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November 7th, 2002

What I Want in a PIM

For a while, I’ve been looking for a good, inexpensive PIM that isn’t Outlook (though Outlook wouldn’t be so bad if it were truly separate components so that I could install the contact manager and calendar, but not the e-mail client). I have yet to find one that has the features I want (but not too much “extra”) and also has a good interface. Here’s what my perfect PIM would have…

A solid contact manager… I want to have a good number of options, including a bunch of customizable fields. I’d also like a few date fields to be included (birthday, anniversary, etc.)/ The sorting and search should be very easy (by any field, preferably) and I should be able to get an overall glance at a large amount of data at one time.

A nicely presented calendar… I actually like the way that Outlook’s calendaring and to-do list management work, so I’d like something similar to Outlook in this respect. This component should be well integrated with the contact manager so that I’m automatically notified of birthdays and anniversaries at a specified interval before the day (this is a biggie for me, as I’m terrible at remembering people’s birthdays).

No extraneous crap… I don’t need an integrated e-mail client, image viewer, or web browser. Just give me what I need, and no more. I have a separate e-mail program for a reason.

Easy publish-to-web options… I’d love to be able to click one button and have the application publish an updated calendar to a password protected web site (via FTP) for me. Of course, the output should be valid XHTML and be built with style sheets so I can control the look and feel as I desire. I guess an option for syncing with PDAs would be an OK feature, though I don’t have one now and don’t plan on getting one anytime soon.

A small footprint… Even though I have a decent computer at home, I still like my apps to be small in size, especially those that are going to be running in the background whenever my computer is on.

Under $35… The maximum amount I’m willing to pay for most software is $35. Why that amount? I don’t know… it just seems reasonable to me. No real reason for it, it’s just what I’ve arbitrarily decided is my limit for most software.

Free lifetime upgrades… I’m greedy.

Does anyone have any favorite PIMs that fit most or all of the above criteria?

Posted in Technology

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