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Agendus for BlackBerry: PIM meets RIM

Agendus for BlackBerry
By Ryan Blundell on 28 Oct 2008 06:07 am EDT
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Another application has jumped on the BlackBerry bandwagon, and it's about time. Former Palm, Symbian and Windows Mobile users can now rejoice as your wait is finally over. Iambic has unleashed Agendus upon the BlackBerry world. Agendus is their award winning and powerful PIM (personal information manager) which permits you to manage your tasks, calendar, messages and more. From Iambic's site, it seems as though RIM and Iambic share quite a few similarities. To quote Iambic;

"Like Peanut Butter & Jelly, or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Agendus and the BlackBerry are two great tastes that taste great together"

Even I couldn't come up with that. Moving on...

How organized are you? Sometimes I find it difficult to be organized, what with work, family and reviewing software for all of you users and abusers. I've been looking for some sort of solution to my problem. I need something, easy to manage and extremely versatile. Let's take a closer look at Agendus and see what the hype is all about...great...now I'm craving Reese's Peanut Butter Cups....

Redefining Productivity

Agendus
The Today View gives you an overview of everything

This review covers version 1.01, build 134. Once you have downloaded Agendus, the application gets to work right away. It will begin displaying information that it finds on your BlackBerry. So, if have any entries in your native Calendar, Tasks, Messages or more, Agendus will retrieve and incorporate the information. Hooray for saving time!! When Agendus is first opened, it will show you it's "Today View". This screen will display today's date (calendar access), tasks and recent messages. This view also grants you access to a daily quote, day in history and the weather forecast. There are oodles and oodles of views to utilize as well, depending on your needs:

One Day - a break down, hour by hour, of the tasks, meetings and appointments of the day.

Week View Grid / List - day by day overview of your schedule, available in two different views - I prefer the grid view

Month View - have a look at the current month or the months ahead. Move over a day and the bottom portion of the screen will give you a brief look at the agenda.

Task View - this view is very similar to the native BlackBerry Tasks application. View task status, mark tasks complete and group or filter tasks. You can create reminders for your tasks as well.

Contact View - there are two views; compact and expanded. Compact will give you the name, main number and type of number (home, work, mobile) of a contact.

Expanded will give you all of the contact's numbers and email addresses. In either view, you can click on a contact to view all of their information including birthdays, anniversaries or other calendar events. Contact view also lets you filter your contacts by category, quick search or alphabetically. Agendus will let you call, text or email a highlighted contact without booting you out as well.

Agendus
one method of switching between views

Agendus
highlight a day, and the events are listed below

To switch between these views, open up the menu and select "Go to view...". A popup appears, displaying the rest of the views. Highlight and select and you're on your way. During the review, I discovered another method; once you have browsed through all of the views (or the ones you use the most), press the back key and you will be able to cycle through the..um..viewed views over and over. Wheee!... oh, gotta stop.... getting dizzy. No matter which view you find yourself in, you can choose to add a new contact, task or appointment using the menu. If I was in the Task view and want to add a contact, I click menu then new. Here, I would select New Contact. The next screen lets me enter all of the information. Once saved, Agendus brought me back to the Task view.

Tasks and contacts listed in Agendus can be assigned color-codes; basically running a highlighter over them. This helps you distinguish between business or personal contacts and tasks. Now, instead of reading through all of the information, you can scan through a specific colour to find what you need immediately.

Agendus Category Colors
color-coding help you quickly distinguish contacts and entries

Agendus truly offers a full in-suite management solution. Unlike other products that require you to constantly switch back and forth between applications, Agendus clings on so you won't leave. The application offers true management over your contacts, tasks and more. This management would be reflected in both the native BlackBerry applications and Agendus. In other words, creating a contact in Agendus will create the contact in your native Address Book.

Agendus also takes its PIM solution one step further. When creating a new task or appointment, you are given the option to add a contact. Now, you may be thinking "Why should I add Mr. Smith as a contact to my lunch appointment when I can simply type "Lunch with Mr. Smith"? Well I'll tell you. By adding a contact to a task or appointment, you will now be able to contact them by highlighting their name on the task or calendar entry. How's that for minimizing application jumping??

Agendus
Call, text or email right from the entry

Agendus has also proved to be (as Iambic also guarantees) "100% theme friendly". I threw various free and premium themes its way and I couldn't faze it. Instead, Agendus adapted to the current theme (adopting the theme's colour, style, etc). The application is also compatible with all newer models of BlackBerrys; Pearl, 88xx, Curve, Bold and (quoting their site) Kickstart. I know I know, Pearl Flip is the correct name, but Kickstart sounds so much better. For the ultimate Agendus experience, you may want to have a peek at Agendus for Windows Outlook and keep your mobile and pc in sync.

I nabbed the following section from Iambic's site, detailing the Parallels in RIM's and Iambic's history. I'm craving another Peanut Butter Cup, so while you have a read, I'll be stuffing my face.

- To start, both products are established industry veterans: The first BlackBerry was introduced in 1999. Agendus (in the form of Action Names) arrived in the market in 1994.

- RIM focused on making a device that was easy and intuitive to use. iambic built a strong reputation for designing robust, pragmatic solutions that work the way people do.

- RIM simplified things by using an "always on, always connected" approach with the BlackBerry, so the device user was did not need to take additional steps. iambic was one of the first companies to leverage over-the-air (OTA) capabilities for features in Agendus like Quote of the Day, Day in History, and Weather Forecast (you can even get weather 9 days in advance!).

- RIM made the BlackBerry relatively easy to deploy and manage within an organization. iambic designed Agendus to use the device's built-in data structure so there would be no duplication of effort. Changes made in the built-in calendar would be reflected in Agendus and vice versa. And updates can be accomplished easily OTA.

- RIM has continued to develop and refine their business smartphones over the years. iambic has been recognized for its commitment to continuously innovating and improving the customer experience, including recently being named Handango's Developer of the Year for Palm OS.

One Last View

Ease of use, powerful integration, multiple viewing options, all these add up to an application that has burrowed deep into my heart (quick call a medic!). Agendus has taken PIM to the next level. Colour-coding contacts and tasks, communicating with contacts from within the application, instant integration of existing information on your BlackBerry, Agendus offers it all. The only downfall I just have to report is in regards to some of the Today View's features. Occasionally, I'm unable to retrieve the Quote of the Day, Day in History or the Weather Forecast. Hopefully a fix is in the works because then I could give Agendus a perfect score. Agendus is available at the CrackBerry Store for $19.95 and a free trial is available. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some personal information to manage....let's see.. pick up more Reese's Peanut Butter Cups...high priority..

Pros

  • color-code personal or business contacts and tasks
  • plug and play. Agendus is ready to go!
  • Call, text or email contacts from within the application

Cons

  • sometimes not able to access Quote of the Day, Day in History or Weather Forecast

Purchase / Download Free Trial

Reader comments

Agendus for BlackBerry: PIM meets RIM

40 Comments

Looks interesting but the splash of rainbow & pastel colours make me dizzy. Plus it would ruin the aesthetics of my nice black and chrome Bold...

Now you've got to do a review of PocketInformant for the Blackberry, so that you can compare the two. :)

Be aware that the initial versions of Agendus for Blackberry do not have all the features of the Palm version. As they say on their website... they've been enhancing the Palm version for many years. It will take some time before the BB version has all the features of the Palm version. Download the trial before you buy!

When I was on Palm/WM I tried both but used Pocket Informant - how about doing a side by side review?

Or at least a review of PI.

Simeon.

hello,
sorry if this is off-topic, but i really need something like the mobileme service. I have to believe rim is working on something like this. that would be the only thing the storm would be missing. does anyone know if there's a third party solution? i've seen nexthaus, but i don't think it syncs mail, just calender and contacts.
i just can't bring myself to by an iphone and switch to att.

thank you

I've spent a whole lot of time trying to find the same thing. There's two other ways to accomplish the features of mobile me. You can either use microsoft exchange, which will auto sync all contacts, calendar, email, tasks, and notes, which you will set up through outlook. With this setup, you will either have to set up a server, or there are many online companies that will host it for you from $10 a month. I'm using a site called apptix.

The other option is Yahoo mail. Yahoo has push email, which I've been using and it seems to work pretty good. They also have recently come out with sync options for calendar and contacts, but it doesn't look like it is as smooth as mobile me or exchange.

I currently have both of these set up on my BB, and prefer the exchange setup. You will also need to have blackberry enterprise service from you carrier.

I tried the trial last week but ended it after two days. After reading this informative post I gave it another try and realized what I had missed previously and went ahead and purchased it. This is exactly the type of app I have been needing to help keep my busy schedule more organized. I appreciate all of the descriptive, point by point detail.

