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Rooster99 01-18-2009 07:48 PM

Agendus (and other Task/PIM apps) for Storm
 
Well, after researching 12 different Task/PIM apps and actually trying 3 of them, Agendus is the best of the lot.

I'll outline my perceptions of Agendus below based on about an hour of use - but please keep in mind I'm still looking at Pocket Informant (not due for general release until end Jan/early Feb), Pocket Lists (part of Pocket Day - and Pocket Day is supposed to be general release early the week of Jan 19 or so I've heard), and e-Mobile Today (supposed to be in general release now).

Also, so far I've focussed on the Tasks primarily, plus a bit of the Contact & Calendar functionality - message handling I've spent no time on so while my impression is that's not something Agendus does except for the ability to show Recent Messages in the Today view, I may be wrong. I should also mention I'm a long time Palm user, and loved their To-Do app.

After the Agendus info I'll list my impressions of the other Task/PIM apps I've looked at.

Agendus :

Of the 12 I've looked at, Agendus is in the top 4, and I'm actually using it now. Overall I could see this being the single app I "live in" the most once all the bugs are ironed out of the Storm version, and I can see that making me very, very happy with my Storm. I still need to spend more time on it and bugs definitely need to be worked out, but I could become a very happy Agendus user.

My impressions at a high level so far :

1) Not 100% Storm ready, but very close. You get portrait & landscape mode, flicking, etc. but there are some bugs I've noticed as described later.

2) Very flexible and very easy to navigate.

3) To make the current version work you need to disable Compatibility Mode via System > Options > Advanced Options > hilight Agendus WITHOUT clicking on it > BB key > Disable Compatibility Mode. A battery pull might not hurt.

4) The Tasks view is the best I've seen so far, and Tasks were my major issue. You can select to not show completed, you can select to filter by due date (Past Due, Today, Next 7 Days, etc.). It displays the Due Date, the Priority (from Outlook), and the first part of the Description, all on one line - very clean and useful. The stroke of genius is that you can also map Categories to colours - so without taking up additional screen real estate you see the Category for each Task as well. To me this was brilliant, and I haven't seen anyone else do it.

5) The other views are great. I haven't spent much time with them as I was focussed on Tasks, but in the little time I've spent I've come to really like them - multiple date views, multiple Contact views etc. Very accessible, information well laid out, and it's really nice to have them so easy to get at - Berry key, click on the one you want and it's done. I installed the Professional version and that allows me to actually work with the data shown as well as view it (ex - Contacts view - click on a Contact, hit the Phone button and you're calling them).

6) Multiple options for each View (ex - Week view to show/not show Tasks, etc.) as well as the app itself overall. So quite flexible, and the options they have are pretty well thought out.

7) Current bugs and "wish list" items :
- Categories for Tasks don't seem to be coming across from Outlook when I sync. They don't seem to be visible in the BB Task app either so I have to do a bit of testing to see if it's just Agendus or if there's an overall sync issue.
- Hilighting a Contact and hitting the Phone button doesn't always bring up all the phone numbers for that Contact so you can select from them - when I treid this last night with a Contact who has Work, home and Mobile numbers, the Mobile number didn't come up until I clicked on the Mobile number within the Contact.
- The Task you select disappears, like the test switches to white on the white background. So it's still there, but invisible. This is a little unnerving when you flick through a long list - every time your thumb touches down another Task disappears, only to reappear when you touch the next one or another area on the screen. Touching part of the header ensures all Tasks are visible so this isn't fatal, but it should be fixed.
- Assigning colours to Categories is tricky as the UI needs to be tweaked. Very hard to see which Category you're selecting.
- Would love to have an option to sort by Category within Due Date
- Today view shows a maximum of 7 items. Would prefer to have it show all items for Today. Combine it with the options already there for this view and the way it's laid out it would be my favourite view.
- Add the Filter by Date capabilities of the Task view to the Agenda view and the Agenda view would become much more powerful.
- Would like to have a Task View Date Filter that showed all Tasks "Today and Past Due". Right now these are 2 separate views. THis is pretty minor, but would definitely be nice-to-have.

Anyway, that's what I have so far. Even the additional time I've spent writing this has shown me additional capabilities of Agendus I hadn't known existed. I like this app - it's powerful, flexible and really easy to use. Having said that, it needs to be Stormed, and could still be improved. But the only fatal issue right now is the sync issue with Categories I mentioned, and even that I would work around if I had to. I don't have any info on when the Storm version will hit general release.

Other Task/PIM apps I've looked at :

- BB Task Pro - Installed it, very weak, not much beyond BB Task list
- TaskMaster - Installed it, very weak, not much beyond BB Task list
- Got-2 - Still beta; Won't be looking at this
- PocketDay/Pocket Lists - Pocket Lists looks good for task management and is supposed to be out for general release week of Jan 19; Depending on how things go with Agendus I am likely to investigate this one further
- Pocket Informant - Looks very good, gets great reviews, but won't be out for general release until end Jan/early Feb; May investigate this one further as well
- Rememberthemilk - a desktop app that just syncs to the BB Task list so not what I want
- Todomatrix - gets rave reviews but stores all data on a wireless server so not what I want
- Datebk - there's a rumour this is coming to BB but their web site shows nothing official, and is very Palm oriented; I won't be investigating further
- Agenda One - there's a rumour this is coming to BB but their web site shows them as very MSoft oriented; Will not be investigating this one further
- Maratick - free app developed by an individual BB user, so not what I want
- e-Mobile Today - Looks very good and supposed to be in general release now but info very slim; I may investigate this one further
- PlanPlus (Franklin Covey) - looks very powerful but not sure if there's a Storm version; Given their focus on a special task management philosophy and the info is so slim I'll hold this in my back pocket in case nothing else works out

Comments from others welcomed. Will try to add updates to this thread as I go. Hope this is of value for others.

- R.

Rooster99 01-18-2009 11:52 PM

Ok, so I'm wildly excited.

I just realized there is no issue with the sync, so the first/biggest problem I reported under #7 no longer exists.

Without going too far into the weeds, I'd forgotten I had customized my Outlook View to get proper syncing with my Palm, so I wasn't using Outlook's Task Categories, I was using a user-defined field instead. When I realized this and switched back to using Outlook's Task Categories, the sync worked fine.

Excellent!

- R.

roofus 01-19-2009 08:54 AM

Which version of Agendus are you using? Version 1.12.146 will not work at all on my Storm. Is there a Storm version I am not aware of?

Rooster99 01-19-2009 01:05 PM

Hi roofus - I'm using version 1.12, build 146. I'm on a Telus Storm, model 9530 if that makes any difference.

What problem are you having? Maybe I can help.

- R.

roofus 01-20-2009 08:17 AM

Hi Rooster!

I have the same hardware and software as you.

The main problems I have are:

1. Agendus doesn't work in landscape mode at all

2. In portrait mode it will load but the screen is virtually unresponsive

3. I cannot make the keyboard disappear from the drop-up menu

4. I cannot scroll or select any options on the screen

5. Everything is painfully slow

Rooster99 01-20-2009 02:23 PM

I had similar (but not identical) problems to start. Try what I outlined in step #3 above - it worked for me :

3) To make the current version work you need to disable Compatibility Mode via System > Options > Advanced Options > hilight Agendus WITHOUT clicking on it > BB key > Disable Compatibility Mode. A battery pull might not hurt.

I think the battery pull afterwards is the magic bullet so let's make it mandatory. If that doesn't work check the iambic software Community forums.

- R.

roofus 01-23-2009 08:04 AM

Thanks I will give it a try!

Rooster99 01-25-2009 08:02 PM

Here are some more findings from a couple of hours detailed review today. Basically I went beyond the Task view for the first time. Please note that I am a user and new to Agendus & BB so some of my comments may be incorrect or there may be a method or fix I'm unaware of.

