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Last post Author Topic: calendars - remembering the almond milk and sea moss smoothies  (Read 10948 times)

Steven Avery

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Hi Folks,

  In the spring and summer I start "missing" more events than in the winter, so I start to wonder...

 Calendar software is a tricky area, so much so that I am always tempted to return to the last I actually used consistently for awhile - Calendar Creator, now Plus. Many years back.  Oh yeah, I also used Time & Chaos reasonably well for awhile.

  However a spot of time has marched on, here are my thoughts beyond the :

OBVIOUS
Decent screen view and printouts.
Easy entry.
Recurring events should be reasonably simple and powerful.

 However the fancy custom calendar backgrounds for printing that some give are unimportant.  The theme here is practical.

REMINDERS
are close to a necessity.  Either pop-up from tray or even better more sophisticated stuff, like to a cell phone. They should be reasonably flexible (e.g. every day for a week before the event).

OVERLAYS (Groups/Categories)
are a necessity for me to be happy with such a program.  You should be able to look at your "radio" calendar or "local events" calendar separately or with "ALL". Preferably you should be able to choose to group a few categories together for a custom calendar. This calendar may include my "Local Events" and "Concerts" and "Conferences" but not my other dozen groupings like personal finance deadlines or internet and radio events or work stuff.  

This is more possible if the grouping allows a sub-grouping concept .. and that is more likely if the calendar is the outgrowth of a ToDo with sub-categories. However sub-groups is not a necessity and may barely exist anywhere well in calendar software.

And asking for geographic savvy is likely a bit too much to ask, but I could include that to an extent in my defined categories (easier with sub-groups).

PRIORITIES
Are a necessity.  I may put into the calendar some radio or internet events that are high priority, but a dozen other may be normal schedules that are there as a "look-see" in the AM but otherwise not important.  Thus the event I really want to remember is high priority (or number = 8 ) and the others are a 1 or 2 or low.  They are in the calendar but only if I include the low priorities.  Three priorities would be ok but a number system is superior.

And it would be nice if deadlines are hard or soft.  That is again more likely coming out of a ToDo manager.  There is a big difference between a calender notice that has an event on a certain date (my vehicle inspection is due) and one that is a flexible job deadline.  This distinction in dates (coming from ToDo stuff like .. ugh .. GTD) is nice to build in one way or another.  e.g. A calendar event of a soft deadline does not disappear when the day passes, it asks to be reset to a later date. Ok, all this is not a necessity.

URL Hot-links
Clearly this is a feature that you would expect today. Close to necessity.

===============================================

One other question is very important.  It would be very nice if this calendar was not an orphan calendar, but was integrated to a high-quality To-Do list or PIM (email I would ignore at this time, although in the long run Thunderbird might be integratable, today I use Eudora.  Tbird has various connections and extensions to consider).  

Integration would be especially nice to a ToDo, which is a natural complement and integration to calendar.  PIM is nice because it may allow a drag-and-drop to have stuff like the phone # put in without a recheck or retype (Time & Chaos had some of that functionality).

 I used Time & Chaos (now Chaos Intellect) for awhile and it was reasonable on all this, however it was clearly stronger on PIM features like contacts than ToDo or calendar. I would even consider returning to such a program, even in a commercial version, if the calender is strong and integrated well.  After T&C I poked around (e.g. Essential PIM and Pimex) yet never found a really fine alternative PIM, and I also consider building my own with a database program with or without template. (This might be Alpha Software, or a project to help me learn WinDev or Magic Software, but those last two would have a work-related learning aspect since they can run on the iSeries/AS400 data as well as the PC.)

  Otherwise I would continue to use Linkman as my primary PIM (with which I am quite happy, since it has a natural web-integration and fast look-up) and use something like ToDoList (Abstract Spoon) if the calender program and ToDo cannot be one program per my requirements.  ToDoList has a separate calendar plug-in, but I tend to doubt that it mustard-cuts for the above.  As for my current tools, I also use NoteZilla and KeyNote-NF, with NoteZilla recently moving up the ladder.

  It is possible that some programs like Agenda At Once or Ultra Recall or Exstora or this and that have a lot of this stuff. If you have experience with one that is looks like it can do the calendar job above, give a holla. Who knows, I may already have the program license.  Also InfoQube may be a player, it is the type of PC-friendly database program that may have some modules that fit the needs above.  I would jump right into Agenda or InfoQube or UltraRecall if they are strong enuf and malleable enuf (AAO in native mode, InfoQube in building/programming mode, Ultra Recall in the middle).

 On the straight calender with some ToDo.. Rainlendar is often mentioned, perhaps it fits the bill ?  Does it make the "de minimus" above ?

 Ok, one other obvious question.

HOME PUTER or ONLINE

  Can a RemembertheMilk or another online program do this well ?  Does it have the layered and priority functions and more ?  If so, I will try that route. I am happy to let this be a home puter function, an online function, or both integrated .. if the functionality is excellent.

Oh, along the same line.

BLACKBERRY INTEGRATION

   Blackberry, IPhone, Palm. Clearly this is the rage this day, yet I am not so excited.  I would be more than happy knowing what is happening each day early in the morning by a little screen and/or print reminder.  Right now I have a cell phone, simple clam-shell Samsung that is very functional.  While I would consider the move to a Blackberry or some other carry-around organizer, I do not consider that a driving force.  In a sense I consider that a bit too intrusive, similar to how I gave up on laptops and notebooks some years back.  Yet if your Blackberry-type experiences have been positive, share away.

================================

OVERLAYS AND GROUPS vs. MULTIPLE CALENDARS

  A popular backwards method today is to sync multiple calendar.  See that type of discussion in the comments here.

How to Sync Any Desktop Calendar with Google Calendar
http://www.lifehacke...h_google_calendar-2/

Or in this one, although it is also has other issues, trying to use the .ics format over multiple calendar programs.

Use Drobox To Synchronise Multiple Rainlendar Calendars
http://www.lifehacke...ainlendar-calendars/

Question.  
Does this .ics format support some the features I am asking for above ?

 And note, there is mention of "sub-calendars" (hard to work with externally) within Outlook.

 Multiple calendars is exactly what I want to avoid.  Imho, the only really sensible method is one calendar with flexible groupings.  One master calendar.  You may "export" from it for a particular reason (e.g. web access, fancy printing) but the data repository should be solid and singular.

==================================================

  Your thoughts and experiences and suggestions ?

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: June 02, 2009, 08:31:08 AM by Steven Avery »

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: calendars - remembering the almond milk and sea moss smoothies
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2009, 03:43:25 PM »
If you do not have to have a "visual" tool, I am experimenting with a former giveaway on DC, "My Life Organized."

It is a different animal than most "calendars/todos."  Actually, it is not completely fair to categorize MLO as a "non-visual" tool since it does present highlighting, coloring, bolding, etc. in a tree-structure of your appointments and tasks with appropriate chronology.  

