OneStep Connect is a PIM supplement for Palms

OneStep Connect is a PIM supplement for Palms

OneStep Connect might seem

Easy to learn and maintain, this personal organizer manages e-mail well but lacks sophistication

By John Breeden II

GCN Staff

Users of 3Com Corp.'s Palm III, V and VII computers have been left out in the cold when it comes to unified personal information management. They can sync up data, but things can get lost when a PIM is running on a PC and on a different applet on the palmtop.

OneStep Connect Personal Organizer works better, although a bit simplistically. In my tests, it synched desktop PC data perfectly with the Santa Clara, Calif., company's Palm V and a Palm IIIx.

Box Score''''
OneStep Connect

Personal Organizer

Personal information manager

OneStep LLC; Loveless, Colo.;
tel. 877-622-1616

Price: $69.95 for boxed software, $49.95 download

+Syncs with 3Com Palm computers

'Lacks some advanced features

Real-life requirements:

Palm handheld computer, 486 or faster desktop computer running Windows 9x or NT 4.0, 32M of RAM, 140M of free storage

Compared to Lotus Organizer or Microsoft Outlook, OneStep is a breeze to learn and maintain. It does less than the more complex packages, but it also imposes fewer learning-curve headaches. OneStep works via templates, which effectively walk the user through data entry. Once a contact database is set up, the rest is easy.

But don't expect much from the templates. OneStep Connect has a nice interface, but the templates themselves are fairly barren. You customize them by filling them out.

Operation is simple. Click on the e-mail send button, then on the name of the contact who is to receive the mail. OneStep Connect addresses the message while displaying the personal and business information you have collected about the recipient.

Keep in touch

It does a good job of managing e-mail lists. Each contact in the database can be assigned a type of relationship'colleague, friend and so on. You can send e-mail to everyone in a certain category.

The scheduling component is fairly simple, too, but here you begin to miss the more sophisticated organizers. It's easy to set appointments and tell the computer or Palm to sound an alarm at the right time. But OneStep Connect fails to notify you about any scheduling conflicts.

As a nod to traveling Palm users, the software has a time zone chart. When you enter a time and location, it shows the time in other countries or large cities.

Unlike more advanced organizers, OneStep cannot link contacts to appointments. And, although you can compose documents within the program, OneStep relies on Microsoft Word for editing. In the absence of Word, you must fall back on a generic text editor.

If you own a Palm computer and want a PIM, OneStep's simplicity and customizability make it a good choice.


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