Organizer Software Review
Why Do You Need Organizer Software?
The top performers in our review are AnyTime Organizer Deluxe, the Gold Award winner; Efficcess the Silver Award winner; and C-Organizer, the Bronze Award winner. Here s more on choosing software to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of 10 products.
Personal information management software organizes your life by creating daily to-do lists and helping you make and keep large life goals. Organizer software serves as a planner, notebook and address book all in one. The best organizers have extra tools that manage your passwords, set up budgets, provide driving directions and back up data.
While smartphone apps, programs like Microsoft Outlook and services like Google offer organizing tools similar to those in organization software, the latter tends to manage more and be more comprehensive. For instance, not only can you generate and manage passwords using organizer software, you can also protect the program itself with a password to keep your private information safe.
Organizing software tracks the important tasks and documents in your personal and professional lives, but you can find similar software with more specific focuses. For example, we reviewed the best to-do list software that concentrates on prioritizing and completing tasks. We also have a lineup of the best scheduling software, which keeps track of clients, schedules and appointments. In addition, we looked at password management software, which remembers and protects all of your passwords.
Most of the software we reviewed can be used on both desktop computers and mobile devices, and you can sync the mobile and desktop versions. This feature is particularly helpful when you need to access your calendar, address book or driving directions on the go. For articles on organizing software, check out our learning center.
Organizer Software: What We Tested, What We Found
The best organizing software helps you organize your personal and professional lives in one easily accessible place. Each software we reviewed offers different organizing tools, including calendars, contact lists and task lists. We tested all of the tools in each of the programs. During testing, we focused on the feature set and security of each organizing software, as they are the most important aspects.
While most organizers have standard tools, such as a calendar, task list and address book, many of them include advanced capabilities. For example, some of these programs include expense reports and password managers that set them apart from free programs and help you organize your life to a greater extent. However, as you use these extra features, security is even more important. The software needs to adequately protect financial information, passwords and personal documents. While more and more organizing apps and free programs are emerging, we focused on organization software that ranges in price between $20 and $65.
Feature Set: Same Tools, Different Capabilities
All of the organizers come with similar organizing tools such as address books, calendars, note sections and task lists. However, the programs differ in the convenience features their tools include. For example, all of the software has either a calendar or date planner you can use to keep track of important events, but only some of the organizers allow you to set your tasks priority levels and remind you about upcoming events. Likewise, not many of the programs alert you to events with conflicting times. Programs with all of these features rank high in our lineup, as each one greatly improves organization.
Each program has a to-do list tool. To test these lists, we tracked tasks and evaluated how the programs alerted us to each task. Programs with reminders, filters and categories make it easy to customize to-do lists to work best with your organization style. We also took note of the programs that allow you to adjust each to-do item s priority level, as this feature helps you complete your tasks in an efficient manner.
All of the organizers we reviewed also come with an address book to hold contact information for a large number of people. While some of the programs include extra features, such as the ability to add a photo to your contact or access driving directions, each software s address book functioned similarly.
Security: All Organizers are Password Protected
Organizing software is set apart from personal information managers like Microsoft Outlook and Google by its security features. Since you likely store personal information in your organizer, a program s security features are just as important as the tools it has. All of the programs we reviewed are protected by passwords to keep your data secure. Some of the software can also generate passwords and securely store your passwords for email, social media and other websites.
Usability: There Was Little Difference
While each organizing software has a unique feature set, we evaluated the usability of the software and the effectiveness of the tools in each of the programs. Our ease of use score takes into account how easy it is to input events into the calendar, add tasks to the to-do list, create notes or journal entries, add contacts to the address book, and use the password manager in each software. The score also factors in the presence of features that make the above tasks easy to complete. For example, the ability to create a recurring event improved the usability of the calendar and resulted in a higher ease of use score.
There is little difference in the usability of the organizers we reviewed, as most of the programs have features that make them easy to use. While the address book and notes tools were included in our score, the differences between these two tools are minimal from one software to the next.
Top Ten Reviews seeks, whenever possible, to evaluate all products and services in hands-on tests that simulate as closely as possible the experiences of a typical consumer. We obtained the units in our comparison from the companies. The companies had no input or influence over our testing methodology, nor was the methodology provided to any of them in more detail than is available through reading our reviews. Results of our evaluations were not provided to the companies in advance of publication.
What Else is Important in Selecting Organizer Software?
While organizing tools and security features are the main considerations when choosing organizing software, you should pay special attention to the software s mobile sync and export options. Software is more versatile if you can access your data from multiple devices. When a program is compatible with a smartphone or tablet, you can access your calendar, to-do list and contacts when you are on the go. The software s export and import options are important if you want to use your organizer as a word processor.
Over half of the programs we reviewed include a mobile app with the software. Using this app, you can access your information on your smartphone from anywhere. Most of the software syncs with Android and iOS systems and some even with Windows phones. Downloading these apps and syncing them to their desktop software is easy. Some of the applications don t include apps and instead sync with Google or upload your information to the cloud.
When software uploads to the cloud, your organizer is always up to date on all of your devices, making it the best option. However, most cloud services require a subscription fee to store your information. If your software doesn t upload to the cloud, you have to sync the software on your computer to your smartphone s app, or vice versa, each time you input data into the application.
Many of the programs import data, contacts and events from Google when you give them access to your account. This feature is very useful if you are already using Google to keep track of your tasks. It also provides you with another way to access the information on the software from a handheld device. During testing, we were able to import information from Google with ease using the programs that have this feature.
If you use the software as a word processor or need to export your calendar, to-do list or address book, it s important to find software that exports the file types you use. For example, if you use the software s journal feature, you want to export the files either in text or PDF format. Most of the software export text files, with the best organizing software exporting CSV, XML, HTML and PDF formats.
Our Verdict and Recommendations
AnyTime Organizer Deluxe out performed all of the other organizing software we reviewed. This software offers a lot of features, including the standard address book, to-do list and journal. It also has helpful features like a budget template and driving directions. Even with all of its tools, the program is easy to use. The application does not sync to your smartphone, but you can integrate your contacts, tasks and events from Google into the program.
The software s features set it apart from other organizers, and its security measures protect your important documents from wandering eyes. It is also a safe place to store passwords to your email, social media and other accounts.
Not only is Efficcess easy to use, but the software also syncs to Android and iOS smartphones. This feature allows you to access the organizer on the go and keeps you informed of events and tasks when you don t have access to your computer. Even though you have to sync the mobile app to your computer each time you make a change, it is a quick and easy process. In addition to its mobile capabilities, this software has a user-friendly interface and organizing tools to keep all aspects of your life organized.
While C-Organizer lacks some of the comprehensive tools that the best organizing software features, it imports data from your Google accounts. You can sync Windows smartphones to this software or use Google services or Dropbox to access your information from anywhere. This software also protects your data by password and encrypts your information. This extra layer of security makes C-Organizer one of the best organizing software available.