[attachthumb=#1][/attachthumb]

Take a look at these screenshots too.  Click on the images to see a bigger picture.  The developer, Andrey Tkachuk (TaskMan when he was on DC) has developed algorithms that "weigh" your tasks/appointments with information that you assign to each item.  While this sounds somewhat involved, it really becomes somewhat intuitive after working with it.  I believe the main difference is MLO matches your ToDos with your circumstances helping you t9o get the most DONE in the least time possible.  MLO "suggests" an itinerary for you, kind of like a competent secretary that knows your commitments.  MLO also has a mind-mapper too!  MLO has a lively forum as well.  If Andrey ever did add a visual calendar, MLO would have the potential to become a force to be reckoned with in this genre of apps.  

As I said, I am experimenting myself.  Shifting from a "visual" calendar to a text-based "secretary"(?) like MLO is not for the faint-hearted.  Mainly, you have to "let go" of your control over your life to another entity and just enjoy the order your "secretary" creates from the chaos.  

A final note... I invite everyone to try the free version.  Even if you eventually choose not to shift paradigms, you may find a nugget or two to put in your pocket.  Win I won a copy on DC way-back-when, I used it until I had to have my pretty pictures back, but I learned two distinct improvements I have used since then and will continue to implement in the future.  

Steven, I do not think I answered any of your questions, but I think MLO is worthy of your consideration.

[Edit] - I am not giving a seal of approval as I am still examining it myself, but I am intrigued with what I "perceive" to be the methodology.  Time will tell.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 01:33:57 AM by CodeTRUCKER »

Dormouse

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Re: calendars - remembering the almond milk and sea moss smoothies
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2009, 04:42:04 PM »
I'm not completely sure what you are looking for, or even whether you really are looking for a calendar.

Nearly everything you describe can be done through a todo list  with all the bells and whistles.
The key is a) what you expect from your screen view, and b) whether you expect your input driver to be the events themselves or the available space on the calendar; if it's the latter then you really will be wanting to input into the calendar. ToDoList will do it; NoteZilla almost does it but hasn't got a calendar view. IQ will probably do it once the Outlook integration is up and running.

So what is it you are wanting as calendar functions rather than timed event functions?

Steven Avery

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Re: calendars - remembering the almond milk and sea moss smoothies
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2009, 02:53:30 AM »
Hi Folks,

The goal is super-solid calendar and reminder functionality, in one database. (extractable sub-calendars .. ie. overlays).  Generally the PIM's fall a little short, most are weak on ToDo groups and categories and priorities (limiting the ability to create alternate calendars from one database) while ToDos are stronger starting possibility, since groups and priorities can be in their native function. Similarly note programs, while possibly strong on reminders, are weak on both the calendar and grouping/category/priority concepts.

   And database-style programs take a lot of effort to get from point A to Z, although if they have built in reminder/calendar capabilities .. they remain possible. That is why I wondered about InfoQube and UltraRecall, as mid-way tries.  (Database style with functionality built-in.)

  For the pure database programs .. Alpha and Filemaker and WinDev .. also Magic and Clarion .. you would have to be working with a developed app, or build it yourself owning the software license. My interests would be, in order, WinDev, Alpha, Magic .. other.  One advantage (?) there is that you could build your own app.

 Thus, ToDos may be the natural starting point, work from ToDo to Calendar and Reminder.  MLO is definitely a possibility.  Similarly Agenda At Once, I will give a look-see. ToDoList is a fine program, I should check if the calendar plugin really can maintain the variable calendar flexibilities that I seek. Can any of those give the full integration ?

  Calendar - multi-viewed overlay
  Reminder
  ToDo - as the source info for the above

  If they also handle Contacts, so much the better, but minor. As I have no PIM -contact manager these days, using instead my "pseudo-PIM" (Linkman bookmarks). Other functions are more far afield, notes and sticky notes and web snippets.

  Dormouse, space on the calendar is fine by me.  This is meant to be event-driven, not schedule creation.  There can be three events at the same time, or none for a week.

 Not sure what is the IQ reference.  There is the IQ-notes of Paresi ? However, whatever the reference,  Outlook is not my tea.  Sunbird and extensions I would be  check out if it has some pizazz.

  Right now my three tries for full-fledged calendar/reminder :
 
 My Life Organized - (if calendar views and prints are sufficient)
 Agenda At Once  
 ToDoList - (depending on plug-in functionality)

  What program can really go from ToDo to full calendar overlay functionality ?  Perhaps one of these.  Any other suggestions are welcome.

Shalom,
Steven Avery
« Last Edit: June 04, 2009, 03:05:46 AM by Steven Avery »

Dormouse

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Re: calendars - remembering the almond milk and sea moss smoothies
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2009, 03:43:23 AM »
I've tried pretty much all the calendar progs that I have been able to find. None of them really come anywhere cloe to doing what I want (wrote about that here once). But what you want appears to be completely different.

Most calendars have a variety of views going from the day to months and a listing of events within them. If the latter is sufficient, a lot of programs can do what you want. Or similar.

Since you are already using it, you could try NoteZilla. It has Priorities, Categories (Tags) and hierarchical folders. It has contacts and links to email or the network. You can get it to produce lists of notes in date order. Assuming you put (or cut and paste) details of the events in the notes, you can switch all the notes for a period into a temporary menuboard and see details of all those events at once (actually works as a copy rather than a move). At least trying something like this that you already know will give you a clear idea of what is important that it doesn't do, which could inform your further search.

Deozaan

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Re: calendars - remembering the almond milk and sea moss smoothies
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2009, 04:05:40 AM »
I've found Active Desktop Calendar to be quite useful, but I don't know if it integrates with blackberry.

It works with my phone because it can import iCAL info and I use Google Calendar for everything.


tomos

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Re: calendars - remembering the almond milk and sea moss smoothies
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2009, 07:17:50 AM »
Not sure what is the IQ reference.

IQ is most probably InfoQube - the app formerly known as SQLNotes -
I was going to write a spiel about it but see you mention it . .

Tom

tomos

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Re: calendars - remembering the almond milk and sea moss smoothies
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2009, 07:28:48 AM »
IQ is most probably InfoQube - the app formerly known as SQLNotes -
I was going to write a spiel about it but see you mention it . .
actually I had it already written & then saw your mention of it; but I may as well post it anyways!

InfoQube / IQ was formerly known as SQLNotes -
large thread here at DC and home is here. I'm not sure why integration with something (outlook) should put you off - it's just a bonus for those who do want it.

It's still in beta (completely stable though - been using it over a year now and have never lost any info) - pros and cons - e.g. pro: you can influence the development, request features; e.g. con for you: calander not fully integrated with 'PIM' side yet.

Quote
Using the Calendar is safe, only thing to keep in mind is that appts must be entered / modified only in the Calendar and not in a grid. Apart from that, it is usable, including alarms and recurring events. No need to redo things when it gets updated.
http://www.sqlnotes....ode/595#comment-2123

It's got a learning curve (also because the UI tends to get updated after other changes) but very worthwhile IMO. I believe he has ambitous plans for the calendar but I dont use it at all myself so cant really comment on it.
Tom

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: calendars - remembering the almond milk and sea moss smoothies
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2009, 11:54:11 AM »
<rant>
Before I share my thoughts, I do not give a rip about a "my PIM is better than your PIM" dialog.  I have had it up to here with those debates.  Nothing I write below should be construed as such, even if I express my preference. 