Overall I think Agendus has a ton of potential, but needs to be properly Stormed. It's clunky to use, and has many inconsistencies and flaky bits. However, it may not be possible to take full advantage of what a touch screen should do, as I get the feeling now that the Storm simply has touch screen capabilities layered on top of a keyboard-oriented OS. If that's the case, no app (Agendus included) should take all the heat until the BB OS is rewritten to properly use a touch screen. Having said that, at some point I think Agendus needs a complete rewrite to truly "fit" the Storm - and that may be what's happening now. Only iambic can say.

Here's what I found :

General
- Very easy to work with after a Sync; If app is already open, you just hit Escape and go back in again
- I think this is true for BB OS in general, but selecting a date is painful as the position of Day-of-Week, Month and Date fields keeps moving xxx8211; you canxxx8217;t keep swiping in the same place; It would also be nice if there were selections available like Today, Tomorrow, 1 Week Later, etc to select quickly without swiping; Would be even better if there was also a popup calendar to just click on the desired date; Maybe Agendus can do their own thing here?
- Click on Escape key to scroll through the views youxxx8217;ve used in the current Agendus session xxx8211; very nice once you develop a routine with the product (I think this is the back key issue Keepiru refers to negatively - I am new to both Agendus and BB so my liking for this may be completely off base)
- Donxxx8217;t know if this is Agendusxxx8217; fault, but had lots of lags, points where my selections were ignored, etc. xxx8211; particularly when selecting a date; Flailing about to get past this has cost me a few entries where created everything else then I must have hit a Delete key by accident when trying to change the Date xxx8211; very frustrating
- Overall way too clunky in adding/changing; To enter something new you have to click Berry > New > Select what it is, then if you want to change an element (ex- Date) you hit Berry > Edit Schedule, then make the changes, then click Berry > Ok to okay the change to that element, then once youxxx8217;ve changed all the individual elements you click Berry > ok to save the new thing (Appointment etc.) youxxx8217;ve created; Combine this with the lags, selection flakiness, etc. and itxxx8217;s not easy or fast to use
- I like the option to show/not show tasks on each View
- I like the concept of the Pro version that you can directly edit whatever you see xxx8211; but accessing that isnxxx8217;t implemented consistently xxx8211; too much Berry > Edit xxx8230; action required

Tasks
- Adding Task not intuitive; For instance to select a Category you donxxx8217;t click on the Category text or field xxx8211; you use BB > Select Category, select, then click BB >Save Changes; Not just non-intuitive but very clunky and far too many steps
- Adding Contact to Task essentially not practical; As for Category you click BB > Select Contact, but then you have to scroll through all of your Contacts to select the one you want; There is not auto-reduction or lookup I could see

Today View
- Click on the date shown at the top and you get a list view of all appointments for the week xxx8211; click again and the list collapses; Very nice!
- Same thing for Tasks, except you only see a maximum of 7 xxx8211; that needs to be unlimited

One Day View
- Each Appointment is in its own column, which means if multiple Appointments overlap the icons on the screen get smaller and you see less of the text for each one so you have no idea what it is xxx8211; it would be nice if there was a popup of the full description when you touched the icon for the Appointment
- As it is for Tasks, Adding an Appointment is not intuitive and is very clunky; When the screen for the new Appointment appears, you canxxx8217;t click on When xxx8211; you have to click Berry > Edit Schedule and go through the painful BB change date/time routine; The bar that appears to show when the Appointment will take place seems to be in 24 hr clock mode, and I donxxx8217;t know where to change that
- Adding a Contact to an Appointment is challenging and impractical; You donxxx8217;t click on the field, you select it then click BB > Select Contact and have to do the painful scrolling that makes this function useless; If you type in a bit of text then hit BB > Select Contact it asks if you wish to add a new Contact xxx8211; this could be ok, but would be best if you could combine that xxx8211; enter a bit of text and have it ask if you want to add a new Contact, and if you say no, it uses that to start the lookup process in existing Contacts
Agenda View
- Click on date at top of screen and it shows you the Appointments for the day xxx8211; very nice
- To change the date youxxx8217;re viewing, click Berry > Go to Date - need a way to do that directly from the View

