Day-Timer 2.1, ECCO Pro 4.0 and GoldMine 3.2
Day-Timer 2.1Version 2.1 of Day-Timer Organizer from Day-Timers adds Internet mail and Web site support. The product offers a nice set of general PIM features behind a clean and easy-to-use interface. And its relatively low price makes it an attractive option for individuals and small businesses.
Day-Timerís Internet features arenít extensive. Version 2.1 includes the ability to embed Internet addresses and URLs in notes, schedules and so on. Clicking on an Internet e-mail address brings up your e-mail editor with the address in place and clicking on a URL launches your browser. But if youíre looking for the ability to synchronize group schedules over the Internet, youíll have to consider a more expensive alternative.
ECCO Pro 4.0NetManageís ECCO Pro 4.0 does a good job of bringing structure to your personal information with a clean and functional interface.
ECCO Pro comes with a database of Internet resources, so much of the job of adding Internet sites to your PIM is already done. Removing the sites you donít need is easy, as is adding sites. Like most Web-wise PIMs, ECCO Pro will launch your Web browser when you select a URL, and your e-mail application when you select an e-mail address. To extend group scheduling to remote users, ECCO Pro lets you synchronize your calendar over a TCP/IP connection to your server.
ECCO Pro does an outstanding job of managing unstructured information in a structured way. You can use a hierarchical structure in the Calendar and Phonebook to create and manage data lists, and create similar structures in the Notepad to help manage tasks and projects.
GoldMine 3.2GoldMine Software Corp.ís GoldMine has earned its reputation as a powerful contact management tool. This version adds many new features. InfoCenter, for example, lets you create and manage free-form documents in a tree-structured, hierarchical library. This type of structure is great for creating online information centers. The new Org Chart lets you apply a hierarchical structure to contact information so you can track relationships between your contacts. GoldMine also now supports paging and improves ease of use through extensive wizards and toolbars.
Chief among GoldMineís Web-wise features are database synchronization via the Internet; Internet e-mail; and Internet Web support. Database synchronization enables your copy of GoldMine to synchronize its local database with the version located on your company server. You can automatically update changes to your schedule, contacts and other shared information through a direct dial-up connection to your LAN or through a WAN connection, such as the Internet. Although synchronization relies on the transfer of a synchronization file set between the remote and server locations, you can configure GoldMine to transfer these files automatically at a predetermined time.
GoldMine will automatically send and receive your Internet mail if you have an ISP. In addition, its Internet mail services interact with the contact database and history folders, automatically creating links to sent messages in a contactís history folder. This lets you see at a glance the messages youíve sent to and received from that contact. GoldMine also provides support for messages in rich text format, MIME attachments and e-mail filtering.
Another important feature in GoldMine is its Web support. A Webmaster can create CGI/Perl scripts that collect data from Web hits and forms, and forward that information to GoldMine users through e-mail. The e-mail can contain instructions directing GoldMine to perform a number of actions with the data, including creating records, scheduling follow-up calls and generating e-mail to other users.
Although GoldMine is one of the more expensive tools highlighted here, itís also one of the most powerful. Its interface is a little more complex than some of its competitorsí, but that trade-off is worth the difference in features and performance.