PIM shares project info and databases

There are two broad PIM categories: those focused on contact management and those that
help people organize their work. The first group structures data rather rigidly. The
other, including Info Select, is more flexible about storing and retrieving information.


So-called executive PIMs aren't just for the suits; they're for everyone who deals with
a range of information on a nonrepetitive basis--anyone from engineers to technical
sergeants to executive assistants.


Both kinds of PIMs are useful in government offices. It's important to choose the type
that fits your work habits, or you won't use it.


As an executive-style tool, Info Select handles five data types in different formats,
but you can move data among these formats:


Most PIMs can import and export ASCII text, comma-delimited, database format and
Microsoft Windows card file formats. But getting information into a PIM is just the start.
If you can't find it easily when you need it, you might as well not have stored it.


All PIMs have some sort of search capability. Info Select goes further than others of
its price range, and it does a good job. You can search for individual words, phrases or
names by field or in the full text. The search engine supports Boolean and-or-not searches
as well as fuzzy searches.


You could use Info Select just for contact management, but its flexibility makes it a
better choice for average users and executives than even the costliest contact manager.


If all you need is an electronic calendar, look instead to Day-Timer Technologies'
Day-Timer Organizer or Lotus Development's Organizer 97, both of which mimic paper
organizers.


Info Select's skimpy printed documentation focuses mostly on installation and upgrading
from earlier versions.


Advanced topics, covered in a paragraph or so, merely point to information in the
online documentation.


Info Select is supposedly compatible with both Windows 95 and Windows 3.x. But the
setup software won't recognize Windows 3.1, so it's advisable to regard this as a Win95
and Windows NT program.


The system requirements in real life are considerably heavier than the documentation
tells you.


John McCormick, a free-lance writer and computer consultant, has been working with
computers since the early 1960s.

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