Plaxo – Universal Personal Information Manager?

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After years of having people send me Plaxo invites, I’m finally gave in and signed up to use Plaxo to manage my Contacts, Calendar, and other PIM data online. I’m tired of trying to keep everything connected when a new service crops up, which is what Plaxo does almost automatically. It’s best at keeping a desktop app like Outlook or Windows Mail synced up with all the various places you might want to access your contacts, like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, and a bunch of other places, but it has many additional features. If you need to access your contacts across two or more computers (or two or more operating systems) Plaxo is a godsend.
The mobile access is outstanding if you have a Web enabled cell phone. I’m not sure I’m ready to abandon the sync between Outlook and my phone just yet, but Plaxo is a great workaround if you forgot to dock your phone and get the latest updates to your contacts and calendar. I’m already rating Plaxo Mobile as one of the 5 mobile services I wouldn’t want to be without.
The one thing Plaxo could do better is integrate with online calendar solutions. I’d love to sync my Google Calendar with Outlook, but Plaxo only seems to work with Yahoo’s Calendar at the moment, leaving Google, Hotmail, and AOL users wanting. Contacts integration works great for all these services, but effective sync with everything in every PIM I use would give me a reason to actually spend money on Plaxo instead of using the Basic version.
Which brings me to the one thing I haven’t figured out: Why would I ever pay for the $49.95 Premium version? I don’t need it as far as I can tell. I don’t care about syncing my LinkedIn network. Duplicate removal hasn’t seemed necessary as I wasn’t adding the same people in multiple places. I don’t really care about sending eCards. Maybe if I stored more than 1000 contacts I’d want to pay for the fee version, but I can barely keep track of the 300+ I currently have. In the meantime, the Basic version of Plaxo is making managing many things so much simpler, without spending any money.

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