Week View Grid
- I like the ability to scroll within each date to see all of the Appointments for that date
- Clicking on the week shown at the top of the screen does nothing even though there is an arrow indicating a drop down selection should be available
- To change date you need to click Berry > Go To Date then select the date xxx8211; the drop down at the top of the screen should let you do that, or you should be able to simply scroll through the weeks if you wish
- When changing the date, if you select Choose Date it displays the current selection and you have to click on that to go to the screen to change the date xxx8211; that is an unnecessary step

Week View List
- Nice view xxx8211; would spend a lot of time here
- See date related issues in Week View Grid

Month View
- I like the concept of having a calendar that lists all the Appointments for a given date below it, but it only displays the Appointments for the current day no matter what date you click on; Should display for the date you have your finger hovering on and when you remove your finger go back to displaying for the last date you clicked on
- To change the date the Appointments list for you have to click Berry > Go to Date > Cloose Date > current date displayed, then change the date, and click Berry > ok xxx8211; way too clunky (7 clicks plus the hassle of BB date changing? Yuck!)

Contact View Expanded
- Doesnxxx8217;t offer any auto reduction or lookup to find the Contact youxxx8217;re looking for, beyond a basic Filter by Alphabet allowing you to select All, ABD, DEF, etc. xxx8211; then you have to scroll through all of them to find the one you want
- The Filter by Alphabet works very oddly; It groups by first name (ie xxx8211; Gus Butow appears in the group GHI), but then it sorts by last name within that group; Needs consistency
- I like the data displayed xxx8211; this would be my preferred Contact view

Contact View Compact
- The line height seems to be greater than required so there is a lot of white spece between each line xxx8211; you could get way more data on each screen by shrinking the spacing between each one
- If you click on a Contact you just see more info xxx8211; to edit, you have to then click Berry > Edit Contact; You should just click on the Contact to go directly to the screen to view or edit
- See Contact View Expanded for other comments

- R.

Rooster99 01-25-2009 10:19 PM

One slight update to my update :

Just adjusted my keyboard Tap Interval to 100, Hover Rate to 100 and Swipe Sensitivity to 6, and I've noticed improvement in keyboard responsiveness overall. So the complaint I had in General for lags, selections being ignored, etc. may be related to those settings, and at least some of the issues may go away as a result of the tweaks.

If you want to try changing yours, go into Options > Screen/Keyboard. The settings I picked above seem pretty popular, but each person will have their own preferences.

- R.

roofus 01-26-2009 07:34 AM

Using Rooster's advice and editing the permissions I was able to get it working fine. It locks up occassionally but I think that is more the beta os .90 rather than Agendus.

Rooster99 01-26-2009 12:44 PM

Read from Keepiru on another forum that there is in fact a lookup when adding Contacts to an Appointment, etc.

If you activate the keyboard you can simply type what you search. The issue is that there is no way to tell that capability is there. It's only after you activate the keyboard and start to enter text that a "Find" prompt appears. But having said that, it does work!

- R.

Rooster99 01-26-2009 09:32 PM

Month View is way too clunky to navigate, or to add an Appointment in.

Just went to the dentist and they wanted to know my availability for an appointment next month. From Task View clicked Berry > Month View and got the current month. Instead of being able to scroll to next month to see if a specific date had appointments, then click on that date to see the detail of what they were, I had to click Berry > Go To Date > Choose Date, click on the date displayed, select the date by swiping the date components (a painful task in itself - although I believe this is a BB issue), then click OK > Berry > OK. Again, 7 clicks plus swiping, just to see what Appointments were already booked on a given day.

Updating a Task with new due date, etc. is way too clunky and approach is inconsistent. From Task View, have to click on the Task, then if changing Category or Contact, click Berry - Select Contact or Berry - Select Category and do that, then click Berry - Save, Berry - Save (or OK - I forget which). To chenge the due date you have to click on the Task, then the date displayed, then swipe to change the date, then OK, then Berry > OK.