Consider this, it is human nature to accentuate the positive of what "fits" us well and negate that which is possessed by those candidates we reject, often to our own hurt in the end.  So, if I sound like I am extolling one app over another it is because that is exactly what I am doing, but only in the context of my preferences, not yours.  If I like "X" over your "Y" because it is weak in comparison, according to my perspective then that should not be viewed as a put-down.  If you find my comments and or enthusiasm for "X"  tasteless blathering, more power to you.  I wish you and your "Y" many happy years together. That goes for whatever you choose. :)

Now the beautiful thing about what I have written above is you could read it back to me verbatim and it would be just as valid.  Pretty snazzy, huh!
</rant>

Without further disclaimers adieu, let me share my perspective in order to present as clear a picture as I can on two candidates that have been mentioned, but be warned this is a very long post behind the buttons. :)

...
My Life Organized - (if calendar views and prints are sufficient)
Agenda At Once 
I have a lot more to say about MLO, so I will handle Agenda at Once first. 

Agenda At Once
Let me set a stage here... When was the last time you had the treat, after complimenting the developer for his/her professionalism, customer courtesy and promptness at addressing your issue his her reply was, "The pleasure was all mine."  My last experience was a couple of weeks ago with  Vladimir Radmilovic, the developer of AAO.  Please note that this was after being one of his beta team slashing and hacking his project (Agenda at Once) for over a year.  Not once was I criticized or even grumbled at for criticizing any aspect of the project.  I received nothing but gratitude and politeness since December 2006.  My main point is should you choose to try AAO you should do so with great confidence in the quality of the author and the software ain't bad either.  ;)
Agenda At Once
AAO has a...
  • Calendar with many customizations to highlight any/many different appointments, etc.  A good arsenal of views with one custom view that can let you see an overview of up to 90 days, but really more visually useful at 60 days or less.  This "planner" view has the flexibility of stacking the appointments/scheduled tasks so every item can be seen, but it is more useful with a strategic use of colors to "see" them better.
  • A tree-structured Task Manager with the option to assign many attributes to craft the data just so.
  • A Contact List with different views.
  • An auto time-stamped Notes feature for maintaining a diary or journal.

The above are full-window screens, but can be simultaneoulsy viewed on a combination (overview) screen.  Navigation to the various screens is done via tabs at bottom.  I recommend keeping the combination screen up and going to the specific ones as needed.
 
Tasks and appointments have the expected toolbox of recurrences, frequency options and the Contacts are handy.  Yet as one that has used AAO in a couple of different arenas, I have to say that (for me) the strongest point is the ToDos can be scheduled and they will show up on the calendar, just like a meeting or appointment!  Why this functionality was never included in Outlook is beyond me?  It just makes so much sense to be able to schedule a ToDo that shows up on the calendar too!  It reminds me of Quicken not having a Bills Due List that could be sorted by DUE DATE (yes, I did just yell that) for the first 10(+?) years!  That's right, if you needed to sort your Bills Due List you could only do so either alphabetically or by amount, but (as I was told by their tech support) "...you can sort both either ascending or descending." 

Ok, I will leave that alone lest I have to apply another set of "rant" tags to my post. 
The point is that Vadimir and his development team at Dataland Software had the vision to incorporate tasks-visible-on-calendar as a foundational part of their project and we are all the better for it.
 
Another item of mention is since the Task Manager has a "tree-structured" task architecture, AAO can be a very strong project management tool.  Again, expending some mental energy in learning this tool and making wise use of color, position and highlight will pay some tangible dividends.

If you are looking at an upgrade from Outlook, Agenda At Once is a strong contender for a non-MS poweruser.



My Life Organized
MLO does not have a calendar view nor does it print out a calendar, but it is most definitely "event-driven." 
Oh, I do add a little spontaneous fiction (based on fact) at the bottom as an example.  I hope you enjoy it!
My Life Organized
As I stated above in my previous post, MLO is designed for allowing one to...
  • ...do a brain dump of all required/desired tasks, ideas, gripes or whatever.  Just get everything down on "paper," so to speak. 
    The design goal of MLO is not for one to have to hold onto every shred of important/mundane item of information between your ears.  Mainly because it gets so crowded in there that when one lays down at night there is no room left for the sheep to get a running start on the fence, which = no counting = no sleep.  Also you have to get out of bed, go get your PIM and note down, "Clear sheep fence-jump runway," but make sure you record it in the "Focus Factory" quad or you will have to get back up later to do it.  Yomps! What a way to live?!?  Forget about "life is too short!"  Life is too long to have to complicate things unnecessarily.  Next...
  • ...arrange, add incidental (but important) sub-tasks, etc.  Just massage everything into a rough order that makes sense.  Okay, here comes the good part...
  • ...give attributes (date due, context, urgency, effort, dependencies, etc.) to each task and forget it!  That is the best part!  Once done it is no longer needed to keep it in your cranium.  Your "secretary" will keep track of all you need to do and inform you when it is time to take action, but just like a real secretary, if you do not provide a clear and concise order your secretary will not return a clear and concise alert.  GI-GO applies.  For me, it really has been like having a good, competent and proactive secretary.  That is the best way to describe My Life Organized, IMO.

If you are the bio-type that really needs a "visual" graphic (calendar) which will allow one to maintain an overview so one can macro/micro-manage one's life, then I strongly advise against My Life Organized for you.  It will not be the tool for you and you will frustrate yourself to misery trying to force MLO to be something it is not.  I know, because this is how I tried to use MLO when I first acquired a license. 
It was not pretty.

On the other hand...

If you, like me, are fed up with every PIM that just sits lifeless like a bulimic mannequin, staring blankly at you stuffed with "appointments" of colored squares on calendar grids always saying, "feed me, feed me, feed me..." just so more colored squares can be filled in, but never "helping" you to make your life more manageable then MLO would be a breath of fresh air.  In reality there is a curve that will have to be negotiated, but whether that hurdle is incidental or daunting is in direct proportion to how much one is willing to let go of the reins and let your teamster-secretary do the driving.:) 

If every tool you have used before was/is a calendar, MLO will take some adjustment, just as if you were switching from Windows to Mac to Linux or from the standard 104 to Dvorak.  The good news is *if* you make that investment you will receive an outstanding R.O.I. 

While the three bullets above may sound complicated, they are not.  I have only re-committed myself to giving MLO a fair shake in the last couple of days and in just a few minutes (5-7) last night I was able to enter, arrange and attribute a good 8-10 tasks with a number of sub-tasks.  The big one was rebuilding my red-haired daughter's bunny hutch.  I just started typing out the needed acquisition of materials, and sub-assemblies.  Next, appropriate indenting, out-denting (branching) and vertical arranging netted a viable plan.  The application of "contexts" streamlined the process (more on this below).   

