Thursday, April 8, 2004


Thanks to a tip from Buzz today, I checked out Anagram. Anagram is a slick little application — highlight some text, trigger Anagram, and it intelligently recognizes whether the text is a new contact, a todo, a calendar entry, or a memo. It then adds it to your PIM (currently supports Outlook and Palm Desktop).

Between Anagram and Activewords, the mindless, repetitive tasks that used to occupy my computing time are quickly evaporating.


  1. Does this really save you any time or effort? It looks like you are actually exerting more effort and time to accomplish the same tasks.

    I.E. Open your palm to the calendar, insert event into day. Done.

    Write some text somewhere. Highlight that text. Activate the Anagram Software. Wait for it to put the text into your Calendar.

  2. Jeff - The use case is this: I receive an e-mail, and at the bottom is someone's sig. In their sig is name, Company, title, phone, fax, e-mail, URL, and address.

    Now I could certainly alt-tab over to Palm Desktop, click "new contact", then alt-tab back to the e-mail, copy the first name, then alt-tab, then copy the last name, alt-tab, paste, alt-tab, copy the title...

    You get the idea.

    Or I could highlight the whole block of text, hit ctrl-c twice (that's the trigger), and click "OK". In the first instance, I figure it takes 1-2 minutes to add a new contact. In the second, it takes 5 seconds.

    As for todos, etc. - it's less dramatic than adding a new contact, but still real. If I'm in an IM session and someone mentions something I've got to follow-up on, I generally don't leave the IM window, go into the Palm Desktop, create the todo, and then come back. I have to hope that I'll remember to do it.

    With Anagram, I just highlight the snippet of text, trigger Anagram, and it creates the todo. No additional typing. Figure on 30-60 seconds to create traditionally, vs. 5 seconds with Anagram.

    Dramatic? For me, yes. As much info as I'm dealing with in a day, removing this kind of inane crap so I can focus on more important processes that use my brain is a welcome bonus.

  3. Thanks Rick.

    That makes sense I suppose and it does sound like it does reduce time and effort.

    I guess my concern was that one would think they would just build a palm pilot to be friendlier than to delude people with various software to fill in the pilot's deficiencies.

    If I was a Palm Pilot Developer, I would incorrporate my own code that performed what these software do.

  4. I am a fan of AddressGrabber. Does what and more than what Anagram does. AddressGrabber is simple quick and accurate. Anagram sucks with it's speed and accuracy.