Chandler, an open-source, cross-platform scheduling app, was conceived back in 2002 as a potential Outlook-killer—a free organiser that would process all your email, calendar appointments and tasks into one smooth workflow, no matter what format or system they were on. Over its long and storied development, intriguingly chronicled in the book Dreaming in Code, Chandler morphed into a meekly-dubbed "Note-to-Self Organiser." There's a lot of neat ideas in Chandler, implemented in rough ways, and if you're a serious to-do hound, it just might find a place somewhere in your work flow. To find out, let's check out some screenshots of this long-awaited Personal Information Manager.
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We first took a look at Chandler, the open-source, cross-platform personal information manager back in December, when it was still in somewhat rough shape. Now the email-centric task manager and organiser has hit its official 1.0 release, and it's looking a lot better, if still not intuitive when you first open it. The app can connect to, synchronise, and manage a lot of different data types—email, calendars, notes, and appointments—and puts it all in a very GTD-like list in the "Dashboard." Chandler said it had synced up to my Gmail account through IMAP, but I'm still waiting to see the folders it's supposed to create in there. There are lots and lots of menus and sub-menus to dig through, so for the time being, we'll just say it's worth checking out and exploring. Chandler is a free download for Windows, Mac (PPC and Intel), and Linux systems.
Email-based digital personal assistant Sandy can be a really helpful manager for to-do lists and calendar appointments, but only if you don't mind composing new messages for every change. Reader Wyatt writes in with a quicker way to get Sandy's attention, using Outlook, Windows keystroke launcher Launchy, and a custom line for its built-in Runner plugin. Create a new Runner command named "Sandy" or something similar and point it to the location of Outlook's executable file, but add the following switches at the end (substituting your Sandy username):/c ipm.note /m [email protected]yourname.iwantsandy.comWant to customise the resulting instant email further? Here's a guide to more Outlook switches. Gmail fans can also piece together a similar quick-launch Sandy through a Gmail script for Launchy. (Original Sandy post).
If you live out of your inbox and don't have the luxury of a human assistant, check out newly launched webapp Sandy, an information tracker you interact with via email. Register for a free account and you'll get an email address you can send your to-do's, contacts, bookmarks, notes, and appointments to in keyworded messages. Sandy receives the email, parses, stores, and organises the information, and emails you back reminders and agendas only when you need 'em.
It's no wonder the majority of Lifehacker readers voted Remember the Milk the best web-based task manager out there. Remember the Milk's got all the best features modern webapps have to offer: email/SMS/IM integration, tagging, advanced search, keyboard shortcuts and even offline access with Google Gears. Chances are you work across several computers and need a single, always-accessible place to consolidate your work, personal, school, and family to-do's. Remember the Milk is a great way to do just that. Let's take a closer look at Remember the Milk's basic and more advanced features.