Yes, it really does become that intuitive that quick and as a bonus I did not expect, I have noticed that my mind is even beginning to work differently during the day without all those bits and pieces mucking up the joint.  One other thing is although MLO does not have a Contact List of its own, it does reportedly integrate with "KeySuite" and "Beyond Contacts."

As sort of a final word on My Life Organized in this thread (unless one has a specific question), I have to tell you some more about "Contexts."  Even if you never download MLO, this one piece of information is worth the price of admission (if you have never heard it before :P).  Now, I am not a Franklin Covey graduate, or a GTD aficionado so I do not know if this concept is new or not.  I do not care. 

In the mired world of attempting to bring order out of chaos, we need to remember that every task must exist and/or be performed within a "context," or "place."  If one will take the time to assign a "context" in every task one could find themselves performing then it becomes a simple matter of filtering the task list for the "context" you find yourself at present!  Get it? 

Let us look at the task list below without "contexts" first...

Task
Get nails for hutch.....
Get paint for lake cabin...
Get latches and hinges...
Send ticket request confirmations back to TicketMaster...
Call Fred concerning golf course arrangement...
Pickup cookies and ice cream for B-Day party...
Pay water bill...
Plan next Elks agenda with key members...

Hmmm.... a bunch to do and a little foggy too.

Since a "context" is a place where we are "at," let's use the "@" symbol like this as a shortcut.  Ok, let me create some "contexts" like this....
  • @Errands
  • @The Paint Depot
  • @Lawyer
  • @Email
  • @Mestros Hardware
  • @Online
  • @Phone
  • @Wal-Wart
  • @Fran's Grocery
  • @Home

Now let us apply these attributes to our list.  Keep in mind any task can have multiple "contexts."

Task
Context
Get nails for hutch..... @Errands, @Mestros Hardware, @Wal-Wart
Get paint for lake cabin...@Errands, @The Paint Depot, @Wal-Wart
Get latches and hinges... @Errands, @Mestros Hardware, @Wal-Wart
Send ticket request confirmations back to TicketMaster...@Online, @Home
Call Fred concerning golf course arrangement...@Phone, @Home
Pickup cookies and ice cream for B-Day party...@Errands, @Wal-Wart, @Fran's Grocery
Pay water bill...@Errands, @Wal-Wart, @Fran's Grocery
Plan next Elks agenda with key members...@Email, @Online, @Home

Now, the fog begins to clear!

On any errand, for someone besides our self, we might find our self significantly distracted by being a little grumbly by being inconvenienced to "... run get some gullywumps at Wal-Wart."  Eh, it's human nature, but if we have developed a good routine at viewing our filtered PIM/Task Manager on the flat-screen or glancing at the printed "ToDos" we are jarred back to a pleasant reality! 

Our being inconvenienced by picking up those blasted gullywumps now turns into a peaceful feeling of convenience because while we are at Wal-Wart we can also grab some nails, cookies, ice cream, and pay the water bill we were originally intending to pay at Fran's Grocery on a separate trip, but Wal-Wart Customer Service takes the bill, so here we are! 

Hmmm... you realize you do not have to get the latches, hinges and paint here, since you were going to Mestros Hardware and The Paint Depot this Saturday anyway, but you think you will go check it out and see what might be available?  Well, no latches or hinges to suit you, but as you saunter through the paint aisles, you discover a whole pallet of Premium Satin Latex with a sign prominently posted...

75% Off - Today Only!  


Wow!  Now you are able to get the paint here, you save enough on paint to pay for the boat rental while at the cabin and you no longer have to go to Fran's Grocery, The Paint Depot and the Water Office!  The time savings you cached means you can leave for the cabin an hour-and-a-half earlier on Saturday!  Oh Happy Days! 

You are now back at home (think:"context")... 
Opps!  It took a little longer to get the gullywumps (you did pick them up, didn't you?), but when you produce the gullywumps from the sack (whew!) and tell of how your mastermind planning (milk it, baby, milk it!) was the very paragon of organization!  She rolls her eyes and walks away, munching gullywumps.  Later you relate making your "killing" on the paint, it was serendipitous, to be sure, but her response is only an impish,

"Uh huh, sounds to me like you just got lucky," thrown over her shoulder, one eye hidden by her shoulder-length honey brown hair. 

You think to yourself,

"Perhaps, it would be advisable to not "milk it" so boldly next time, Eh, Professor Einstein?" 

The wood floor creaks familiarly as you make your way to your computer...

"Oh well, what's next?" 

Next is... a quick view of the flat-screen monitor and re-filter the "contexts" for @Home since you are "at home."  Some mouse clicks and you pick up the phone to call Fred.  Right, that's done.  Another mouse click.  You consider what is left...   

Task
Context
Get latches and hinges... @Errands, @Mestros Hardware, @Wal-Wart
Send ticket request confirmations back to TicketMaster...@Online, @Home
Plan next Elks agenda with key members...@Email, @Online,@Home

Great! The time has come to log into TicketMaster to confirm the deal for those first-balcony tickets to the "Chicago: Let's Do it Again Tour" concert next Friday! Yeah!  Love that Chicago sound!  (click) Done!  Next!

Task
Context
Get latches and hinges... @Errands, @Mestros Hardware, @Wal-Wart
Plan next Elks agenda with key members...@Email, @Online,@Home

A little early for the group, but you log onto the "Official Elks Chatroom" site anyway and see that BernieB and Chilton are logged in too!  You say to yourself,

"Just the guys I need to talk to! Bummer!  Yep, those two are at it again!  Always harassing each other about drag boats." 

You don't even have to read the previous lines since you know that BernieB ALWAYS howls about how the methane-powered "flat-bottoms" are so much more fun cause they last longer and Chilton has undoubtedly broached his forte of alcohol-fueled hydros being such a "rush" when they roar by the stands! 

"Enough of this!" comes out of your mouth before you have time to stop! More sedateley, you command, 

"Time to break in and make a decision about where we want to have our next BBQ chicken cook-off? 

Some well-chosen phrases about the discounts for Elks Members and Dean's Rentals gets the bid!  Now, you make some remark about how the paddle-boat races are your fav and the conflagration ensues, but you sign-off just as the words sizzle in bold-face type from BernieB,

"... Oh yeah!  My grandmother paddling her canoe could...." 

Nope, you are not going to listen to this, besides Chilton is sure to say something about the "flat-boats" being passed by BernieB's "grandmother!"   They'll never miss you.  Click and done!

Ahhh!  You lean back in your chair, your fingers interlocked behind your head.  Smiling, you look at the screen...

