Friday, January 05, 2007

Software - NotesHolder Vs DayMate

A while after I found and bought DayMate, a program called NotesHolder came to the give-away site. Turns out it has a functionality similar to DayMate, with some differences.

How do they compare to each other?

One similarity is the possibility of programming an unlimited amount of reminders. NotesHolder has the following advantage: when setting reminders to remind you regularly it's possible to set pretty much any interval from minutes to years. You can get a reminder every 11th minute, or every 9th year, and anything in between. With DayMate the smallest unit is actually a day, so you can't set it to every 11th minute or fourth hour unless you type in the events one by one. (Actually, you can cheat a little and "snoozing" non-recurring events to get that functionality, but that has its own drawbacks which I won't go into now. Also, there is a possibly to get voice-reminders at certain pre-set intervals like every 30 minutes or once per hour, but I don't like voice-reminders nor not being able to choose exact interval myself, and lastly this option can't be set in advance to start at a certain time.)

DayMate looks nicer, and it is arranged around a calendar so if you want a reminder a certain day you can click that day directly and write the message. So it's actually a little faster to write a note than with NotesHolder (where you have to write in date manually.) And you can easily in DayMate check what day and week number a certain date a certain month is, which is useful sometimes (and regularly getting a graphical view of how many days it is between now and a certain date has some advantages as well). DayMate also has some graphical stuff like being able to attach different colors to different events (like green for personal events and blue for business events etc). I haven't used that very much, but maybe it could be useful.

NotesHolder is basically just a series of lists (you create the lists yourself, how many and what theme each should have, and of course the content in each). Which isn't all that bad. You get a quicker overview of what notes you've added within a certain theme (DayMate is day/week-based, not theme-based, so it's quicker if you want to see what happens a certain day or week. But I rarely look ahead like this in DayMate anyway, I just wait for the reminder to occur)

Here's a biggie: NotesHolder can also function as a holder of notes, which DayMate can't really. DayMate is a pure planner with automatic reminders, whereas NotesHolder can function both as a planner (though not as well as DayMate in all respects) and as a holder of notes. If you get an idea you quickly want to write down before you continue with whatever you did before, you can open of NotesHolder and place it in a certain category you call 'ideas' or 'inbox' or whatever. And then at some future point you go through these notes and do whatever needs to be done about them (like putting them into its final destination in my GTD-system).

Anyway, if I had to choose one of them I think it would be NotesHolder actually (which btw also is cheaper, 15$ I think). But as it is I use both. I use NotesHolder as note collector and for reminders of regular events, and DayMate for events that is to occur once and checking time-related stuff like days, dates, weeks.


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