Review: Efficient Address Book Contact Management Software
Feb 25, 2011
I’ve been a database programmer since 1987, and havewritten contact management applications with database programs such as dBASE III+, Clipper Summer 87, Alpha Five for Windows and MySQL and Perl. I’ve tested many other contact management utilities over the years.
Although I now write database programs for the web, withMySQL, Perl and PHP, I’ve found that nothing really replaces the convenience of a stand alone desktop utility when it comes to contact management. I don’t want to have to be connected to the Internet in order to pull up a phone number or address.
They say that the children of cobblers sometimes don’thave good shoes, and so it has been with me. Since I felt reluctant to dump all of my contacts into a web database, and since my other desktop database programs seemed to be overkill, I’ve been living without a good contact management database for a number of years. The last ones I had used were a dBASE/Clipper utility, and an Alpha Five for Windows data app that I had written ages ago.
Having reached an untenable level of dissatisfaction withthis state of affairs, I went a hunting for a contact management program that would fit my needs. My list of attributes was short, and included simple, common sense things like:
a) very fast startup (when one needs a phone number, one doesn’t want to wait)
b)individual fields for name and address (I saw one that put everything in one field!)
e) importand export with csv
f) anattractive interface
g) goodsupport, i.e. a company or author that seemed relatively solid
After searching on the web, and installing a few programs,only to immediately rip them out, I was fortunate enough to run across “Efficient Address Book” by Efficient Software, at:
It installed quickly (I installed the free version first,and then the Pro version). It fit every one of the criteria mentioned above, including a fast startup, with an even faster opening from the system tray.
I was quite pleasantly surprised by the program, and havedecided to use it for my contact list. I’m very, very picky about software, and tend to shop around and look at everything, because I’ve had many, many experiences where the very last one I tried was so much better than theones that went before. Efficient Address Book is exactly what I need to quickly enter, edit and search for contacts. It has nested groups that contacts can be assigned to. It allows one to include photos of the contacts, which is very nice. Searching is fast, and data entry is intuitive. One cool option is that you can click on a contact and it will open a new email in your default emailer.
The program comes in a free version, and a Pro version for$29.95, with a license for 3 computers, which is a very smart way to license it, in my opinion.
At this point, I would give it an A. It’s not perfect, butwhat software is? My initial reaction is that I highly recommend it.
Since I’m now entering my contact data into the program, I’llbe able to call my friends and tell them that they should use it too.
Peter Falkenberg Brown is passionate about writing, publishing, public speaking and film. He hopes that someday he can live up to his favorite motto: “Expressing God’s kind and compassionate love in all directions, every second of every day, creates an infinitely expanding sphere of heart.”
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