A few weeks back, I switched from using my Palm Tungsten-C as my GTD tool back to a paper-based methodology. I’ve been very happy, but then, something happened. I was checking my email and found an email announcing the newest edition of Iambic’s Agendus Professional v9.0. The tag line was, “Your Palm Reborn!” Curious, I opened the email and temptation set in.
I’ve always been a fan of Agendus as a strong GTD tool. It had everything I wanted, but the other issues with the palm enticed me to lay it down as an organizer (I still used it as a note-taking tool, phone log, etc.). But now, with all the improvements, I’m tempted to go back.
One of the most enticing points about Agendus is that it is five apps in one, allowing a seamless integration between calendar, contacts, to-do list, memos, and email/sms. There is no more switching between apps, just a tap on the screen and one goes from one app to the other.
The Five Apps
- Various views, including a today view, week view, month, view, quarter view, and year view. Each view has several formats for viewing, allowing one to customize the view depending on need.
- Ability to link appointments with contacts. One can also set up the prefs to log each appointment with their contacts, which means that each appointment with a contact is logged in that contact’s notes section. Look up the contact and you have a complete log of meetings with that person. This is great for documentation.
- Ability to choose multiple attendees for meetings — Slick!
- Meeting templates to speed up scheduling meetings that one has often, but not on a regular basis to allow making it a repeating meeting.
- Roll-over meetings are now offered.
- Ability to strike-through to indicate cancelled meetings.
- Prefs can be set to use silent alarms automatically during meetings.
- Now includes a time finder to find available time based on your needs (Can be set to ignore your lunch hour).
- Daily Journal feature — Create a running record of the day.
- Link tasks to contacts — Great for delegation!
- Link a task to a contact and tasks can be automatically logged so that they show up in that person’s note section. Hmmm. A running log of delegated tasks for that person.
- Now can use Steven Covey’s four-quadrants to prioritize tasks instead of the standard numbers…or use both. The quadrant approach is graphical. Sorting is possible by quadrant.
- Various views available with filtering to allow you to only what you want to. Want to see only @Office tasks that have to be done today with a quadrant I priority? No problem! The same goes for any time period, priority, category, etc.
- New hierarchical view — great for projects!
- Icons — Also great for projects. One topic that is brought up repeatedly at David Allen’s boards is how to handle projects with multiple next actions. This is it. Assign each project an icon. Filter for that icon and you see only tasks related to that project. Absolutely cool.
- Tasks can now be roll-overs.
- Got a Palm Zire 71 or 72 with a cam? Pictures can be taken and then linked to contacts, meetings, and tasks. Look up Fred…See Fred. How cool is that?
- Categories — This goes without saying as all PDA’s pretty well have them. I have mine by context a la GTD.
- A special category of tasks is the phone call. The special screen for a call allows one to look up phone numbers from the task itself. Got a Treo? Call right from the task screen.
- Automatic contact history that records meetings, tasks, emails, etc. This is CVS exportable.
- Contacts can be grouped/sorted by alphabet, company, zip code, etc.
- Tap on a contact and launch a delegated or linked task, meeting, or email/sms for that contact.
- Memos can be linked to contacts and are included in the contact history.
- Color-coding, icons, and photo attachment can further organize memos.
- Set an alarm for a meeting or task and then send an email from the reminder.
- Send an email from any of the five apps without switching.
- Create meetings, tasks, etc. directly from an email.
- Vcard and Vcalendar attachments can be saved to your contacts and calendar.
- If you have a Tungsten-C (or another PDA with Wi-Fi), access your inbox wirelessly. This will be one of my blogging tools from the beach over the next few days!
There is a Windows app for your office/home computer that allows one to use all of the above features on one’s laptop/desktop computer as well.
I’ve been using this now for about a week and am very impressed. So much so that I’m considering venturing back to the realm of the PDA as my primary GTD tool. The advantages that this software provides is almost to much to resist, especially the logging and contact history, as my profession requires strong documentation of my decisions and actions. My calendar, memos, and phone log become public records and this makes the documentation rituals automatic and requires no thought on my part, taking one more thing out of my psychic RAM.
I whole-heartedly recommend this as a strong tool that dove-tails wonderfully with GTD. Just because this works for me, doesn’t mean that it will fit your needs. Get a trial version and put it through its paces. You just might find that it will become your primary GTD tool as well.