There are over 6 Billion people on the planet and they all want to get the most out of their short lives. Not surprisingly, a whole slew of tools, gadgets, and programs have cropped up out of this huge demand. Unfortunately, this also means there’s a lot of junk to be filtered through. This post marks the beginning of a project to document and review the software and tools used by people around the world to get things done.
The first such review is for software that I personally use each day: Agenda Fusion 8.
Agenda Fusion 8 is an all-in-one time management tool for the PPC created by Developer One. This company has produced software for the Pocket PC in areas of health, password security and even an RSS reader. Developer One recently released a new organization tool called “Agenda One (v.2)”. Although it’s newer, I’d have to argue it’s superiority over it’s predecessor. Although claiming to be “So powerful yet incredibly easy to use…” I’d have to stress an important point: “Powerful” and “Easy to Use” do NOT go hand-in-hand in the case of Agenda One. Although it has prettier colors and icons, it’s ability to quickly and conveniently support GTD and TRO is far inferior to Agenda Fusion 8.
Agenda Fusion is capable of supporting your Outlook and Exchange Server information quickly and stress free. The default settings for the software worried me at first but after some slight tweaking, I managed to set up a clean view for managing my tasks and time.
Agenda Fusion 8 supports Tasks, Calendar Events, Notes, Contacts and Projects. It allows for advanced viewing options and filters including grouping by categories, priority, due dates and more with multiple sorting priorities!
It’s a bit strange at first. It’s not much to look at and some of the views would blow your mind at first glance. Once you understand what’s happening though, things are pretty smooth. Everything is right at your fingertips. There are a few advanced features which have to be accessed from the options menu, but for the most part, it’s all there at the bottom of the screen.
Colors and icons are ugly as sin but I could care less what it looks like as long as it does what it’s supposed to. It has an older feel to it. The solid gray buttons and ancient graphics were a bit concerning but once I got inside the program I was hooked.
I’ll live with the design interface. It’s not stellar, but it’s not terrible either.
Agenda Fusion has far more features than any other time management PPC software that I’ve seen to date. The biggest plus for Agenda fusion is it’s ability to sort by multiple contexts. You can add any task to an unlimited number of categories, add projects that include links between items, and can create new tasks, appointments, emails and links based on contacts in your address list.
Unlike it’s, Agenda Fusion has kept the quick Entry Bar. Instead of manually adding tasks one at a time, you can quickly add them by simply typing text in the supplied field and hitting enter.
The ability to create custom views is a HUGE plus. By using filters you can create views to identify unprocessed items and sort by specific sets of categories. (Or exclude them.) I do wish that there were more options for filtering but at least they’ve got it.
Agenda Fusion fully supports categories in use by both Exchange server and Outlook. It even synced nicely with Entourage on the mac using MissingSync. Because everything here is Microsoft specific, there are very few if any translation errors incurred. I have seen the occasional task or appointment duplicated during synchronization but these occurrences are rare and far surpasses competition in reliability.
When you have a large number of tasks or appointments, the software runs a bit slower but still exceeds my expectations. Two thumbs way up there for compatibility.
GTD and TRO Compliance
By far one of the best GTD software apps available for the PDA. It’s versatility means that you can use it for your specific GTD or TRO set up. Everyone’s different which means that their tools and systems vary slightly. With Agenda Fusion, this isn’t a problem. Everything needed to support GTD and TRO are there plus enough extras to make it a comfortable tool for just about everyone.
The default setup when you install is a bit overwhelming so I will give a few tips that I recommend to streamline your experience.
The application is nicely designed. It’s advanced features and ease of use make it a powerful organization tool. Although it takes some tweaking to fully support TRO principles, it’s 90% of the way there right out of the box. You can purchase it from Developer One for under $30 US.
It’s the best money I’ve spent on my PDA so far. Trying to support GTD and TRO on the built in task manager and calendar was insanity.
Click below for more screenshots: