Scheduling/Calendar Software

I’m looking for recommendations for a scheduling/calendar package for WinXP which allows a user to enter appointments, meetings and events and associated notes and pops up reminders at fixed times before the appointment. Ideally, the package should be standalone and non-web-based. Calendar sharing with other users is not required.

I don’t use MS Outlook frequently or consistently enough to use Outlook’s built-in calendar but am looking for something with similar functionality.

Any ideas?

You can try Mozilla Sunbird.

It’s free, and there’s a small app called SunTray, linked on FAQ page of the site, that lets you minimize to the system tray, so you’ll get reminders all the time. Haven’t used it for quite a while, as it was a bit raw earlier last year. Worth a look.

Even if you don’t need Outlook’s networked support, one thing good about Outlook is that if there’s a gadget that purports to sync your calendar etc with your PC, it does that via Outlook, guaranteed. So that’s something to keep in mind before investing too much time putting information into something that may become a data island.

Sunbird with SunTray seems to do what I want.


Does Sunbird let you associate your to-do tasks with categories or projects? I really want a program that does this so I can have separate to-do lists, with deadlines, with each project I’m working on. I still haven’t found an application that does this well and have just been using an Excel worksheet.

I’m still finding my feet with Sunbird so don’t take this as gospel. Each task/event in Sunbird is assigned to a category and a calendar. There are pre-defined categories for common events or you can define your own. You can also create named calendars if needed, one for each project you need to track. The user interface allows you to filter which calendars to display so you can control which events are shown.

Fiddled around with Sunbird some this morning and decided it’s not for me. What I really want is to have an easy to edit list of tasks with the ability to:

  1. Assign each task to a category/project
  2. Assign priorities to each task (i.e., 1-100)
  3. Check off when a task is completed and remove it from view
  4. Add notes to each task
  5. Add due dates to each task
  6. Add “completed on this date” to each task for future reference
  7. Filter/sort on any of the above.

A calendar function would be nice, but not essential. My company uses Outlook for meeting schedules, etc.

For a long time I just used a .txt file, which worked okay, but last year I moved to a .xls file (named “quest_log.xls” on account of too much WoW) which works even better. Only things I don’t like about this is:

  1. It doesn’t minimize to the task bar
  2. No alarms
  3. No automatically recurring tasks
  4. Big screen footprint so I can’t just park it to one side and keep it up.

Other than that it’s the best solution I’ve found for what I want.

Lotus Notes looks like it could do what you want – each To Do list item has a priority, due date, customizable categories, status (in progress/completed), repeat interval, attachable notes and files…

The downside is that it’s, well, Lotus Notes…

Do it in Excel. You may not be doing software, but the method described is really simple.

Er… I do. That’s what I meant by “.xls” file.

Is there anything that does all of those things and also syncs to a PocketPC?

Um, Outlook does all of these things…

Hey, I once wrote in a magazine “As the Magic 8 Ball once said, ‘Outlook not so good.’” But Outlook 2003 has a better UI, and is quite a bit faster than earlier versions.

Last time I checked, Outlook was used primarily for email. Has that been changed? I use Thunderbird so I really don’t need to be using Outlook.

PTBSync by ElmüSoft. It’s a desktop calendar, scheduler, atomic clock syncronizer, notes program, and more in one easy, tiny, and clean program. I’ve been using it for years for reminders and it works like a charm.