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Interactive Buyer's Guide
Web-Wise PIMs


December 1996 Reviews This Month 12/96 Reviews SW
Janna Contact Personal 1.0
Janna Gives You Its Personal Best

-- by James E. Powell

I was impressed by the Janna Contact 95 beta copy I looked at earlier this year, but its speed, which should have been improved in the shipping product, was disappointing. For this version, Janna rewrote the program, removed a few features and lowered the price to $49. But don't let that price fool you into thinking this is a stripped-down product-it's anything but.

There is much to praise in this new release. The speed I demand for working with large files, including the ability to do a fast lookup using a wide variety of search criteria, is back. Contact Personal's interaction with other Windows applications is strong. For example, you can attach a Word document to a contact, then click on the document to see Word's toolbar placed right under Contact's own.

The program still offers a well-designed layout and is easy to use. At the left of the screen is a list of contacts, through which you can navigate quickly. At the screen's right, you can put a two-, three- or five-tabbed panel to display contact data. You can include unlimited telephone fields and assign multiple categories to a contact.

Janna Contact Personal automatically opens a note when you place a call and then enters the start time. The program supports Caller ID for locating contact records when you receive a call.

The calendar supports day, week, month and year views, and you drag-and-drop to move appointments or change meeting durations. You can take shortcuts when assigning appointment completion times (6P for 6:00 p.m.).

Contact Personal has a redesigned interface. Right mouse clicks bring up shortcuts, which are also smartly designed. The customizable toolbar is more useful-you can quickly schedule a meeting, place a call or add a new document.

Import and export options are exceptional, and it's possible to save import maps for reuse. This was helpful when I tried to import my 2,500-entry Sidekick 95 file.

This version drops some Janna Contact 95 features. Entering the first few letters of a new contact doesn't trigger a pop-up list. You can, however, duplicate an existing contact record-Janna copies the company name and phone numbers but not the contact name.

Creating templates isn't as easy as I'd like, but the program puts icons in Word and Excel for inserting data from the current contact record. There's no report writer, but the standard layout supports the common Day-Runner-style paper sizes.

The user interface could use one or two minor improvements. For example, a completed task isn't marked with a check mark. You can set a multi-day event, but not by dragging the mouse across several days in a week view. I'd like to see an option to do mass changes.

For a frill-free PIM with many leading-edge features and an easy-to-learn interface, Janna Contact Personal beats out PIMs such as Sidekick 95. ACT 3.0's custom report writer and screen designer keep it entrenched on our Recommended List, but if these features are of no interest, Janna Contact Personal is your best choice for organizing contacts without reorganizing your life.

-- Info File --
Janna Contact Personal 1.0
Pros: Attach files to contacts or meetings
Cons: No report writer
Disk Space: 12MB
RAM: 12MB (16MB recommended)
Platforms: Win95, NT
Janna Systems
800-268-6107, 408-356-6647
WinMag Box Score 4.5

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