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  1. Thread AuthorThread Author   #1  
    kotrab's Avatar
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    Question Best Organizer apps for iPhone (Calendar/Contacts/To Do)

    Hi there from Sydney, Australia, TiPbers!

    This is my very first post.

    What I want to ask is whether any of you have opinions on what is the best organizer app currently available for the iPhone. I can't find any good *recent* discussions of this that have helped me.

    So far I've been using Pocket Informant Lite and I'm wondering whether it's worth the bucks to upgrade to the paid version.

    My questions:

    > Are there any apps that do a better job than PI Lite of syncing contacts, calendar and to do lists with the cloud (e.g., a gmail account), with push notifications of alarms to my iPhone 3G, and with to do lists integrated with the calendar?

    > Is there anything that lets me search *all* fields of contacts for a particular phone number, name or note (preferably without creating a duplicate of the built-in contacts list)?

    >Will this magic program be as flexible as PI with setting alarms (e.g., choosing exactly how many days/weeks/months/years before an event I'll get a reminder)?

    Thanks so much in advance! Any help will be greatly appreciated
    Jim
  2. #2  
    Brickman's Avatar
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    WELCOME!!!! Glad you are here!

    A lot of people really like PI. You may also look at Agendus. IMO the most full featured is OmniFocus, but be forewarned. It is expensive!
    JB iPhone 3G => 16G iPhone 4 iOS5, 16G iPad1 iOS5 => iP5 32Gig White, iPad4 32Gig Black

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  3. #3  
    Alli's Avatar
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    I'm still using PI. It's not great, but Apple has prevented great from existing on this platform. I tried SmartTimePro and found it greatly lacking. Agendus in its current incarnation is way behind, but since SplashData has just taken the reigns, they are working on a new version that promises to be sweet.

    I no longer remember any differences between the lite version and the full version of PI other than the ability to sync all forward and all past events.

    Brickman, what does OmniFocus do that PI doesn't?
  4. #4  
    ctt1wbw's Avatar
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    I'm looking forward to an update for Agendus. I bought it on your recommendation, but I am very dissappointed in it. I think I remember it on the Blackberry, which was much better.
    Gimme a vector, Victor. I'm coming home. Roger, Roger. Huh?
  5. #5  
    Alli's Avatar
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    Mostly it was great on the Palm. You could do anything. I am really looking forward to the 2.0 version, which promises all sorts of goodies, and should be out any time now.
  6. #6  
    ctt1wbw's Avatar
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    Why do I know the name "SplashData"?
    Gimme a vector, Victor. I'm coming home. Roger, Roger. Huh?
  7. #7  
    Alli's Avatar
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    SplashData has been around for ages and recently acquired Iambic. They make all those "Splash" apps like SplashPhoto, SplashID, SplashWallet, and more. Some of them are available for iPhone already.
  8. #8  
    Speedv1's Avatar
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    +1 for Pocket Informant. Just switched from a blackberry and without this app I'd have trouble sticking with the iphone (the installed calendar app is lacking).
  9. #9  
    impaler's Avatar
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    I prefer Pocket Informant. Pretty powerful and good Google calendar sync.
  10. #10  
    ctt1wbw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alli View Post
    SplashData has been around for ages and recently acquired Iambic. They make all those "Splash" apps like SplashPhoto, SplashID, SplashWallet, and more. Some of them are available for iPhone already.
    Yeah, that's it. I think I had some of those on an old WinMo phone a few years ago.
    Gimme a vector, Victor. I'm coming home. Roger, Roger. Huh?
  11. #11  
    gdasilva's Avatar
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    When i had a Treo back in the day, i used splash id and i loved it.
  12. #12  
    Alli's Avatar
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    You know you can get SplasID for your iPhone now, right? Syncs via WiFi to your pc.
  13. Thread AuthorThread Author   #13  
    kotrab's Avatar
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    Default OmniFocus sync app for Windows (or the cloud)?

    Thanks to everyone who replied to my post. I've been offline for the last week or two, so have only just caught up with your suggestions.

    I had heard excellent reports about OmniFocus, but my concern was that it was mainly aimed at Mac users.

    Does anyone know whether there's a desktop app for Windows that will sync with OmniFocus? Or at least a cloud-based service (e.g., gmail, MobileMe)? The App Store entry for it is silent on this issue.

    Also, does it have something like the push notifications from gmail that you can get in PI?

    Thanks again -- great forum!
  14. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kotrab View Post
    Thanks to everyone who replied to my post. I've been offline for the last week or two, so have only just caught up with your suggestions.

    I had heard excellent reports about OmniFocus, but my concern was that it was mainly aimed at Mac users.

