It Slices, It Dices, and It's Easy to Clean

'Anytime Deluxe' -- A PIM for Non-Geeks

By Thom LaCosta

     You lead a busy life -- appointments, holidays, birthdays, things you need to accomplish on a deadline, names, addresses and phone numbers to track -- there's just too much to do it all by shear memory.

     You could resort to yellow sticky notes and scraps of paper, or invest $39.95 and install Anytime Deluxe by Individual Software.

What Is Anytime

    Anytime is a Personal Information Manager (PIM) that installs in less than five minutes, eats up approximately 7 megabytes of your hard drive, and gives you a leg-up on all the dull, boring organizational tasks you need to do - and, if you're a procrastinator, never quite accomplish.

Task It --You'll Like It

    Anytime starts out with a display of a desk calendar with the current date. Nothing exciting, simply some time slots that can be used to enter events or appointments. You might be put-off if you think the system only lets you record appointments that begin on the hour, between 6 am and 10pm. It's possible to configure Anytime to process other time points and time frames such as 10 minute increments from 5 am until 1150 pm (My, we are living a busy life, aren't we?).

     Entering an event is painless -- simply click on new in the task bar, pick a time and enter the event information. Here, Anytime is a delight, you are NOT restricted to one of the preset times, you can enter in whatever time is real for you. So, while Anytime may offer you something like 11:15 am, you can change it to 11:07am (Odd times are perfect for parking meter slaves -- you hardly ever put in your money on 10 or 15 minute increments). Should there be a conflict of events, the program allows you to accept the conflict or reschedule one of the conflicting times. Rescheduling is a snap -- a separate reschedule button lets you drag and drop events, appointments and to do items to the proper date and time.

     Don't dismiss the small block for event information as I did. Instead of entering cryptic abbreviations that you may not remember in a month or so, enter something short -- click on OK in the task bar, then double-click the event on the calendar page -- You'll now see why Anytime lets you really get organized.

     The pop-up window you see allows the entry of a LOT of information about the event; start time, end time, a healthy space for details and an option to not only have Anytime sound an alarm about the event, but also how much time before the event you want the alarm. Using our parking meter slave example, you can tell Anytime to let you know via the alarm that its time to leave the building and feed the meter.

     If you have the kind of life that dictates a meeting such as every Wednesday at 4:30 pm for the next 13 weeks, you'll appreciate the ability to have a repeat entry. Simply click on repeat -- now you can schedule the event to repeat by day, week, month or year with an option to reschedule if the event falls on a weekend. You can pick an end date for the repeat based on date or number of events.

But -- There's More

    Some events are complex, and Anytime will handle that complication by offering you a note pad area associated with the event. If you think of Anytime as a pyramid, concise information expanding into a more detailed view, you'll get the most out of the system.

To Do or Not To Do

    Most folks concerned with time management are into To Do lists -- You've seen them, perhaps you've used them -- those list of things that must be done -- those lists that at the end of the day need to be re-done -- you never finish your to do tasks. Not only can you create a to do list in Anytime, you can also prioritize the items, and in a very "non-geek" mode, Anytime reminds you the next day that there are unfinished to dos, and asks if you want to carry them over to the current day.

But Wait -- There's Even More

    Now that we've started to build up a large list of things to do and appointments, it would be convenient to have a list of folks we contact -- the proverbial address book. Anytime steps up to the plate and swings a large bat in this area. Not only can we record names, addresses and phone numbers, we can also add beeper numbers, cell phone numbers and email addresses.

Reach Out and Touch 'Em

    Anytime delivers another stroke of common sense -- once you have a person in the address book, a simple mouse click allows you to dial their phone or send them email. No need to remember the information, or do a cut a paste, simply click on the correct button and you're in contact.

For Those Who Are Really Busy

    Some of us who are tied to computers have more than one -- one at the office, one at home, and for the real freaks, one that we carry in our briefcase or pocket. Obviously, for a PIM to be effective, the information must be current. Anytime allows you to not only maintain and merge different databases (ala office, home, etc.) but also has a facility for interfacing with your palm top unit. There is no longer any excuse for not being in touch with all your tasks, contacts and notes.

AND -- There's More Or Less

    It's possible to have too much information right in your face. Through the use of different "views", Anytime lets you see as much or as little of any day, week, event or to do item as you desire. There's a very sophisticated 'Find' feature that allows a search of the entire database, or any portion. So, if you remember that you had an appointment with someone about monkey wrenches, but you can't remember when, or the persons' name -- ask Anytime to find monkey wrench. If you put it in the database, Anytime will find all occurrences, and prompt you for which one you want to view.

No Pig In A Poke

    If Anytime sounds like it belongs on your computer(s), but you're not sure if you want to drop $39.99 to see if you really can fill up several trash bags with sticky notes, noted placements and napkins or all those match book covers -- wend your way to www.individualsoftware.com -- you can download a 30 day trial copy. -- Individual Software is betting you'll get hooked and purchase the package.

2000 Thom LaCosta

Thom LaCosta is Webmaster at BaltimoreMd.com -- He recently disposed of a large number of notes on various pieces of paper -- his trash collectors don't like him -- you can email him at comments@baltimoremd.com

Home Webmaster's Page Comments

Copy, Layout and Design Copyright © 2000 by Thom LaCosta
All Rights Reserved