16 e-mail and instant messaging boosters

Communicate better with these (mostly free) downloads

This little utility synchronizes your Google and Outlook calendars and offers many different options. You can fully synchronize the two in both directions, or synchronize only your Google calendar to your Outlook calendar, or vice versa. Other options let you select how many days, weeks or months of your calendar to synchronize.

The free version of this software won't perform synchronizations automatically; you'll have to tell the program to do it. And if you want to synchronize more than seven days of your calendar, you'll have to use the for-pay version.

Download SyncMyCal | Price: Free

SynchPST: If you use Outlook on multiple PCs, you might have noticed that it offers no easy way to keep all your e-mail in sync. You could try to copy Outlook's .pst files -- which contain all of your messages -- between PCs manually, but that's a recipe for disaster, since you'll most likely make a mistake and overwrite a new file with an old one, killing much of your e-mail.

This program will synchronize your .pst files so that you always have your latest messages on whichever PC you're using. It does more, too, such as copying and synchronizing individual folders instead of entire .pst files. Note that the makers offer two versions of this program, a basic one (registration fee is US$40) and a professional version (registration fee is US$70). The professional edition can schedule automatic syncs, works with Microsoft Exchange and has other extras.

Download SynchPST | Price: US$40

Instant Messaging and Chat

Instant messaging and chat are more direct and interactive ways of communicating online. But they have limitations, as well -- you can't talk with people who use instant messaging software that's incompatible with yours, for instance. We have help for that, as well as for other things, such as video chat.

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Preston Gralla

PC World
Topics: email
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