On Monday 21st I got some feedback from a friend on my posts on this topic. His initial reaction was, “Why don’t you just buy a Mac and stick with your iPhone contacts syncing using the Apple cloud like I do?”. I wish it was that easy and that I had the cash to switch platforms at will!
I was beginning to get the feeling that there is no simple all-embracing answer. So I decided to break the problem up into three main areas and look at the options within each: 1) What to do with the Filemaker Address List (“Addlist”), 2) Syncing the Addlist with the Email/Phone lists, 3) Syncing the email list with the phone list (the reverse is done automatically by the iPhone).
For question 1) there are a lot of options including leave it as it is; redesign it; abandon it and move the data to Excel; abandon it and move the data to another product like StatTrak; abandon it and move the data to the email system; and abandon it and throw the data away. I’ve decided that I don’t want to spend a load of time on a redesign, and that, while I still have a copy of Filemaker, I’ll just continue to use the Addlist as it is.
For question 2 (syncing the Addlist with the Email/Phone lists) the options included producing an Email/Phone csv file and syncing manually with the Addlist; combining an Addlist csv with an Email/Phone csv and checking for differences; doing an eyeball sync between the names in the Addlist and the names in the Email/Phone lists – but keeping email addresses in the email system and phone numbers in the phone; and don’t do any syncing at all. I’ve decided that I will do minimal syncing and that I will not attempt to keep emails or phone numbers up to date in the Addlist. In practice this will mean comparing the names in the Addlist and in the iPhone list once a year around Christmas time to support the sending of Christmas cards.
For question 3 (syncing the email list with the phone list) the options included producing a csv file from the iPhone and checking it against the Email list; combining the csv files from both the Email system and the iPhone and then checking for differences; and not trying to sync the two at all. I’ve decided I will do minimal syncing and will just do a check on the Email list using a csv from the iPhone once a year around Christmas time. Furthermore, if I have a choice I’ll put new emails and phone numbers into the Email system rather than the iPhone since the iPhone will replicate with the Email system but not vice versa.