Monday, April 10, 2006

Stay In Touch...

Now that you are set up to work on your computer you should make sure that you keep your diary and contacts up to date. I don’t mean that nice black diary that you got from a supplier last year, I mean using your Mac for your contacts and calendars.

There is an Address Book for your contacts and iCal for your diary. They work OK but they are not designed for professional use. The Address Book is not a contact manager that can keep track of 1000’s of contacts, nor can it link to the calendar so that as you add notes to the meeting, the notes are linked to the contact file. That’s what a true contact manager would do, but it is really easy to use. So if you want to have better control over your contacts what can you do?

There are at least two options:

Now Contact and Now Up-To-Date


Now Contact and Now Up-To-Date

NUD (Now Contact and
Now Up-To-Date) are two separate

applications that work together to

give you a contact manager and a


Now Up to Date

Now Contact

I have been using NUD for several years and it has some great features, but it also has some ommisions. One of my favourite features is the way that it can link to my palm pilot and keep all my categories in tact. When I tried this with the standard Address Book and iCal the results were unpleasant, they would not keep the categories that I wanted and I found that the syncronsing was very slow. This is when I changed to NUD.

Connecting my Palm to NUD took a short time to sort out (a conflict in the conduits) and once sorted it has been fast and reliable. So reliable that I have come reply heavily on it. You can’t tell if a contact has been created on the computer or the Palm, and detailed meeting notes can be created on the computer and edited on the Palm. When I have synchronised you can’t tell where the notes were created or where they were edited.

With NUD you can link meeting

with a contact.

When you do this, NUD then adds the

meeting to the contacts details. This is

a great way to have a detailed record

of the meetings that you’ve had with

a client, especially if you’ve had the

client for several years.

This is pretty neat, but the best part of

this is that if you add notes to the

meeting on the calendar, the notes are

added to the contact. I have used this
function many times to record the

minutes of the meeting on my laptop.

The minutes are then added to the notesof the contact. When you go back to the client some time later, you can see

what you discussed last time, the action

you should have taken (normal meeting

stuff really) and so on, but the neat part is that it all appears in the notes for the client. You could have many years of notes… It has become a habit now to write the minutes of the meeting direct into the calender while I am on site, or to write them later when I have a moment (either on my laptop or my palm pilot).

NUD has the ability to dial a phone number but it will only use the internal modem on your computer, it can’t be switched to use your mobile phone for example. I think that this is a glaring fault and one that NowSoftware “are looking at adding to a future release…” But then they also said that when I got my fist copy of OS X, 3 years ago. The Apple address book has the ability to dial your mobile phone and send SMS.

NUD has the ability to store the contacts and calendar on a server and let everyone in the office synchronise to it. You can even set this up so that you can be off-site and still sync contacts and meetings. I have been doing this for the last 3 years with a server in a different town. Unit the last version of NUD it worked very well, but they really mucked up the upgrade and now it’s not working. I have spoken to the NZ distributor and they are unable to resolve this with the people that make NUD. I suspect that if you started with NUD now (without the legacy issues) it would work fine. It’s a shame really, it was a nice bit of software, so I have started to look at another contact manager that will be able to do all that NUD can do, and more!

Daylite 3.0

I will tell you more about Daylite 3.0 next month now that I have started to use it. It’s going to take me a while to get used to it.

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