YourWay. (personal information management system software) (Software Review) (Evaluation)
by Steve Perry
"Manage your time and contacts," proclaims the tag line on the front of YourWay, a sophisticated and elegant variation on the old electronic-Rolodex theme. When you first call up this easy-to-install software, you see a card file laid out in front of you, surrounded along the edges by all the icons you'd expect: day, week, month, and task-planner windows; cut-and-paste features; and file-search features.
A built-in tutorial would've helped me digest more quickly the range of options YourWay offers, maybe, but the one in the manual does just fine. Don't expect to get through it too quickly, though. The simple stuff-like accessing and creating contact file cards, and attaching notes to them via the notepad accessory--is easy to learn and pretty self-evident. But functions like editing and file searching get pronouncedly more complicated. Nothing overwhelming, but you quickly get into territory that's less intuitive and less graphically friendly than the front end of YourWay.
But once you've mastered the ins and outs of card file maintenance and use of the planner windows, YourWay has a lot to offer. Want an alarm to notify you of lunches, meetings, or any other planned events? Easy. Worried about keeping your contact information organized? YourWay cross-references between the various planners and individual card files, so that if you set up a lunch with Tom Thomas on your daily events planner, a note of it will also appear on the notepad attached to his contact card. If you place a call to Mary Watkins at 10:25 on October 8, that'll be recorded too.
I found YourWay a little daunting at first, but I soon figured out that that was largely a graphic matter: Some of the information-configuration screens aren't immediately easy to grasp; they offer options that'll send you scurrying to the manual. Which is OK, because once you've learned it, the scheme isn't particularly complicated.
The installation was easy, and so far, the manual has never let me down--it's written in plain language and features a good index. The only drawback is that a piece of software this high-powered has given me an inferiority complex about my list of contacts. If I'm going to stretch the capabilities of YourWay, I've got some serious networking to do. Prisma Software (800) 437-2685 (319) 266-0260 $99 ($69 from catalog) Circle Reader Service Number 439