked for 12 years using Nokia's PC Suite and then their Nokia Suite on my Nokia phones. They say they cannot recreate or duplicate the problem. It's like saying "the problem is not ours, it's yours!" They want me to duplicate the problem for them! Isn't that unbelievable! I'm just a user. I supply them with Outlook data. Once their software processes it, I actually loose some of it. Their software is ripping it away.

I have literally spent days upon days restoring my data and trying to find work-arounds. I have over 1,200 contacts and thousands of calendar entries; but I always had these numbers. It's a big job! Things always worked. I also expect them to work if I am paying for the software.

Like I said, the software is great WHEN IT WORKS! When it doesn't, WATCH OUT!

UPDATE 09/29/2015: Eventually I personally concluded that this software was simply troubled and gave up. It wasn't a simply a guess. I was a Software Engineer mostly in OS R&D for 16 years. You can't always blame bad behaving software on your users, especially when you’re dealing with stuff like an Outlook database. So, I signed up for a trial period with AkrutoSync. Their website seemed to promise a lot. However, I did not like the setup process (a bit crude!) or how it worked (with IP addresses: 192.168.x.x assigned by the router) and its User Interface, but eventually got used to it and bought it. I have not had a problem syncing contacts, calendar, etc. in over 4 months now WITH THE SAME DATA DEJAOFFICE CANNOT! And that’s the same data that worked with the old Nokia PC Suite when I was using it. It is worth looking into. It's virtually trouble free, except when the IP Address changes (rarely with Netgear). It's not worth fighting with DejaOffice/CompanionLink Software or their staff. When their business collapses, maybe they'll get the message!
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on July 18, 2013
I have used Microsoft outlook for years and when I started using mobile devices I wanted the same.interface. My first device was a Blackberry provided by my employer, and syncing with Outlook on the company server was seamless. I left that company and purchased a Palm Pilot, but wanted to sync it with the Outook calendar on my laptop. I did some research and found this product...and it worked fabulously. Has the same look, feel, and features of outlook. That was in 2008. And I have been using this product since then. I didn't buy the companion product so I was syncing by connecting the Palm directly to the laptop. Which was no problem when I only had one device to sync.

Now I have an Android phone, a Kindle, and my laptop so I purchased the$50 companion product about a month ago. It was definitely money well spent. All of my devices are synched automatically. I know this can be accomplished for free through Google, but I didn't like the Google calendar interface and I really didn't want to give Google access to all my contacts.

This is a great app for Outlook user's and the paid companion product is worth the money. It works problems or complaints so far.
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