Task
Context
Get latches and hinges... @Errands, @Mestros Hardware, @Wal-Wart

Everything but this last ToDo to do on Saturday and it is only 7:43pm!  You think to yourself... My Life Organized!  What a feeling! <snicker, snicker!>



For the intrepid who read the whole thing, I hope you can see how applying the "context" attribute to any system/product of task management will have a significant impact on the time consumed by working your plan.  I never even thought of the concept until I discovered it in December of '06 when I won MLO in a DC drawing.  I only used the whole software for about two weeks when I became so frustrated and angry at MLO for trying to "take over" that I disdained it for its lack of intuitiveness (I was conditioned for calendars) and deleted it from my drive.  Banished until a few days ago when I began to rethink my organization (rather, lack thereof), but the nugget of wisdom for me was adopting "contexts" into my MLO, GTD, AAO, etc.  The truth is that I was the one who was trying to "take over" from MLO and once I have learned to do it, MLO has served me well, at least the last three days. ;)  Time will tell.

In closing, I will say that the way MLO implements "Contexts" works for me very well (so far).  Maybe it will work for you too, but do not even think of trying MLO unless you are willing to ride shotgun and let your "secretary" do the driving.  :Thmbsup:

Disclaimer
Although I am quoting Steven Avery on his thread, I have written not just to Steven, since I can only address a modicum of his wish-list, but to anyone/everyone who can benefit from my wrestling match with My Life Organized and my courtship with Agenda At Once, but I do not think he will be offended by my hitch-hiking. :)
Thank you, Mr. Avery!


Steven Avery

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Agenda at Once - good groupings from ToDo to Scheduling
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2009, 06:18:47 AM »
Hi Folks,

Tomos, I don't mind integration with another program (e.g. Sunbird) .. I simply do not want to have to get involved with Outlook and .pst files without a compelling reason. Overall I would really like to consider InfoQube as a tool, however if the calender and scheduling integration requires Outlook for functionality that is a difficulty for that app.

Great info Codetrucker. I am playing with Agenda At Once and it seems to be well-designed for what I am looking for.  The filter system allows multi-filters of categories and assigned by and can be saved, and that is great for overlay calendar printout !  (The basic issue is to to take the groupings structures from ToDo and bring them over to calendar overlays without too much effort.)

The calendar aspect of printouts are a bit blah, the straight linear list, seems to be a problem for most ToDo programs to give you a nice calendar-stylee week or monthly printout (I will check the Agenda forums for possible enhancements or exports) however the linear printout options can be sufficient. Back in 2008 I had gotten frustrated by a rudimentary bug "cannot modify a read-only dataset".  However he is an attentive developer and time to get back into more use.  I have yet to see another program that builds in that degree of "To-Do to Scheduling" sophistication and attentiveness.

As for MLO, I enjoy my life disorganized, so that is a dissonance of sorts.  All I want to know is .. oh, yes there is a conference or concert or meeting tonite.. or all three .. oh yes, I also have a couple of other things to get done quickly.  Good enuf .. I have moved away from any type of GTD mentality.

Thanks for the heads-up, I will try to give more reports on Agenda At Once.  In the old days I liked all-purpose PIMs for their strong contact management, now that I use Linkman as my general PIM that is far less an issue, although I may try the AAO contact stuff, strange the default way that it views contacts, does it switch to rows when you have more data ?

Deozaan, nice alt suggestion with Active Desktop Calendar.  Clearly it has the view/printout thing very nice, the main lack in many of the above.  The data layers are comparable in some ways to categories in Agenda At Once, I like the multiple selection screen shot (can you keep that as a saved filter ?).  I am not sure if it has something comparable to the assignees of AAO, a great feature if you are defacto keeping calendars for more than one person in one database.  This event is for these three people's calendar, this one is for me only.  Share away. This is like the old Calendar Creator but with much more PIM feature, modernization and heft in structure. I would not be surprised if ADC is one of the leaders where the metaphor centers more on the calendar, yet the ToDo is fine.  However I doubt that you have sub-tasks, a bit of a lack if you are doing heavy-duty ToDo stuff, but not a dealbreaker for what I am looking for now.  (If I get into project style ToDo, like software development stuff, I would probably offload that to ToDoList anyway, since for me it is not calendar stuff anyway.)

If you are looking for calendar metaphor as the center, Rainlendar and Calendarscope and Sunbird look like real worthy programs .. however ADC seems to be stronger in that ToDo category and grouping area that I am considering as vital to flexible use.

=================

On the Lifehacker article and comments most of the comments are in the clouds. Rainlender is one of the leaders.

Five Best Calendar Applications
http://lifehacker.co...cations#viewcomments

However a couple of the folks mention Essential PIM and Exstora and CalendarScope and Sunbird and Active Desktop Calendar and Outlook.  Interesting.

A lot of sync stuff with e.g Rainlendar with GCal.  Note, I have not checked the distinction between Sunbird and Lighting (which goes with Thunderbird).

Note though that while there is a bit about overlays (sharing calendars) there is very little that relates to my request to combine strong ToDo categories and groups with calendar overlay flexible printouts.

Right now I have Agenda At Once as the main contender (limited calendar printing notwithstanding) with real consideration for Active Desktop Calendar.

======================

Shalom,
Steven Avery
« Last Edit: June 07, 2009, 08:01:32 AM by Steven Avery »

Dormouse

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Re: calendars - remembering the almond milk and sea moss smoothies
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2009, 09:37:59 AM »
I tried MLO once. I really liked it. Worked well. Reliable at link with PDA. But it didn't do what I wanted. And very little ability to adapt it. Very tied to GTD & contexts. I found contexts a persuasive idea but time consuming to implement and unnecessary. So, have positive feelings towards it, but don't use it at all.

I installed Agenda at Once nearly 18 months ago. I still have 12 days of my 15 days evaluation period to go. I have a look at it, decide it's not for me, stop it autostarting, and then some months later something makes me think "why is it I don't use that?" and I load it again etc. So I've just reloaded & updated it. The ToDo component isn't as good as abstractspoon's ToDoList. Nice that you can d&d tasks on to the Calendar. But the Calendar only goes up to a month's view; no good for me; nothing like the flexibility of views in Calimanjaro (now defunct but free key available on Calimanjaro site if you have a copy of the prog) or do-Organizer, or even Essential PIM; so I don't look much further. Import/export with csv & ical (but never tried it) but no PDA linkage.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2009, 09:41:41 AM by Dormouse »

tomos

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Re: calendars - remembering the almond milk and sea moss smoothies
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2009, 10:24:54 AM »
Overall I would really like to consider InfoQube as a tool, however if the calender and scheduling integration requires Outlook for functionality that is a difficulty for that app.

I never said that. No-one said that. That is not the case :)

(edit] apologies, that was a bit brief - calender and scheduling integration does not require Outlook. I believe the plan is to synch with Outlook and with Google Calendar, and as I say portable things (that I know nothing about) [/edit]
Tom
« Last Edit: June 07, 2009, 10:27:52 AM by tomos »

Steven Avery

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Re: calendars - remembering the almond milk and sea moss smoothies
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2009, 10:31:33 AM »
Hi Folks,

We have a similar view Dormouse. MLO ... too GTD. A bit one-dimensional.

Agenda At Once .. you tend to wonder why you put it down. The ToDo is a lot stronger than many.  (The interface is a bit cluttered, you are always wondering which toolbars you can put aside, but it is still quite sensible and workable with the tabs.) Yet I agree that ToDoList is very kewl (it really LOOKS like a todo list, with a real earnestness) .. have you been able to filter and then use the calendar plugin very effectively ? If so, a good comparison might be in order, even a dual mini-review.  