    Does anyone know whether there's a desktop app for Windows that will sync with OmniFocus? Or at least a cloud-based service (e.g., gmail, MobileMe)? The App Store entry for it is silent on this issue.

    Also, does it have something like the push notifications from gmail that you can get in PI?

    Thanks again -- great forum!
    OmniFocus does not have a cloud-based service or a Windows app. The closest is that you can set it up to backup to MobileMe's iDisk.

    As far as alarms, there are no push alerts. Instead, you can (through a somewhat involved process) have it create and save a calendar file (.ics) on your iDisk and then configure your Mail/Contact/Calendar services to open said file as a calendar, allowing on device alerts (no push, not dependent on network connection). Downsides include inability to change the alert tone for just those tasks, and if you have a lot of task reminders, it clutters your calendar.
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  15. #15  
    webilosopher's Avatar
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    thanks applejosh. sounds a bit complicated for me (I'm not planning on renewing my mobileme subscription when it expires in 6 months from now anyway), so I might try the pocket informant option.
  16. #16  
    kilsey's Avatar
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    Default Re: OmniFocus Push

    Quote Originally Posted by applejosh View Post
    As far as alarms, there are no push alerts. Instead, you can (through a somewhat involved process) have it create and save a calendar file (.ics) on your iDisk and then configure your Mail/Contact/Calendar services to open said file as a calendar, allowing on device alerts (no push, not dependent on network connection). Downsides include inability to change the alert tone for just those tasks, and if you have a lot of task reminders, it clutters your calendar.
    Another option if you run a Mac at home fulltime (I have a Mac Mini HTPC) is that you can use Prowl to push Growl alerts to your iPhone. Depending on how you structure your to-dos, you can get alerts when new actions are available, are due soon, or are overdue.

    I try to run everything through Prowl this way (Tweetie for DMs and @s, Delivery Status for package tracking, Facebook Notifier for FB events, the Woot widgets for onsales), and it makes for a decent "universal" notification system. Also, since you're providing the iron for the push service, there's no subscription involved.

    Semi-circuitous, but it really helps to organize all the disparate push notes into a single location.
  17. #17  
    aureatenova's Avatar
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    I have both PI and Saisuke
  18. #18  
    ifonefwenzy's Avatar
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    All I do is use google sync to get all my calendar, contact, and mail on my phone. It works very very good and is free. If I change anything on my phone apps it updates my google accounts... If I change anything on my google accounts it updates my phone apps.
  19. #19  
    timjs's Avatar
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    Default Help!!!

    I've been using Microsoft Windows, Office, and Outlook beginning in 1986 with Windows 3.0 and then moved onto PDAs in the mid 1990's and smartphones around 2003. I thought there were limitations when I couldn't sync everything from Outlook to my PDA. I did not realize what limitations were all about until I moved from a Palm Treo 750 to an brand new iPhone 3GS 16GB 10 days ago. I just took for granted that I could select any of my 300+ inbox subfolders and sync them to my phone to take work "on the road" or to have archived e-mail correspondance at my fingertips during a meeting. And at that meeting I could set a follow-up meeting on my Treo with 5 day reminder (I like to be able to set reminders well in advance instead of making 2 calendar entries; one to remind me to prepare for the meeting and the second to remind me of the actual meeting). I learned that by having the ability to set a reminder for one or two weeks in advanced "triggered" me to plan for the upcoming meeting. And at that same meeting we would all look at our phone calendars and decide on an agreeable date and time for the followup meeting and instead of having everyone enter the meeting into their phone I merely suggested that I send everyone a meeting invitation. This would allow me and them to remain updated as to the status of the meeting, include an agenda in the meeting notice, or to insert attachements on the meeting invite. I could invite attendeeds using my Conacts or just by entering their e-mail addresses. And I kind of got used to having over 150 categories in my Contacts so that I could index contacts by category when I need to contract several interior painters for the same project and create a rating system for all of the sub-contractors that I stored in my Contacts.