You should be able to just click on the part of the Task that you wish to change, if it's displayed, then change it, then click Save Changes or equivalent. Oh, and after you've made a change you are returned to the top of the Task View and have to scroll back down to the Task you want to work on next. Very annoying if you're rescheduling uncompleted Tasks at the end of the day.

Sorry, but way too complex for every day use. Having said that, from what I've read all 3rd party Task/PIM apps are having serious problems right now.

- R.

Rooster99 01-28-2009 07:34 PM

Just tried the PocketDay Storm Beta. My primary focus was on Tasks.

Overall impression is that this could be quite powerful but is very far from Storm ready. I'd read elsewhere that PocketDay was already released for the Storm but I think that was inaccurate. They did say yesterday that PocketLists is supposed to be released for the Storm next week so please take my comments with a grain of salt - who knows what could be fixed then.

Currently, the front page gives you access to everything from one page, and is clearly laid out. There is also lots of flexibility on how the screen is laid out (content as well as graphics). This could be very powerful.

Lots of control over Tasks as well, including some multi-level sorts. Unfortunately I need Due Date/Category/Priority and they don't have it. The closest is Due Date/Priority/Subject, and there are only 3 levels of Priority (as for Outlook). Colour coding is also only by Priority and Past Due - not by Category. And you can only select from about half the colour palette for some reason - if you flick just right you can scroll down to the lower half but not select from it. Welcome to beta-land I guess. One of the colours is black - and when you start the trial one of the Priorities is set to black background with black text. Don't be alarmed, just go into the settings and change the colour (Change the task priority colors in PocketDay settings / colors. Highlight a task, press menu then task sort options to see the sorting choices). One unique feature I really like is the way that all the content of the Description is displayed - the other Task apps I tried only show a portion of the first line.

For me, in spite of being really clunky to use, so far Agendus wins for its Category management - the ability to sort by Category within Due Date, plus colour code by Category. That's because I use Categories to schedule my day, which may not apply for you. Having said that, I haven't tried Pocket Informant, and PocketLists may have everything I want next week.

PocketDay does have a trial.

- R.

Rooster99 01-30-2009 01:22 AM

Just downloaded and installed e-Mobile Today for Storm. Trouble free install.

Pros :
- Cleanest, best looking PIM/Task app I've seen for the Storm by far
- Relatively easy navigation for where it lets you go
- Didn't seem to have the performance issue others have mentioned, but then I only used it for about 10 min before I removed it

Cons :
- No flexibility; General Setting options are Font Color, Font Size and whether to Automatically switch to foreground - that's it; Task view options are Show Completed Y/N, View by Categories or View by Month - default is View by Date - and that's it
- No added functionality - no colour coding of Categories, no additional sort capabilities, etc.

It's almost like they decided to go with minimal functionality but get the look right. And that they did. Maybe that works if you're just looking for a single screen to collect all your PIM apps together in one spot. But under that it's all native BB app functionality, nothing else.

This puts them WAY ahead on the look & feel front at the moment. However, the others I've tried (Agendus & PocketDay) offer WAY more functionality for roughly the same price, in addition to the "single screen" concept. Either e-mobile Today is going to have to add a ton of functionality real fast, or all the others are going to kick butt once they get the look & feel right - and then the price of e-mobile Today is going to have to drop way down to reflect the comparative value it doesn't offer.

Sorry - don't mean to be mean and am not going to ask for my money back, but $30 for this app is way steep. For me it's still Agendus for now, and I'll try Pocket Informant and PocketDay/PocketLists as well when they have proper Storm versions.

- R.

Rooster99 02-02-2009 02:01 PM

Just found another Agendus gap - with current version contacting the Contact from the Contact Views is problematic.

In native BB you find the Contact, open them up, click on the phone number and you have the option to SMS or call them. Or before opening them up you can click BB key > and you can Email, Call or SMS.

With Agendus once you've found the Contact and opened them, clicking on the phone number does nothing. You have to click BB key > Call Home/Call Mobile etc. There is no SMS option. Or, BEFORE opening the Contact, you can click BB key to get an option to Call Home/Mobile, or SMS. No option to EMail them anywhere I could find.

