Backup Your Data With DejaOffice

DejaOffice now automatically creates a backup of your data for you – every time you sync!

The latest release of DejaOffice for Android (1.12.3) introduced a great new feature that’s somewhat hidden behind the scenes: automatic backup. Every time you sync your data, DejaOffice automatically creates a backup first. Since this feature has the potential to be quite useful, I wanted to be sure to highlight it here.

With automatic backups, if you accidentally delete a contact, or if your database were to somehow become corrupted, you can rest assured you have a backup to restore from. And DejaOffice keeps the 3 more recent backups, so even if you don’t notice an issue right away, you’re still safe.

To restore from a backup, just follow the instructions below:

  1. Ensure CompanionLink is not running on your PC.
  2. Connect your Android device to your PC and mount it in “mass storage mode”
  3. Open the “Computer” or “My Computer” folder on your PC, then select your device’s SD card/removable drive from the list.
  4. Browse to the “\clusb\backup” folder.
  5. In this folder, you will see a file named “companionlink<date>.db” (e.g. companionlink2011-11-04.db). This is a backup of your database prior to your most recent synchronization.
  6. Rename this file to “companionlink.db”
  7. Copy the file to the “\clusb” folder. Choose to replace the existing companionlink.db file if prompted.
  8. That’s it – your data is then restored to the date of that backup.

1: Select your SD card

5. Locate your backups

If you have any questions or feedback about our new backup feature, let us know in the comments below!

Understanding Android Contacts [Infographic]

Confused about how Android Contacts and Accounts work?  We’ve created an infographic that helps explain the chaos!


Update: Now that Motorola’s DROID RAZR and Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus (featuring the next generation of Android – Ice Cream Sandwich) have been announced, this infographic is even more relevant. These two phones are sure to draw many users over to Android for the first time!


Coming to Android from a “feature phone,” a BlackBerry, or even iOS, there are a number of new features to get used to. One aspect that we’ve seen a lot of uncertainty about is exactly how Contacts work on Android.

As such, we’ve created an infographic to help visualize how Android Contacts work and hopefully eliminate some of the confusion. Check it out below:

(Click the graphic for a larger version)

Android Contacts Infographic

How To Remove Duplicates With CompanionLink

We’ve talked about dealing with duplicates before on the blog, but today I wanted to share with you a video we just published on the topic. In this quick video, we’ll show you step-by-step how to remove duplicates using CompanionLink – and how to avoid them in the first place!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2ma4IMcrJc]

Keep an eye on our YouTube channel for more great videos coming soon, like Sync 101 and How DejaOffice Interacts With Native Databases!

Which Sync Method Is Best?

This post will help you understand the differences between the four sync methods that CompanionLink offers you: Direct USB Sync, Local WiFi Sync, Secure Hosted Wireless Sync, and Sync via Google. Below, I’ll explain each one to help you find the best sync method for your setup.

Direct USB Sync

This method synchronizes your data via USB cable. It’s the plain “old-fashioned” method that HotSync provided in the old days. Data is directly transferred to and from your device without the need of any cloud or hosted services. USB sync is recommended if:

  • you require a high level of security
  • you are averse to hosting your data in the cloud
  • you do not need your data synchronized continuously throughout the day

Simply dock your phone to your PC and sync.

Works with: Android, BlackBerry, and webOS devices

Pros:

  • Secure and direct transfer
  • Data is stored locally
  • HIPAA friendly

Cons:

  • Must be connected to PC
  • Not a direct sync for iOS devices*

*Syncs via Outlook/iTunes

Local WiFi Sync

This method uses your local WiFi network to securely sync information from your PC directly to DejaOffice on your device. Both your PC and device must be connected to the same WiFi internet connection. Local WiFi Sync will then detect when you are within range of your local WiFi network and sync in the background, hands-free!* WiFi Sync is your best choice if:

  • you want a quick, wireless options for syncing data
  • you are in and out of the office or house all day
  • you regularly update your data throughout the day

Set it up once, then enjoy the convenience of a wireless sync.

Works with: Android, iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices

Pros:

  • Wireless sync – no cords!
  • Optional automatic sync*
  • AES-256bit encryption for security

Cons:

  • Range is limited to your local WiFi connection
  • Not available on BlackBerry, webOS, or Windows Phone

*Automatic sync is currently Android-only. iOS users must initiate the sync on the PC.