With AAO the month-at-a-time view is a symptom of its general calendar weakness, yet, like the anemic linear only printout function, still potentially sufficient.  I looked at the forums and saw only modest activity, with little discussion of this aspect. A bit of an oops.  If many folks were really plugging away with the program, you would expect a clamor, a unified cry ... calendar !

Caliminjaro .. first I heard of it.. looked nice but its master view is too "planner" oriented for me (my days are largely free-lance)
http://www.prweb.com...ndar/prweb447911.htm
And with the defunct aspect as well, no real consideration.

Essential PIM .. does it have sub-tasks, and such, categories and assignees like in AAO ? I never found the PIM softwares like Time & Chaos (now Intellect) and Essential PIM quite up to what I wanted on the ToDo list aspect.  (I am looking for a ToDo-Calendar-Reminder balance, everything else auxiliary). Do_Organizer might be better from that perspective, yet they had that funny aspect of multiple products and uncertain future, if I recall properly. Ironically, with T & C, they had actually reduced some of the sophistication of the ToDo in later releases, something I found rather astounding.

Whattaya thunk ?

Right now potential three-way comparision is:

a) Agenda at Once
b) Active Desktop Calendar
c) ToDoList with the plugin

None is in the lead, all seem to have strengths, and possibly a major weakness or two.  I would actually spend a few hours on a 3 to 5 program shootout .. since my decision would hopefully last a while.

One or two of the above might get bumped, especially a PIM or two might be added, as our discussions and insight develop.  And perhaps there are templates added to Ultra Recalls or InfoQubes or others; or even a database program like Alpha or Filemaker with a package of sorts (this stuff is a long-shot). One of the other todos like Swift or Quick or Task Coach might be considered, but these tend to either have lighter todos in terms of sub-tasks and groups and/or limited calendars -- if any calendar at all.

Shalom,
Steven Avery




 The ToDo component isn't as good as abstractspoon's ToDoList. Nice that you can d&d tasks on to the Calendar. But the Calendar only goes up to a month's view; no good for me; nothing like the flexibility of views in Calimanjaro (now defunct but free key available on Calimanjaro site if you have a copy of the prog) or do-Organizer, or even Essential PIM; so I don't look much further. Import/export with csv & ical (but never tried it) but no PDA linkage.
[/quote]

Steven Avery

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calendars - dumping in all the raw data
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2009, 10:37:19 AM »
Hi Folks,

Correction noted, Tomos.  The question is what does InfoQube have today for calendar integration ?  Remember any export feature is going to tend to clash with the idea of calendar overlays (I want the calendar for this person with these three categories) making it cumbersome at best.

The point is I want to be able to throw everything into the calendar, from health or messianic radio shows that will only show up on special media checks, or a thrift store that is only upon one day a week, to the major stuff.  Once you throw everything in, you need grouping and extracts (overlays) to look at a sensible calendar.  A lot of the stuff you do not want to see except on special request, only very occasionally will you see "everything".  An export function is going to make this versatility difficult.

I'm even skeptical that a plugin (ToDoList) will handle this well, and that is much more integrated.

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: June 07, 2009, 10:41:42 AM by Steven Avery »

Steven Avery

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calendars - ToDoList does not remember to cut the calendar mustard
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2009, 06:07:36 PM »
Hi Folks,

I loaded the calendar plugin for ToDoList.  (So far I have not been able to get the reminder plugin downloaded.)  The filters pass nicely to the calendar, however the calendar has no native printing function and the viewing is rudimentary.  Thus you set up the printing by due date order from ToDo land .. however the program is due-date oriented, so it does not think about scheduling a conference that might be four days as one entry.

So I think I have to knock ToDoList out of the integrated ToDo-Calendar project, leaving Agenda at Once and Active Desktop Calendar as the current main players, and ready to look at some others, especially the PIMS.  (eg. Intellect, Essential, Exstora).
And maybe a couple of the nice but less-hefty ToDos as well.  (Swift .. also Quick (2006) and Priorganizer (2007) had promise but are close to dormant.  And Swift seems to be weaker than AAO on the calendar aspect, looking at the web info.  So nothing stands out yet from ToDoLand other than Agenda At Once.)

My goal now is to have 3 contenders, one ToDo-based, one Calendar-based, one PIM-based and see which does the best overall ToDo-Calendar integration.  (With the wildcard of templates and database programs being allowed if they appear.)  It is looking like Agenda At Once will be the ToDo rep and Active Desktop Calendar will be the Calendar rep .. although nominations are still open.  The current contenders for PIM rep are Intellect, Essential and Exstora.

Shalom,
Steven Avery
« Last Edit: June 07, 2009, 06:33:42 PM by Steven Avery »

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: calendars - remembering the almond milk and sea moss smoothies
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2009, 06:31:32 PM »
...
As for MLO, I enjoy my life disorganized, so that is a dissonance of sorts. All I want to know is .. oh, yes there is a conference or concert or meeting tonite.. or all three ..
[emphasis mine]

This is exactly what MLO is good for.  Enter it, forget it until MLO tells you it is time to do something.

Quote
oh yes, I also have a couple of other things to get done quickly.

A feature of MLO is to filter based on how much time you have available at any given time.  

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Re: calendars - remembering the almond milk and sea moss smoothies
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2009, 08:18:17 PM »
Yet I agree that ToDoList is very kewl (it really LOOKS like a todo list, with a real earnestness) .. have you been able to filter and then use the calendar plugin very effectively ?

TDL is just so much more efficient to use. All the others require completing the input forms. TDL  allows fast input of task titles with Ctrl N and then clicking the dropboxes below as required. Plus filters, Plus sophisticated searches. I've checked the calendar and the filters do work with it. It doesn't show times (I think), but I don't use it as a calendar at all. The calendar is certainly not an input area, just a way of viewing some of the data. It wouldn't make me view TDL as a PIM with calendar, but it is a calendar and it does work.

With AAO the month-at-a-time view is a symptom of its general calendar weakness, yet, like the anemic linear only printout function, still potentially sufficient.  I looked at the forums and saw only modest activity, with little discussion of this aspect. A bit of an oops.  If many folks were really plugging away with the program, you would expect a clamor, a unified cry ... calendar !

Yes, it just doesn't really do anything I want, and its not obvious why it would be better than Outlook. And I share your attitude to Outlook.

Caliminjaro .. first I heard of it.. looked nice but its master view is too "planner" oriented for me (my days are largely free-lance)
http://www.prweb.com...ndar/prweb447911.htm
And with the defunct aspect as well, no real consideration.

I wouldn't have recommended Calimajaro on the basis of your described wants (and didn't). OTOH, it doesn't have to have a planner view. There are 4 tabs at the top, in each of which you can define the precise view you want (approximating to day, week, month, year); which you have on view is up to you - or you can choose just to have a listing of events. You can have hierarchical categories (called calendars) and filter as you want. And it communicates with iCal. So easy views of almost any range from 1 day to 2 years, good filtering, pretty easy input and reasonable import/export - and effectively now free. Works fast and quite pretty; visuals good with the colour coding.


