Thursday, March 29, 2007

How will you choose a replacement of address book program?

You have been using Email for years, and almost all Email programs came with an address book module. Are you satisfied with such container of contact info? Probably not. This is why you have been searching for a better solution. While there are hundreds of solutions around, based on Web or desktop, you might need to ask yourself a few questions before making a choice.

  1. Do you have more than one Email accounts? Do you use different Email client programs? For example, Mozilla Thunderbird, MS Outlook and Hotmail.
  2. Do you sometimes want to store some contact info that could hardly be stored in designed fields of the address book?
  3. Do you sometimes use computer to make telephone calls and Skype calls?
  4. Do you need to print mailing labels?
  5. Do you have some organizational contacts to record?
  6. Do you want to sometimes record multiple notes for a contact?
  7. Do you want to have a multi-level category system to categorize contacts?
  8. Do you want to run the address book program on an external portable drive such as a flash disk or iPod?
  9. Do you want to run the address book program on LAN to share the address books with staffs in the same office?
  10. Do you want to outline the relationships between contacts?
  11. Do you exchange contact info with other people?
  12. Do you often need to do copy/paste in order to copy contact info from/to other documents?

If you have 3 affirmative answers to the questions above, did you find any program that adapted such needs?

If not, then you might find the answers interesting made by Open Contacts.

  1. Open Contacts is not an Email program and it has good interactions with different Email clients. It can natively interact with MS Outlook through Office COM, Mozilla Thunderbird and other conventional mail programs though MAPI, Portable Thunderbird through commandline, Lotus through Windows Shell, and web mail through copy/paste.
  2. Open Contacts have almost all fields created dynamically, so that you can insert unlimited field/value pairs.
  3. Open Contacts interacts natively with Windows Telephony (Dialer) and Skype. And you can seamlessly integrate telephony and skype if desired.
  4. Open Contacts provides built-in functions of printing selected info of selected contacts in a compact format, thus you can easily have a tidy and handy address book. In addition, with exported CSV/Excel files, you can print rich formats of mailing label through dedicated label printing programs.
  5. Designed with separation of people contacts and organizational contacts, Open Contacts provide associations between people and companies. So you can easy find people working in the same organization. In addition, you can record the relationships between one person and multiple organizations.
  6. Almost all existing address programs provide only one Notes field, Open Contacts provide unlimited notes besides the primary one.
  7. While grouping contacts is the basic feature of almost all existing address book programs, Open Contacts provide multi-level categories.
  8. Open Contacts was designed to be running without installation, thus it can run on an external portable drive such as a flash disk plugged into any Windows workstation (Windows 2000 or above).
  9. Open Contacts was designed to be running as a client/server application talking to a standalone Firebird database server.
  10. You can create relationship links between people and companies.
  11. CSV, vCard, LDIF and XML.
  12. Open Contacts provides a set of copy/paste functions for you to exchange info between Open Contacts and other documents through Windows clipboard.