I finally found a decent "contacts aspect" upgrade, C-Organizer
I finally found a decent "contacts aspect" upgrade, C-Organizer
Now that we've heard from Philipe Kahn etc and it just doesn't look super likely to get our old friend Sidekick "modernized", like most of you I again have been looking for a decent alternative. I'll cut out some sections of my long post on that other thread, starting a new thread here re: this decent program I finally found:
I think us Sidekick fans fall into two camps, those who badly need and are used to the great calendar features, the simplicity and good features of the calendar aspects, and next is the camp that really is devoted to / requires, an "equal to Sidekick" contact manager / database / address book functionality (some require both, and obviously some are big on the nice notes section).
Many programs out there do a decent job of being a calendar, I'd settle for a separate program for that. But the address book part, I'm spoiled by Sidekick's ability to let you custom define ALL fields, the ability to have the text be NOT limited to just 40 characters or whatever, and the nice tabs at the bottom.
I looked at(for the 9th time probably) the "also drifting now" Lotus Organizer, it just doesn't have the flexibility, can't do many tabs, just not as serious of a program.
Looked at EssentialPIM (very popular download on CNET, due to a free version to drive the fish in), it's a very unstable program, the big claim to fame is being able to run off of a USB drive, and those who need portability try to love the program in spite of many bugs and it not being very stable. PimOne is not a serious program, all fluff, gosh so many of these programs are just popcorn and balony compared to Sidekick.
I did find ONE program this past week that I think I will move over to, for the contacts part of things. It's "C-Organizer Pro", at csoftlab.com .
One thing about that program that Sidekick calendar people won't like, it's got a pretty darned good appointments / to do type thing going, but it does NOT have a "hours of the day like a day-runner" appearance, it's got the month view and events but not an hours of the day "column".
BUT, the contacts part is the first thing I've seen that I could switch to:
It lets you set up folders on the left, very much like MS Windows Explorer interface of folders on the left that you'd click on to show the files on the right, to the right is the contact list, you click on a contact and it brings up the contact box.
You can customize ALL of the field names, any length, and the text you fill in seems to be able to fit long lengths of text in any field, something I've not seen do well outside of Sidekick.
At first I didn't like the interface of having to bring up a new window to enter contact info (though 99% seem to require that), but, this program is nice, you can go full screen on that contact, and even without popping the window open the "info line" representing the contact is BROAD, and can include like 4 or 5 fields (not just the 3 fields of Sidekick for the "contacts index line), and it's got a very cool thing of being able to click on icons and reveal the phone #'s and e-mail address without clicking open the record's window.
Lots of slick features, and the program looks nice and is modern. The developer said he's starting work this month on another upgrade. I asked for an autodialer, he said he probably could do that.
One thing he acknowledged needed work when I brought it up is that you can't select a range of contacts and drag and drop then to a new folder, it's one at a time drag and drop for some reason, he said he's working on that feature.
BUT, you can set up folders, and have folders "under" folders, expanded or collapsed, and the search is GLOBAL, that's one thing we all know was missing from Sidekick, the ability to search once among all tabs.
One other MAJOR missing piece though on this C-Organizer Pro is that it prints reports well but does not currently do mailing labels. I ragged at the developer on that, said get the specs from Avery etc. and get that done, he said he'd work on that but currently it doesn't do labels (nether does the paid version of Epim, and users of Outlook claim it's about the worst feature of Outlook, trying to print mailing labels).
It wasn't simple in Sidekick either, but at least doable.
With C-Organizer Pro you can set up your field names etc. then save it as a template, you can save MANY templates, then name one as the default template, you can enter contacts chosing any of your templates, AND, you can add a custom field here or there for just individual contacts, it's very flexible, has a place for a little photo with contacts etc, and basically it's SIMPLE, it's not like Act / Goldmine / Maximizer etc.
Seems to have a very good import / export facility, similar in it's mapping look and feel to Sidekick. There is a Palm and MS Pocket PC side-program they have available, and it seems C-Organizer runs on a USB flash drive for those that need portability.
It's got a decent number of downloads for being only recently on CNET, but just one review a positive one, I think I'll throw one on there as well.
I've tried to accurately describe this one to save you the download if it's not your cup of tea, for me I think it's finally my "migration point" away from my old friend, Sidekick. Honestly in some ways, nothing will ever be as good.
It may be a few months before I bite the bullet and do the transition, but for me as an contact / database / address book heavy Sidekick fan, I think I'll be going with this C-Organizer Pro. I use a paper day scheduler anyway, so the appointment / to do thing is adequate for my needs, too bad it doesn't have a column - time of day thing, maybe they'll add that as the program is still supported and being developed, the Russian guy doing it does answer e-mail promptly and intelligently.
Here's the addresses, and this one is actually nicer than the feel you get just looking at screenshots, nice flexible features, well designed, seems stable as well:
Many features I truly like with this C-Organizer, surprising after so much frustration looking at the other PIMS and checking out Outlook again, seeing the horrible reviews on Amazon on Anytime Organizer etc...
If you try this C-Organizer and like it (free 30 day trial of the full program, but it will also be updated / new version in about 3 months), it probably deserves to be promoted a bit on newsgroups etc so others can find it and try it as an alternative, it seems to be about the only good one I've found and I've been looking for 5 years like many of you have been.
Good luck everybody, here's to good migrations for us all, or good luck getting use from our old friend Sidekick for as many days as we can make the old motor run.
Frank H. in Oregon