Essential PIM .. does it have sub-tasks, and such, categories and assignees like in AAO ? I never found the PIM softwares like Time & Chaos (now Intellect) and Essential PIM quite up to what I wanted on the ToDo list aspect.  (I am looking for a ToDo-Calendar-Reminder balance, everything else auxiliary).

I've never really used it except as a portable prog that has a year planner view that can be useful for other people. Most functionality is really on the Pro version rather than the free one. The Pro version does have sub-tasks etc and categories (IIRC) but no assignees; not the easiest linkage with the Calendar. You'd be better off with comments from someone who does use it.

Do_Organizer might be better from that perspective, yet they had that funny aspect of multiple products and uncertain future, if I recall properly.
Well, I daresay DO will do what you want. Possibly not as smoothly as some other progs, but probably with a lot more functionality available. Surprisingly close to being a totally brilliant program, but with lots of interface tweaks, & some function changes to actually get there. Will it happen? I don't know.


a) Agenda at Once
b) Active Desktop Calendar
c) ToDoList with the plugin
None is in the lead, all seem to have strengths, and possibly a major weakness or two.  I would actually spend a few hours on a 3 to 5 program shootout .. since my decision would hopefully last a while.

I wouldn't use Active Desktop Calendar myself as it is too invasive. And no view longer than a month - but that doesn't seem to be a problem for you. I doubt that the ToDoList plugin presents enough information in a controlled enough way for you. AaO is what it is.

I don't know of an Ultra Recall plugin. InfoQube will have a steep learning curve and may not be quite there yet in terms of Calendar functionality (I've not investigated that side in even minor detail), but would otherwise do the job probably.

I've not found what I consider to be a really good solution - but then my needs and preferences are quite different to yours. I'll certainly be interested in your further investigations and any review.

Steven Avery

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Re: calendars - remembering the almond milk and sea moss smoothies
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2009, 06:06:57 AM »
Hi Folks,

CodeTrucker - I will consider a side-by-side of MLO and AgendaAtOnce. Both are lite on the calendar side, especially printing. I may do a bit this AM on that, I probably can have a small sense in 15-30 minutes of comparing.  It should be interesting, Agenda At Once trying to be more of a PIM, MLO trying to be more disciplined with your tasks.  I have used MLO a while back, although I don't think I ever bought.

Here are notes on a few other softwares.

MyBase - the developer posted back around 2004 that a calendar feature is a need in their forum.  MyInfo doesn't seem to have anything.  RedBox Organizer (a real oldie now owned by a dubious company) - the review at Snapfiles points out fatal flaws in ToDo, such as no recurring entries.

TreePad does have three separate utilities for creating calendars and the $45 Biz version has some calendar and ToDo features and the $65 Enterprise version adds a "Calendar Window". (Would scour for discounts.) Whether I would find its ToDo of substance is a question, if it is functional Treepad could be a contender coming from the Notes metaphor.

Shalom,
Steven Avery

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calendars - Agenda At Once, Active Desktop Calendar, ToDoList and more
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2009, 06:40:32 AM »
Hi Folks,

 Dormouse, I see your point on the invasiveness of Active Desktop Calendar.  (Whether or not you have to activate the "Active Desktop"). Why don't they have a non-desktop mode ?  Good question to research. You would expect a light feature list to be on your desktop.  Or something with simple static information, such as puter specs (I have that added on the desktop from Sysinternals).  Without a new understanding, it will be dropped and the "Calendar" slot will be reopened.

  Good points on ToDoList, I may use it more for ToDos, but if it doesn't allow an event to stretch over multiple days on the calendar it simply will not be a contender.  In the old days when I really looked at ToDo lists I used to try ToDoList and a second program .. recently I tried to figure what was the second and looked around, even in my notes and old explorer trees, and so far could never remember what it was.  Anyway, ToDoList is super-quality for ToDo viewing, but with the lack mentioned above (add the difficulty getting the reminder plugin and the lack of times in the calendar) it just has to drop from the current search, even if considered and used for various ToDo needs.

  AAO, Outlook and Essential PIM all share some features.  Perhaps it is true that Outlook trumps AAO in some ways, I think Essential PIM was the one PIM that was designed to be "Outook-ish" from the get-go.  Agenda At Once to me seems pretty solid and simple and strong in the ToDo section (no, not like ToDoList but better than PIMs in general).  I really don't see the necessity of a separate window opening up for data entry being much of a lack, AAO still enters at a pretty snappy pace.  Right now Essential Pim Pro is one of the two or three PIMs I plan to install and try.  (Although I may install free first, just to see the differences. Last time I had this on my system was about two years ago. Their marketing has always been a little funny, but inexpensive so that is not a complaint.)  

Structural notes : If categories are flexible (if you can choose multiple categories at one time) you can put assignee functions within categories. A bit of a conceptual workaround, but not a difficult one. Oh, along with choosing multiple categories comes the feature to name and save a filter for recall.  Close to essential for this full ToDo - Calendar overlay integration.

Do_Organizer and their party of products will have to have its own separate look-see. Is it in active development or dormant at this time ? Or unclear, or what.

Calimajaro - the big lack is its defunctability.  Otherwise, it would clearly be a contender, but I do not see beginning with a program that is ending, trains passing in the night.

Right, Ultra Recall, InfoQube and any other similars probably are not quite ready for prime time for this need.  Unless we hear a holla. I may check the Alpha Software and WinDev forums and discussions, those two products are quite interesting with some calendar features built in.  However the To-Do would have to be an app.  You always have to check whether you need a run-time version or whether they create an .exe or what. Filemaker and Access and others probably have something too, but Alpha and WinDev are the ones that I definitely will like to check since I fancy myself a programmer for those softwares in the long run or short haul.

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 06:53:43 AM by Steven Avery »

PPLandry

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Re: calendars - remembering the almond milk and sea moss smoothies
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2009, 08:05:32 AM »
Nobody has mentioned Ecco Pro yet... As far as a Calendar app with todos, contacts and filtering (i.e. categories) it is hard to beat. Plus it is free. Sure it isn't being developed anymore, but it is an excellent app, which still runs on modern OSs.
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present -- Albert Camus -- www.InfoQube.biz

rgdot

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Re: calendars - remembering the almond milk and sea moss smoothies
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2009, 10:16:07 AM »
Where is Ecco Pro available for download? the good old netmanage FTP hasn't had it for a while at least

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Re: calendars - remembering the almond milk and sea moss smoothies
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2009, 10:46:08 AM »
CodeTrucker - I will consider a side-by-side of MLO and AgendaAtOnce. Both are lite on the calendar side, especially printing. I may do a bit this AM on that, I probably can have a small sense in 15-30 minutes of comparing.  It should be interesting, Agenda At Once trying to be more of a PIM, MLO trying to be more disciplined with your tasks.  I have used MLO a while back, although I don't think I ever bought.
...

