PIM 2.0, Final Round: Memotoo vs. ScheduleWorld

So here we are.

More than a year since I first set out to replace the groundbreaking over the air sync of my beloved Fido hiptop, a worthy replacement has finally been found.

But first, a quick refresher… My perfect PIM 2.0 client must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Full support for the open SyncML standard, with no added bullshit.
  2. Online component accessible from any desktop computer.
  3. Full export of my PIM data in open formats, so’s I can move whatever to wherever, whenever.

Since this search began I’ve looked at no fewer than nine solutions:

One of the above, Memotoo.com, was initially given a failing grade because I didn’t properly set my time zone before I uploaded my calendar data. That um, “user error” has been rectified, thus bringing Memotoo into a final showdown with another hosted SyncML service.

I was just getting ready to give ScheduleWorld its own post when I received an email with the following proclamation:

Were excited to announce that ScheduleWorld is leaving the incubator stage and is going to start charging a yearly fee!

This puts ScheduleWorld on more or less equal footing with Memotoo, also a paid service — there’s also a free version of Memotoo, but the limitations on it make it pointless for serious use.

So how do the two compare? Let’s find out!

Round 1: The Basics

ScheduleWorld syncs calendar events, contacts, notes and to-do items with any mobile device that supports SyncML (workarounds are available for BlackBerries, teh iPhone and Windows Mobile devices).

Memotoo does all of the above plus lets you synchronize your mobile browser’s bookmarks. Oh, and 100MB of online file storage is included with every paid account, with the option to purchase more.

Both services will let you sync to popular desktop PIM apps, including Outlook on Windows, Apple’s Address Book and iCal on OS X, Evolution on Linux and Thunderbird on all three platforms.

And most importantly, both will export all of your data into open formats.

They’ll also sync your PIM data to Google’s equivalents but really, if you’re already using Google you probably don’t need either of these services.

Winner: Memotoo — bookmarks sync and file storage put it out in front.

Round 2: Web Interface

This is important because either service is going to be the primary archive of your PIM data. There’s a lot of detail I could go into here but in the interest of brevity I’ll only highlight the important bits…

Overall Memotoo favours smaller fonts and a busier layout, while ScheduleWorld gives you big, bold text and brightly-coloured backgrounds. Choosing between the two is obviously a matter of personal taste, but there is one important practical consideration:

Memotoo allows you to choose your own start page — that is, after logging in you will be sent directly to the page of your choice, be it your calendar or whatever else.

ScheduleWorld gives you a start page that looks like this:

ScheduleWorld Start Page… Which I think is absolutely useless. What’s worse is that when I tried to tweak it (i.e. replace Dilbert and Sudoku with something actually useful) the changes didn’t stick, so the next time I logged in I was once again faced with this abomination.

Winner: Memotoo — sorry ScheduleWorld, that start page is a big fail.

Round 3: Email Aggregators

An added bonus with both of these services is the ability to bring your separate email accounts into one place.

ScheduleWorld lets you add an unspecified number of IMAP accounts (including Gmail) and also gives you a complimentary “@sweetmail.ca” address, which apparently you cannot change.

Memotoo gives you access to unlimited IMAP and POP accounts, plus Hotmail, Yahoo! and a bunch of others I’ve never heard of.

Winner: Memotoo — for POP email and more.

Round 4: Support

Both services have online support forums – Memotoo’s is here, ScheduleWorld’s here.

As Mementoo is based in France, a lot of the forum posts are en Francais, so you’ll need some kind of online translator to get full value from the information there.

ScheduleWorld’s forum has an altogether different problem: There’s some kind of bug which has prevented me from signing up for a forum account. I exchanged a couple of emails with Mark Swanson, the only point of contact for ScheduleWorld, before he suddenly dropped off the face of the earth – presumably to prep his baby for its début as a paid service.

Winner: I’ll give Mr. Swanson the benefit of the doubt on this one and call it a draw.

Round 5: Price

Here’s what you have to pony up for ScheduleWorld:

  • $24.99 USD per year for all features except the IMAP client.
  • $11.99 USD per year for the IMAP client.
  • $33.98 USD per year for all features.
  • These prices do not include taxes (this is explained when you purchase a license in the web application).

Payments are made through the site with a credit card. As ScheduleWorld is located in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, Ontario PST & GST apply. And yet pricing is in US and A dollars. Interesting…

Memotoo offers four payment options.

  • Pre-pay 1 Month: 3 € ($5.10 CAD)
  • Pre-pay 12 Months: 1 € x 12 months = 12 €  ($1.70 CAD  x 12 = $20.40)
  • Pre-pay 18 Months: 0.95 €  x 18 months =17 € ($1.61 CAD x 18 = $28.90)
  • Pre-pay 24 Months: 0.92 € x 24 months = 22 € ($1.56 CAD x 24 = $37.40)

Payments are handled through PayPal and there’s no tax. Plus, conversion to popular international currencies is shown right on the payment page.

Winner: Memotoo — for obvious reasons…

Final Score: Memotoo 4, ScheduleWorld 0

I really, really wanted to like ScheduleWorld — partly because it’s Canadian and especially because it was free. But with their new pricing there’s simply no way I can recommend it over Memotoo when the latter offers substantially more features for almost half the price.

