[sf-lug] Open PIM management over the web

Jim Cortez jim at jimcortez.com
Tue Oct 7 23:24:59 PDT 2008

Hello all,
	I have been recently been thinking of my personal information management and 
what I would like to do with it. I wrote a blog post on my issues and am 
wondering if anyone in the sf-lug community has any input/ideas/solutions. 
You can find the post at http://jimcortez.com/blog/?p=21, but I will attach 
the text below.
Thank you!
Jim Cortez

> My Personal Information Management and its Problems
> Recently, I have been concerned with getting my personal information in
> order. Part of it is finally having an organized life. The other half comes
> from no longer trusting companies to store my information for me. I am
> going to outline my current setup and the problems with it.
> Let me first say that I am aware of a couple systems out there, but none of
> them so far seem either installable on my current host, or
> feature-complete. Zimbra seems very viable, but it requires root-access and
> a full server or vm (none of which my hosting plan provides). Also before
> you jump to “Just use all web apps,” I am not always connected. I use my
> iPod touch as a PDA and wifi can be spotty. My laptop has a superior input
> system, and that is also not always online.
> My goal is the following:
>     * Central IMAP email
>     * Central Calendaring System
>     * Central Address Book
>     * Central Todo list
>     * Use Kontact PIM suite with all of the above
>     * All hosted on my current web host
>     * Accessible and editable from all my devices (laptop, desktop, ipod
> touch, wap phone, etc…) * Do it open-source (for free)
> Mail
> I am actually very close to having this covered. Right now, I use IMAP,
> with several folders, filters, etc. I use Kmail on my laptop, roundCube
> webmail, and Gmail for mobile.
> One problem I have is mobile access. Right now, I use Gmail to access via
> my ipod touch and phone. GMail does not provide IMAP access to OTHER email
> accounts, only POP3. This means that when Gmail reads my mails, everything
> in my inbox is marked as read! Gmail also archives my email, something I
> can accomplish myself, thank you very much.
> Another problem I have is filters. My host does provide server-based
> filtering, but it is a clunky interface. I have about 25 filters though
> Kmail. I like their way of creating filters, it allows for fine grain
> filtering. Some might say “use Sieve,” but alas my host does not support
> it. So currently, I rely on my laptop to eventually filter email for me. I
> am toying with the idea of exporting Kmail filters to a .procmailrc file
> and throwing it on the server, but have yet to venture into that deep hole.
> Calendar
> Starting last year, I started using a calendar, and it has saved my life.
> Currently, I use Kontact’s calendar on my laptop. It is running the
> GCalDaemon that syncs with Google Calendar. It offers 2 way sync so I can
> edit either through Google or my laptop.
> As said above, I am trying to host all my personal data myself. So having
> Google host my data is a problem. However, they provide good interfaces for
> the web and mobile. I have yet to find a way to nicely manage my calendar
> both on the desktop and the web.
> Todo
> This is perhaps the most important. I use this to keep track of mostly
> homework and exams. My explanation for not using a calendar is long-winded,
> theoretical, and personal. Right now, I use the system in Kontact. I like
> how it will mash together with the calendar and show me what is due each
> day on a week time line.
> My problem lies with the inability to sync with any services. To my
> knowledge, there is no todo list system that will read Kmail’s file format,
> or vice-versa. This is a big problem when I am not toting my laptop and I
> need to know when an assignment is due.
> Address Book
> I have made little effort on this front. Kontact has gathered names and
> emails for me. I have tied some of the names to Kopete (IM client)
> contacts, but that is about it. In the future, once I start to have real
> contacts, I would like a central way to contact them all.
> I have a couple ideas. One is using and LDAP server, which Kontact
> supports. The problem (again…) lies with not having that service available
> on my host.
> Bringing them all together
> So the BEST solution would be Zimbra-like. I can view everything together
> in one web interface, yet use whatever client tools I want to make changes.
> What is an Address book without the email client? Todo list without
> calendar? I have read a little about akonadi, but don’t quite grasp it as a
> whole yet, maybe it will help after I make the switch to Kubuntu 8.10 and
> KDE 4.
> What are your suggestion or comments? Leave a note below or email me.

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