If you are a student of statistics and other math, you know you can drive yourself nuts trying "this" and "that" side-by-side.  The possible combinations of the "comparisons" would leave you old and gray before you were done.  

There is no "Holy Grail" of PIMs, Calendars, ToDos, that will do "everything" and then expect it to do it with a very light footprint.  It is not possible for you to press CTRL+N and only enter "Dance Friday Night" and expect that it will be able to "automagically" remind you, set an appointment with a contact and the make it recurring since it happens the 3rd Friday of every month.  If you do not take the time to enter all you need, the tool can not give it back.   The trick is to enter enough data so that the tool will remember and you can forget it.  Every good manager, CEO and President knows that he/she has to have support since there is no way the one leader can hold it all.  What you want in your successful candidate is a "servant" that will faithfully make you look like a hero and not a buffoon, even if the "servant" is software.

If you have not done so already, I might suggest you create a spreadsheet with the candidates across the top in every other column and features down the side.  In each corresponding grid box enter either
  • +1 (Like)
  • 0 (Undecided)
  • -1 (Don't like)
 
Summing up (Sigma) each numeric column will give somewhat of an "objective" score of the candidates for starters.  You will then want to use the additional column next to each numeric column to make expanded notes on that feature and why you judged it as you did.  As you progress through your present search exercise you will get "overload" if you try to only keep "mental" notes.  I find the ability to go back and look at "why" I made a decision for a specific aspect of a car, guitar, or PIM tool keeps me from having to re-test one item only to discover why I rejected it in the first place.  

Since all will have the same core features, albeit expedited with different "style," it will be the "special" attributes that will tip the scales for you.

You are apparently seeking a tool that you intend to stick with for the duration.  I would not waste my time with a SXS comparison.  It is too subjective and neither may contain key elements you require.

No one can tell you what works best for you.  We can only highlight where you have misunderstandings or need a clarification.  As I stated at the outset, there is no contest here.  I would not wear any medals if you chose my "X" over others "Y," nor will I be injured in any way if you choose "Y."

Again, pick one for now that looks like what you want, enter the 1, 0 or -1 in the matrix and stick with it for a month.  Why a month?  Really, the shortest time to test.  A month has a standard "bill cycle" and most meetings happen weekly or monthly, also, most folks have social engagements that are "monthly.  Longer is generally, unnecessary and shorter (two weeks) will not give you a good feel.  You are making an investment in something that could determine the course of your life in the future.  Take your time, choose carefully and take notes.  If it takes 6-months to a year to decide, that would be perfectly fine.  Peace of mind and keeping blood-pressure down is certainly worth it.

One other consideration is as you use any particular tool for longer period of time, you will undoubtedly come across features that you were not aware was there or the features will be implemented in a unique way that would either "fit" you better or worse.  If you try to take short-cuts and not put the tool through its paces, you will never discover these.

Regardless of which candidate you are testing, my best advice is to build you a matrix and use it.

Good luck!

« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 10:58:11 AM by CodeTRUCKER »

Steven Avery

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Re: calendars - remembering the almond milk and sea moss smoothies
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2009, 11:34:03 AM »
Hi Folks,

 Good thoughts, CodeTrucker.  The thing is, this thread has helped me clarify almost exactly what I am looking for.

================================

CALENDAR

  1) A flexible overlay-capable calendar with category functions to create the overlays (filters).  Priority should be available as part of the filter process.  Two standard calendar functions, multiple days for an event and recurring events. Preferably ending time to go with the starting time, but that is less than necessity (well I do like to show up at the end).

 1a) The filters should be savable so if I have an "Internet events" overlay sub-calender, that has its own name, I don't have to remember to check "Paltalk + Internet radio + Webinar + DonationCoder deadlines" each time I want the same calendar.  These "saved sub-calendar" features are important, but not quite necessity, and work-arounds may .. work around.

 1b)  And if categories have multi-dimensions (eg. assignees) and status and easy entry and update, kewl.

 1c) Reminders .. close to necessity

 1d) Reasonable print-out.  This is the calendar for today, for the week, for the month.

 1z) As a possible add-on, in the long run this calendar can have interfaces with a web calendar, or a Blackberry or a whatever. Nothing at all necessary.

===============================

 2)  To-Do Funcationality

  Since Calendar and To-Do are closely related apps, and I am asking for ToDo-style functionality this is the one area where I would * prefer * there to be "one app - dual function".  Almost surely the raw data in #1 will be coming from a To-Do style entry anyway.  

 2a) Thus a level of ToDo nicety .. sub-tasks, other possible status and placement fields built-in or user-defined, would be nice.

===============================================

  Everything else is icing on the cake.  If there is a contact manager, a notes manager, a web-snippet, a daily planner, a this-and-that .. fine.  Do not care about email at all.

  What is interesting is that my request for a Calendar + probably a ToDo is approached in so many different manners.  Usually it depends on the paradigm of the approaching program.  

 1) Calendar - Active Desktop Calendar, Calimajaro, CalendarScope
                    Rainlender, Sunbird, Lightning

 2) ToDo     - Agenda at Once, My Life Organized, Quick

 3) Notes    - TreePad

 4) PIM       - Essential PIM, Intellect, Exstora, Outlook

 5) Info mgr - Ecco, SQLNotes

 6) Database- ___________
    Template

 7) Kitchen Sink - Do Organizer

  Adding the requirement that I would like the program to be in active development, and not do weird stuff like be my active desktop wallpaper, even my #1 above breaks the bank of many of the contenders.  It would be strange if you simply have to throw away the ToDo function and take the best calendar program, strange if nobody really does a decent ToDo - Calendar implementation.  That is all I am looking for first, with the fallaback being a decent Calendar alone, per #1.

  At the moment I have about 5 or more programs to check if they have a decent calendar, preferably coming from a nice ToDo.  Do Organizer may functionally be the most likely, albeit with quirks. Essential and Intellect and Treepad and MLO are ones I want to check, and I know where Agenda at Once stands.

Shalom,
Steven Avery
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 12:22:51 PM by Steven Avery »

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: calendars - remembering the almond milk and sea moss smoothies
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2009, 11:42:53 AM »
Hi Folks,

 Good thoughts, CodeTrucker.  The thing is, this thread has helped me clarify almost exactly what I am looking for.
...

Excellent!  I will look forward to reading your mini-review on DC sometime before December.  ;)

Steven Avery

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calendars - PIM Xtreme - open source
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2009, 12:15:32 PM »
Hi Folks,

TWT ! - (Time will tell.)

Here is a newbie, open source, MySQL database, exports to calendars -- although one pic below shows a calendar in the interface.

PIM Xtreme  
Dgtalize --  "PIM medicine for the heart"
http://dgtalize.com/en/products/pimx
http://sourceforge.net/projects/pimx/
Forum (mild activity)
http://www.dgtalize....=showcat&catid=1
Pic shows calendar
http://www.freewaref...e_program_37572.html

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 12:41:48 PM by Steven Avery »