Secure Hosted Sync

Secure Hosted Sync is our most robust and reliable sync option. CompanionLink will sync your data securely to your device using AES-256 bit encryption. Most importantly, we do not host your data, meaning users who are concerned about security and hosting data online now have a convenient wireless sync option, all for just $9.95 per month! Secure Hosted Sync is recommended if:

  • you need a fast, secure, hands-free sync
  • you do not want your data hosted by a third party (such as Google)
  • you want the convenience of a wireless sync with the security of a wired sync

Secure Hosted Sync works in conjunction with our free Android and iOS app, DejaOffice (or DejaLink for BlackBerry users).

Works with: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and BlackBerry devices

Pros:

  • Secure wireless sync
  • Works anywhere you have internet
  • We do not host your data
  • Automatic, real-time sync*

Cons:

  • Monthly fee
  • Not available on webOS or Windows Phone

*Currently Android-only. Coming soon on iOS, as well as for Zoho and SugarCRM.

Sync via Google

Sync via Google allows you to sync contacts, calendar and tasks from your PC to any Google, Gmail, or Google Apps account. Once your PC data has been synced to a Google account, Google provides wireless sync with most smartphone and tablet platforms. Sync via Google is best if:

  • you are looking for a free wireless sync option
  • you already rely heavily on Google for other services
  • you want hosted access to your data online
  • you have basic contact & calendar databases*

For more information on how to sync your device with your Google account, visit google.com/sync.

Works with: Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and webOS devices

Pros:

  • Free wireless sync
  • Creates an online backup of your data
  • Sync your Google account to multiple devices

Cons:

  • Data is hosted by a 3rd party
  • Google controls the sync process to your device
  • Data is limited to basic contacts & calendars

*Google imposes certain limitations on the type of data we can sync. As such, we do not recommend Sync via Google for those with more complex databases.

Hate Duplicates? We Do Too.

Image Credit: Jeff Evora

Duplicates. Perhaps the most despised sync issue that could arise. There are few things as annoying and damaging to your productivity as seeing 5 copies of your data.

At CompanionLink, we have worked hard to eliminate data duplication. With over 15 years in the business, we’ve learned a lot. But even the best sync solutions are prone to error. This is due to the fact that they must rely on a computer to make the final decision. The computer simply cannot know if the “John Smith” with just an email is the same as the “John Smith” with just a phone number.

In our own software, we’ve learned that if a user experiences data duplication, it is almost always a result of an incomplete setup. To that end, we have created a resource that quickly informs you how to achieve a proper sync setup. Head over to our Sync 101 page for the 3 easy steps that will help you avoid data duplication and save your productivity (and sanity!).

How To Keep Your Personal Data Separated From Your Work Life

The short answer is this: Categories.

Creating a category called “Personal” allows you to keep your home life organized in its own section of your database. Your complete database is on your device, but it’s easily sorted so that you only see the data that is relevant to your current situation.

Unfortunately, not all devices have category functionality, and those that do are often limited. To remedy this, DejaOffice allows you to create and manage categories, as well as assign colors to them to further differentiate your data.  This exponentially boosts productivity, especially once you begin to use colors to cue yourself for the urgency or types of tasks.  Red means must-do and urgent.  Yellow means phone calls.  Orange means it’s not the end of the world if you miss this appointment or meeting.  And so on.  At a glance, you will be able to know how many urgent meetings, calls, etc., you have on any given day.

Taking this a step further, you can then use CompanionLink’s sync software to sync your phone to your PC. CompanionLink gives you the option to ignore your personal contacts during sync. This allows you to keep your work data up to date in programs like Outlook, ACT, and more without mixing in personal data on a work computer.

So, with a little help from DejaOffice and CompanionLink, you’ll be down to just one phone all while keeping your work data synced and personal data separated!

DejaTasks Now Supports Recurring Tasks (DejaOffice 1.10, part 4)

Welcome to the final installment in our series of posts explaining in greater detail some of the new features in DejaOffice 1.10.6 for Android. Find the other parts of this series here: part 1 (widgets), part 2 (global search), part 3 (DejaCal).

We are pleased to announce support for recurring tasks in DejaOffice! I’m sure this is a very welcome feature among many of our users. Whether you need a reminder to send out a weekly report, to schedule a monthly meeting, or to ensure you send out a birthday card to an important client every year, the new recurring tasks feature is sure to save you time.

