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February 18, 2005

MyInfo 3

myinfo3.jpgAnyone who works in IT has a lot of information to keep track of. Passwords, account names, server addresses, license and serial numbers, snippets of useful (sometimes vital) PHP or mySQL code, to-do lists (usually 4 or 5 of these), and of course, links to various web sites. The mainstay PIM’s like Outlook are actually badly suited for this task. They are too big, not flexible enough, and the files are enormous – which is an issue when you need to sync once or twice a day, or want all your data on a USB drive to take with you.

Enter MyInfo 3, written by independant developer Milenix Software in Bulgaria.

This is one of the most solid pieces of software you will find. It does one thing and it does it exceptionally. You can quickly put together outlines of all kinds of data – passwords, serial numbers, project notes, web sites you’ve visited, the structure of your next novel … just about anything.

A couple of things stand out about My Info. One is the speed. While Outlook can take 20 seconds or more to launch and initialize all its various components, My Info is running in a couple of seconds. And it minimizes to the system tray when not in use, where it consumes very little memory. This is a pretty important feature as when you need to get at that snippet of information, or save one, you do not want to be waiting for the application to launch.

My Info supports having multiple documents open at once, something a lot of bookmark managers do not. It also supports a pretty robust editing mode allowing you to save just about any kind of content into an outline. Another nice touch is that the user can select what look&feel to display – Windows XP, Office XP, and a couple more. This follows one of the edicts for user interface design that I have always found to be true: "When in doubt, make it a user option."

The only shortcomings to My Info are the ability to import and export data. It would be nice to be able to transfer .CSV with Excel. But the uitility of MyInfo more than outweighs the need to transfer data stored in it to some other application. The price is right at only $50. Unlike many other PIM’s, this is one which will soon become indispensible.

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