I am obsessed with software. I have this unhealthy belief (hope? dream?) that there is a program out there that will do precisely what I want. I know, I know, I'm a sucker for that electronic pot of gold.

This evening I've been searching for a Personal Information Manager. I don't like Outlook, not because of any failing in the program per se, but because it's too heavy for my needs. I don't need an email client; all I want is a program that gives me a to-do or task list, and a calendar/scheduler. So far I've been using EssentialPIM, which is small, clean and doesn't get in my way. And it has pretty colours. But it doesn't export data in vCard or vCalendar format, which means I can't port the information to my iPod. And the to-do list isn't hierarchical, unless you want to pay for the Pro version. Tonight's search uncovered a few cool to-do list programs, and a few contact management programs, but as for a single program which manages scheduler, task list and contacts? No such luck. Suggestions and recommendations welcome.

But in the search, I did find something I may very well love: SoftPlanner. (The site is framed: if you want to see the full site with left-hand navigation frame, clicky.)

I love planning software. Lovelovelove. Again, this is probably that engineering training, but I really like laying out the steps of a project against an estimated timeline. Helps me focus. (Well, once I get past the cat-waxing that is setting up such purty programs ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) There's a writing management program, Write Again!, which offers this sort of project planning feature, and ever since I've known of it I've yearned. SoftPlanner looks like it might actually let me project-manage, all for free. And, at least on first install, it's small enough to run on a USB stick. Further details when I've spent more time with it.

6 thoughts on “SoftPlanner

  1. That there computer is just one Giant Shiny Cat, hain't it? ๐Ÿ™‚

    If one is patient, one may wish to see what will happen with the Mozilla project — forget it's name — that will be turning Thunderbird into something to truly compete with Outlook. Not sure of ETA on it, though.

    Another option — have you tried the software for Palm? You don't have to own a Palm to use it, technically, and the desktop program is a fairly nice PIM. Might be worth taking a gander at…

  2. That there computer is just one Giant Shiny Cat, hain't it?

    you got it! perhaps i shoulda filed that habit under my bad habits post as well, huh?

    I've looked at Thunderbird, back when I was looking at desktop email clients. I liked it, more than Outlook, as I remember. And being a mozilla product, there'd doubtless be plugins and extensions for the gimicks I was missing. But I find the email client portion of a program seems to explode the installed size upwards. EPIM, frex, is only 1.2 MB, whereas Thunderbird is 50-70 and Outlook is 150 (those last two from memory). Seems silly to install such an enormous program when I'd only use a tiny fraction of it.

    But I will take a look at Palm software, thanks for the idea.

  3. Well, to be fair, Thunderbird is only a 6 mb download and actually installs to about 23ish. You, you…exagerator. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Another thought — you might want to do some searching on Sometimes you can find the most amazing open source projects there. Of course, Murphy says you'll find what sounds like the perfect program and it'll be Linux or something ;-). But really, a lot of those have windows versions anymore, since gtk or whatever it is has been ported over.

  4. Really? Only 23ish now? Hmpf. Well, I apologise heartily for calling Thunderbird fatter than it is! Sourceforge is a good idea; I've been searching tucows and other sites, but not got to sourceforge yet. Open Source stuff has thoroughly ruined me for software: if I see a program with a price tag attached, I'm liable to come over all huffy. Why pay when there's just as good (sometimes better) for free? Strange world.

  5. I can't do any sort of structured planning. The structure itself kills whatever it is I'm trying to plan. The most organized I ever get is some sort of chronological dot pointing. ๐Ÿ˜›

  6. I have a horrendous habit of needing to write out daily tasks anew each day. I'm not sure why this is so necessary for my brain (which loves to write lists and cross things off). I've stopped arguing. If that's the way it wants to work, meh, why get in the way?

    I can structure plan a project, although I keep it loose and mainly structure it in terms of deadlines I'm aiming for. But structure a novel? Dead in the water.

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