I’ve signed up a year with Memotoo, thus bringing my epic quest to an end. With this sense of closure I feel compelled to let you fine readers know that this may be one of my blog posts here at WordPress.com — I’m not going offline or anything (far from it!) but I’m starting to feel a bit stifled by the medium of the traditional blog.

More on this as it develops…

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About Andrew

Mobile phones, Linux and copyright reform. Those go together, right?
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14 Responses to PIM 2.0, Final Round: Memotoo vs. ScheduleWorld

  1. Ed Miller says:

    AC:
    I literally laughed out loud at the thought of Dilbert haunting your syncronization process…. Do they still publish Dilbert?

    I’m still using Mobile Me for syncing my 2 Macs, but I’m happy with it. If I were to bring a non-Mac computer or mobile devices into the mix, I’d likely go with your choice, too–good value for the price.

    So, if you’re deblogging yourself, what’s the next step?

    Ed

  2. Shawn Clark says:

    Hey,

    I have been using SW for about a year. While I like its intentions, it does not always work. ie. duplicate address book entries, duplicate schedule events, etc…

    At any rate, thanks for the review. I think I will give memotoo a shot. I noticed that memotoo has a referral program. If you send me your memotoo login id I would b happy to use you as my referral.

    Cheers!

  3. ZachOfAllTrades says:

    I have been using both of these services on and off for nearly two years. I was willing to pay for MemoToo over the free ScheduleWorld because of the additional features:
    – bookmark synch (I’ve subsequently delegated that personal data type to XMarks)
    – stability – SW has historically had a tendency to have one feature or another suddenly stop working (but it was hard to complain when it was free and ‘beta’)
    – online file storage (which also synchs with the “briefcase” category on Windows Mobile

    But I went back to SW a few months back because of the unique way that multiple calendars are handled there, which I don’t see you mention. On SW, you can have many calendars, each one configured independently (similar to Google calendar). each calendar can be published with a read only feed, shared with other SW users, and/or synched with a Google calendar (and not just your default Google Calendar). All (or any subset) of the calendars can be synched to my PDA (and you can configure which ones go to which sync clients). When a calendar is synched to a client, which has only one local calendar, each server side calendar goes into a specific category on the client. You can even have certain client categories ignored by the sync — and all of this customization of multiple calendars is handled on the server (the client can be anything conforming to the SyncML standard). This is the one thing that SW really does better than anyone else — and I have also looked at a lot of hosted services ( I even did the first update to the WikiPedia page that you link to that distinguished clients, servers, and hosted services).

    Even so, with the price of SW now 2-3 times that of MemoToo, I am seriously considering not paying for it and going back to MemoToo…

  4. Ciarán says:

    Another point for Memotoo as ScheduleWorld’s forum no longer exist. I’m so glad I didn’t decide to pay for what was once an ok free service.

    • Cathy says:

      Well, I’m still using SW, but after they decided to restrict user access to the forum and completely shut it down, I’m waiting until my paid year of SW runs out and then I’m gonna switch to Memotoo. Sorry, although the service was more or less ok.

  5. Pingback: memotoo - Un todo terreno en la administración de datos online

  6. David says:

    Nice post. I too have been on this hunt, as I need to sync my Nokia N95 and Thunderbird on my Linux desktop.

    I too have a list of services and have settled on Memotoo, today [ I think :)]

    Your post has helped me feel confident in my choice with Memotoo

    PS I too uploaded my calendar events BEFORE setting my timezone. What a mess!!!

  7. rvanderh says:

    Thanks very much for this review. I am bit of a slow adaptor on mobile devices. The main reason I see for buying a smart phone is to get the two things I always need with me (phone,calendar) into one device. As I refuse to let take BB’s like microsoft and google take care of my calendar data, it took a long time before I could reach my wish. Providers like Memotoo and Scheduleworld finally made my dream come true. It worked smoothfully and I even don’t need the webinterface. I sync from thunderbird and my phone.

    Thanks for the review

  8. Tim says:

    It’s easy to change the home page of scheduleworld. Perhaps it was added after your review. You simply click on “Toggle Component Browser” and add modules as you wish. There are lots to choose from.

  9. David says:

    Nice review,
    Ive been using the Ovi service from Nokia these past few months but there is no way to sync with Thunderbird… now it looks like this is possible with Memotoo. Lets hope they continue to get better and better!

    • Hey David,

      To be clear, Thunderbird isn’t syncing with Memotoo per se; instead Thunderbird accesses Memotoo’s live LDAP server to fill in your contacts as you type them. It’s fairly spectacular to witness. 🙂

  10. David says:

    Hi Andrew, Thanks for your reply.

    I have picked that up thanks, do you have a paid account with them?

    Also do you believe its easy to swap mobile devices, and simply re-sync back to a new phone?

    • Re: Paid account, I do.

      Re: Swapping mobile devices, absolutely — I’ve done it many times!

      So long as your handsets support SyncML (like the Nokias I reguarly test) all you need to do is enter the server settings from Memotoo and pull your PIM data down from there.

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