Sorry, but I must pipe-in and share my experience with Agendus (and Pocket Informant) on my BlackBerry Curve 8330. I used Pocket Informant when I had a Windows Mobile device, and it was awesome! Agendus was good on Windows Mobile, too. On a BlackBerry, however, it's a completely different story. Perhaps the reviewer was using a Bold, which has a faster processor, but on my Curve, both of these apps are dog slow. I even have a free license for Agendus but can't bear to use it. The lag is so bad that I ended-up uninstalling Agendus, and the same happened when I tried Pocket Informant. With Agendus, I would scroll down on my Trackball, and there would be a 1 or 2 second delay which would totally throw-off my ability to click accurately or navigate with any kind of efficiency. It was quite frustrating, and certainly not something that was going to make my mobile life any easier. Agendus is also void of any keyboard shortcuts, at least, none that I could find. Not even giving us the ability to switch views using the keyboard is ridiculous, and totally goes against BlackBerry interface expectations. At least Pocket Informant got that part right.

I really wish this wasn't the case with these two apps. I would LOVE to use either one of them, but until they do something to make the interface more responsive, or until I get a much faster BlackBerry, I'm forced to continue using the native Calendar application. What a shame.

Hey David,

I'm actually on a Curve 8310. I didn't experience the lag that you described. I should try Pocket Informant, perhaps I'll be able to repeat the issue. I also wish that there were keyboard shortcuts. At least we can use the back key to whip through the types of views.

But you gave me an idea, I should try this with a Bold....oh Keeeeeevinnn?

I have tried both and Pocket Informant is my choice. As for them both running slow I contact them and they stated to not shut them down totally let them run in the background as they are syncing all the tiem and if you shut them down totally then when you open the application then it syncs all the information wit the BB calendar and tasks and that is waht is taking the time now that i leav eit running it seems to run fine. Try them both but Pocket Informant for me.

I've got a Pearl, running 4.5, and I downloaded the free trial. When I click on the icon, though, nothing happens. Am I missing something?

And hated it. I was very excited to see Agendus offered for Blackberry. I had it on my Palm and loved it, so I bought a copy. I had to ask for a refund about a week later because I couldn't stand it. These were the problems I had with it:

-Agendus for Blackberry only shows you the calendar entries for the device default calendar. I have calendar entries for each of my e-mail accounts (3), but I could only see the default calendar. It's critical that I see ALL of my calendar entries all the time.

-Agendus for Blackberry can't be launched using hot keys. I've had my BB for a year now and automatically use the hot keys from the home screeen to launch my calendar, contacts, note pad, and to do list. To use Agendus, I had to scroll to the icon and click on it. It always launched to the same screen, so it didn't matter whether I wanted calendar, contacts, etc., I always had to launch the menu and select which sub-program I wanted to be in . . . so that was at least 3 button clicks instead of just 1 from the home screen. Much less efficient.

Once they fix these two critical problems, I will consider evaluating it again. Until then, I consider Agendus to be a pretty but useless program.

After reading this review I tried it but was a little disappointed. Maybe I expected to much? It's a nice interface but seems like it still needs some work. Right off the bat, the quotes and today in history returned errors which wasn't a good start. Also, I agree oilseeker on the hotkeys. I use them alot from the today screen and the fact that they don't work with Agendus is kind of a bummer.

I'll definitely follow the progress of the program and see if it improves in a future version though. Not giving up hope yet but the trial isn't gonna last on my BB.

Hi everyone,
This is Michael (QA for iambic). We would be very interested to hear what things you like and dislike about the current iteration of AGBB.

As far as slowness on some devices, we've yet to experience this on any OS generation device.

Also if there is some great feature that you expected to be present, but isn't or some functionality that you feel is important, which is not currently available let us know.

Many of the great Agendus features some of you may be familiar with from Agendus Palm or Agendus for Windows Mobile which are not yet present in AGBB will be added in time.

For problems, feel free to mention here, but the best avenue, in order for us to address them properly is to post in our forum.

Released version forum: http://support.iambic.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=149

Beta forum: http://support.iambic.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=150

I liked the review and thought it would be good to have so I bought it this morning. I received their email with download links for both OTA and PC. I installed it and everything seemed fine. Then I went to get the registration code from the link in the email and it asks for the device ID from the about menu. I can't get the program to open to get the device ID. I went to the support page but no answers there as it has very little on Blackberrys. I sent an email with the log file but haven't heard from them. I uninstalled it and reloaded both OTA and from DM with the same result. Another wasted morning with no results. How do I get my money back? LOL!

iwingo,
First of all we do offer free trials on all of our software.