So it can be worked around, but it's neither consistent or intuitive. Seems this is Agendus' current state overall - very few real roadblocks, but inconsistencies and workarounds everywhere.

- R.

Rooster99 02-11-2009 01:24 AM

So to keep this thread alive, here are a few comments based on my new install of v1.2, which was released a few days ago. Still not a true Storm version, but some improvements.

From comments before :
- Scrolling much smoother, faster; Transition from Landscape to Portrait much faster; Other users had reported feeling their Storm started lagging everywhere after installing the older version of Agendus, and I felt the same - I think that has improved a lot with v1.2
- When you select a Task in the Task view, it no longer disappears from view

The rest of my comments stand, although the speed improvement does improve usability a lot.

I also want to comment again on the user interface, as I think that is a HUGE part of the problem I have with Agendus' current incarnation. I think a large part of the issue is dependence on the Menu key, which I gather was a real feature of previous BB's. As a newcomer to the BB world, I think that key is now one of the biggest drawbacks to the Storm. Look at it this way :

With the Storm now, to see if I am available for an appointment and to book it, I have to :
- Click Menu
- Click Go to View
- Click Week View - List
- Scroll to desired date, or if it's in another week, click Menu - Go to Date and click Previous or Next Week; If it's 2 weeks out I have to click Choose Date, click the date shown, scroll to the date I want, click OK, click Menu, click OK
... I think you get my drift. No wonder BB users have sore thumbs!

Why can't I just :
- Click on the Go to View drop down available on all screens
- Click Week List
- Scroll to whatever week I want, or at worst click on the Select Date drop down that's on all screens, click Previous/Next Week on it, or at the worst have click Choose Date to pop up a calendar where I can just click on the desired date

Another drawback to the Menu key is that I can't tell without looking which way I'm holding my Storm - are the keys on the left or right? The screen doesn't care, it just rotates. The Menu key should either not exist, or there should be the same number of buttons in the same position each side of the screen. Their function would stay consistent as the accelerometer would know the position and light each one with a consistent colour and assign a consistent function (ie - the bottom right button is always lit green and always opens the Phone app, no matter how many times you play Spin the Storm.). And that's my rant for today.

I think the best thing any Storm app could do is try and eliminate use of the Menu key and put everything directly on the screen. Maybe that's what they're doing. I hope so.

- R.

Rooster99 02-26-2009 02:46 AM

I just tried the Pocket Informant beta, which seems to be very close to general release. Very powerful, very flexible, very nice user interface for the Storm. This is the one for me.

- R

Rooster99 02-28-2009 04:46 PM

Bought the PI release 1.50 when it came out Thursday. Very powerful full PIM, properly Stormed, very flexible and easy to use. Using sync to native apps so I sync to Outlook through them, although direct sync to Outlook is available.

Day 2 and loving it!

- R.

pastor_rob 03-03-2009 05:08 PM

I have used Agendus for Palm for years until I went to my BB two years ago. I never used it on my 8130 Pearl but I am using it now on my Storm. It does work and it does work in landscape mode ... I don't know why others are having problems.

My only disappointment is that it is not up to par with the Palm version. This is a rather simple program and I am hoping that the future versions will make it more powerful as it was in palm.

I purchased it for under $9 a few months ago during a sale on a certain site (do not remember which one) and was willing to try it for that price. If it never gets any better ... than I am only out $9 for a PIM app on BB ... not bad in my opinion.

There are later versions than have been posted here ... I have 1.21 build 156 loaded on my phone as of today which is not beta and is the latest build if I am correct.

Hope this helps anyone ... and by the way ... the others are correct in order to be effective ... you must go to OPTIONS ... ADVANCED OPTIONS ... APPLICATIONS ... highlight Agendus ... hit menu key ... and then DISABLE COMPATIBILITY MODE ... then you must take out battery for 30 seconds ... and you should be good to go. If you don't do the battery thing ... you will be disappointed until you do.

Enjoy ... and Good Luck ALL!!! (y)


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