    I must be the only person on the planet that finds this archaic manner of organizing and synchronizing information to be highly effective and efficient. I'm probably the only person that is not willing to give up my 10 year-old e-mail address that's tied to a small ISP that no one has ever heard of (some little known company owned by Time Warner called Road Runner) in order to move from a POP3 e-mail account to another e-mail account that accommodes IMAP protocal. Silly of me to trade in a smartphone for a "fun" phone. As a matter of fact I find this great app that is designed to be a virtual police and fire scanner that allows you to listen in on police and fire calls in many parts of the world. Unforntunately no one at my last meeting seemed to be very interested in that app and they had their Blackberries, and Motorolas and HTCs and Palms and were curious about the iPhone, but they laughed a bit as they watched me struggled to make two calendar entries for our next meeting, one to remind me to prepare for the meeting and one for the actual meeting. And of course we all had a good laugh over the fact that I was no longer in the role of "Invitor" and was now just another invitee, but still required to send out the agenda and attachments; which of course required me to make another calendar entry to remind myself to send those out as a separate e-mail when I returned to the office. Invariably someone asked me if I could recommend a hardwood flooring installer, and I told them I'd check my Contacts when I got back to the office. They gave me a very puzzled look and I simply replied "it's and iPhone thing, you wouldn't understand". I don't even understand it myself. I've been workig on and with computers since 1978 and even now, as a homebuilder, I continue to try to stay on the "bleeding" edge, but this iPhone thing has me stumped. I've never seen so many "workarounds" in my life!!! Things like "oh, just use this app and set up a Gmail account and then sync your Outlook with Gmail and then sync your phone to the Gmail account....blah, blah, blah."

    I'm missing something here aren't I? There is some big secret about this iPhone thing that everybody besides me knows about. The iPhone suddenly empowers people (beside me) to not have to have direct access to customer e-mail folders on their phone, or to magically have plenty of time, within 2 days (the maximum alert time) to prep for that follow-up meeting that they scheduled last month...even though they have about 10 days of other work to get done between the time the meeting reminder pops up and the meeting actually begins. Maybe I'm just getting old and I should remember the which of the 1,000 entries in my contact list are exceptional hardwood floor installers.

    Okay, enough sarcasm. Does anyone have any SERIOUS solutions to this nonsense other than to put things in reverse and get another phone that is competent at running Windows Mobile? My real dilemna is that the iPhone actually does some things exceptionally well and some things that I could never have available on any of my smartphones. For example, there is a particular construction calculator that is used by most construction tradesmen because it allow the calculation of inch-feet-yards and every permutation thereof. It makes the calculations extremely fast and accurate. These specialized calculators sell for between $50 & $80 and I own 5 of them just to make sure I have one "planted" whereever I might need it. Unfornately it could not be easily morped onto a smartphone because of the button layout that makes it so effective. The company just released the $80 version of the calculator for the iPhone as a $9.99 app and it looks and operates exactly like the physical calculator. I always have my phone with my so now I don't need to be so concerned about keeping the batteries fresh in my five other construction calculators (they never did make a solar version and no other company makes such a specialized calculator). Unfortunately the capabilities that the iPhone lacks are real productivity killers and I've Google these capabilities till I'm blue in the face. That's how I found this forum which seemed to be the only forum that had some semblance of an understanding of how necessary these capabilities are.

    Any information that you could provide; jailbreak or whatever, to get this thing to mirror my Outlook and all of it's vital capabilities, without having to setup other mail accounts and do frustrating workarounds would be greatly appreciated.
  20. #20  
    Alli's Avatar
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    You are definitely not alone. I constantly bemoan the fact that I can't get the same IMAP Idle that I enjoyed with Chatter on my Treo. A lot of people have gotten around this by using MobileMe, but I've also had the same email address for many years and have no interest in changing just for the iPhone.

    I never did invitations, and never used Outlook, so that isn't a loss to me. There are some really good 3rd party calendaring apps that can help you around many of the iPhone's deficiencies. You might want to take a look at DéjaOffice for starters.

    Some of the other problems we have may be fixed when iPhone 4 comes out and devs finally have access to the calendar.
  21. #21  
    timjs's Avatar
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    Thanks Alli, I'll continue to look for suitable applications that directly and effectively address these issues and I'll research DéjaOffice.

    Tim
  22. #22  
    Mr Qwak's Avatar
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    Anyone used 2do for iPhone? The screens look rather nice, but I'm not sure how well the sync with my Mac would work! Anyone got it working smoothly?
  23. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Qwak View Post
    Anyone used 2do for iPhone? The screens look rather nice, but I'm not sure how well the sync with my Mac would work! Anyone got it working smoothly?
    it works great. i have had it for a while and really love it.
  24. #24  
    Mr Qwak's Avatar
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    Nice one stepchild. Can you work with your todo list on the Mac then? Then have it all sync up on your iPhone? What's the software you use on Mac to edit it?

    I'm also thinking of Things, I know that has both an iPhone and a desktop version etc.
  25. #25  
    stepchild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Qwak View Post
    Nice one stepchild. Can you work with your todo list on the Mac then? Then have it all sync up on your iPhone? What's the software you use on Mac to edit it?

    I'm also thinking of Things, I know that has both an iPhone and a desktop version etc.
    you can sync it with your mac. I forget what software it uses. I sync with toodledo and it works just fine for my needs.
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