     

To schedule a recurring task, simply open DejaTasks and create a new task. You’ll notice a new “Recurrence” option, which allows you to set the task to recur daily, weekly, monthly by day or date, and yearly by day or date. You can then choose if (and when) you’d like the recurrence to end. Finish adding the details to your task, tap save, and you’re done! Should you need to edit a recurring task, tap the edit button on a task as you normally would and change the “Recurrence” field. It’s that simple!

DejaOffice 1.10.6 was a major release for our Android app. This recent series of blog posts has highlighted some of the main features we’ve added, and has hopefully given you a better understanding of how to use the new features. If you have any further questions on how the new features work, let us know!

Of course, we’re hard at work to add even more. Do you have a feature you’d like to see? Let us know in the comments or head over to our DejaOffice forums!

DejaCal Receives a New UI and Date Picker (DejaOffice 1.10, part 3)

Welcome to part 3 of 4 in our mini-series that explains in greater detail some of the new features in DejaOffice 1.10.6 for Android. Be sure to read part 1 (widgets) and part 2 (global search) as well!

If you’ve been a longtime user of DejaOffice, you’re bound to appreciate the improvements we’ve made on the look and feel of DejaCal. With a refreshed UI, we feel the calendar is more efficient and better looking than ever! The look and feel is not the only change we’ve brought to DejaCal, however. We have also introduced a PalmOS style date picker.

          

The new PalmOS style date picker is sure to be a hit. While Android has many great features, allowing you to quickly pick the date and time for an event is not its strongest one. That’s why we rebuilt the date picker for DejaOffice. If you’ve used a PalmOS device in the past, you’ll find this looks familiar. With this new format, you’re able to quickly select a date and time and move on. When it comes to mobile productivity, accomplishing something in the fewest possible steps is important. We think the newly designed date picker goes a long way in doing just that!

Tomorrow, I’ll wrap up this series of updates with a post on how we’ve implemented recurring tasks, and how you can best use them!

DejaOffice Gains Global Search on Android (DejaOffice 1.10, part 2)

Today’s post is part 2 of a 4 part series that explains in greater detail some of the new features in DejaOffice 1.10.6 for Android. To read part 1, which discusses the new widgets, click here.

Global search is a very useful feature in Android. It allows you to search through items on your phone, as well as online. Many applications support global search, allowing you to easily search through their data from the main search bar. This is an extremely convenient feature to have, especially when you have a lot of data that you’d like to access quickly. As such, we’ve added support for global search to DejaOffice!

To get started, you’ll need to make sure DejaOffice data is included in search results. To do so, simply tap the search key on your phone. Next, click the Google icon in the top left corner. This will display what types of information you are currently searching for when you use global search. To add DejaOffice to this list, tap the settings icon on the right side of this screen. Scroll to DejaOffice in the resulting list and tap the checkbox to enable it. Now, a simple tap on the search key is all it takes to quickly jump to a contact, task, or calendar event! To have the search single out DejaOffice data, simply tap the Google icon in the top left, then select the DejaOffice icon.

Be sure to check back in tomorrow to learn about the major UI improvements we’ve made to DejaCal. I have a feeling you’re going to love our new date picker!

Introducing DejaToday Widgets for Android (DejaOffice 1.10, part 1)

DejaOffice 1.10 for Android is a significant update. We’ve added a number of major new features and, as such, wanted to take the time to go through a few of them in greater detail. Over the next few days, I’ll be highlighting the following new features: Widgets, Global Search, Calendar Improvements, and Recurring Tasks.

Today, I want to focus on widgets. Widgets are a great way to add “at-a-glance” information to your Android’s home screens. They come in many varieties, from clocks to weather to e-mail and much more. So what do our widgets do? They display your DejaToday information. Today’s calendar events and tasks, as well as any contacts related to these activities, are displayed on either a 4×1 “marquee” style widget or a large, 4×4 overview widget.  We designed these widgets to help you be even more productive on the go. A quick glance at your home screen is all it takes for you to keep tabs on your schedule! Additional details regarding any of the activities displayed in the widget are only a touch away.

     

To add a DejaOffice widget, simply tap and hold on any empty spot on your home screen, select “widgets” from the popup, and choose either the “DejaToday 4×1” or “DejaToday 4×4” widget. Then, sit back and enjoy have easy access to all your important information!

We hope you find these new widgets as useful as we do! If you have any questions on how they work, or have feature suggestions for future updates, please let us know! And be sure to check back tomorrow to learn about the new Global Search feature in DejaOffice 1.10!