Secondly, we received your support submission and log we are investigating as we speak.

We have tried AGBB on the Bold many, many times with no problems whatsoever.

Stand by.

Have used Agendus for several years when I was on Palm devices. I was a serious user and even took part in some of their beta tests. That said, I have uploaded this to my 8820 and find one major issue in the functionality that I feel is necessary. It should have the ability to be the default desktop (as it does with Palm devises) and open without having to find the icon and open it manually. That alone will distract from it's usefullness for some people. When they have incorporated that functionality within the application, they will have a major home run on their hands. Yes, you can open it up in the morning and leave it open all day.. but when you go to charge your battery... well, you have to go back and reopen it. Hopefully that is in the works with the next version. Other then that I am really pleased to see Agendus for the BB... long overdue. Good job guys!!!!!

Using an 8300 Curve, at&t, and upgraded to 4.5 and it would never open. Installed a second time over the previous install and it still wouldn't open the program. Then I could not remove it with Desktop Manager. I had to delete it from the application list and reboot the phone.

?????

Looked interesting from the article though.

Does Agendus for the BlackBerry store application specific code in the the notes field like Agendus does on the Palm and Windows Mobile platforms? I was pretty upset on having my PIM data trashed by Agendus previously and won't even trial it on the BlackBerry out of a lack of trust.

I've tried both Pocket Informant and Agendus. I didn't like both.
One (don't remember which one) did have it's own calendar database, that must be synchronized with the BB calendar. Didn't like that.
The other didn't have the BB shortcuts like space for "Next week". So I had to press: Menu > Date > Next Week. Didn't like that either.

Hi -- just wanted to drop a "thank you" line here for the feedback and comments so far (and, of course, for the review).

We value everyone's feedback, and use it to enhance / fix / improve our titles. As a quick follow-up to a couple of points I saw brought up:

- colors: category colors are customizable through the preferences, the rest of the UI uses the colors / shapes / etc. defined by the theme itself.

- over air data retrieval problems occurring from time to time: the update (1.02) we released yesterday has support for the BIS-B transport, therefore allowing for better connectivity.

Ok. I have tried six times to install. I tried this website and the manufacturers - it always fails. Tech support has no drop down menu for Agendus for Blackberry so I can't get any help either. I have a Blackberry 8820 OS 4.2.2 So what now? Can't buy if I can't demo.

All I get is a 907 Invalid COD HTTP Error 406 Not Acceptable

What does that mean in English?!!

boomer503 -- we just added Agendus for BlackBerry along with other dropdown options in our support center ticket submission form. Although you could have chosen "Other / Unlisted" and entered the name manually.

In regards to the error, we checked our over the air downloads and appears to work. If you are using BES the error might be related to a security restriction imposed by the administrator.

Try downloading from:
http://dl.iambic.com/agbb/

if the error persists please get in touch with us and we'll sort the problem out.

Thank you for monitoring this comment section. That is really nice and I appreciate your follow through. I have continued to try the link emailed to me twice a day and this morning it installed.

I seem to be having the same problem as boomer503. I have tried the OTA download, and the link provided above, only to receive this message: 907 Invalid COD HTTP Error 406 Not Acceptable
I have a Curve 8310, ATT. I'm going to try to install with Desktop Manager and see if that makes a difference. I am eager to try the program as I think it will meet all my needs.
Thank you for your support, and the opportunity to try before you buy.

EDITED TO ADD: I was able to install via Desktop Manager without any problem. I can't wait to discover all that the program has to offer.

I've been looking for something like this since I switched to BB. I used both Agendus and Pocket Informant several years ago on a PDA and loved them both. Unfortunately I have to say that neither of them suits me on my Curve.

I'm on my 2nd trial of Agendus - hoping the new release would fix the problem I had with the previous release. Nope. No matter what I try, I simply cannot get reminders to work properly for Tasks. They are either 4 hours off, don't set at all, or most recently - a 15 min. "relative" reminder in the default task app for an 8:30p task showed in Agendus as 7:05p. Huh? Now, I have to say that I don't know if "relative" is referring to the task due time or the time the task is created (I'm new to BB and don't use that option as a rule) but 7:05p was neither.

I want this application to work but, for me at least, it's not ready. I hope some of you have better luck!

Curve 8330/Verizon/OS 4.3.0.127

I downloaded the trial to my 8300 using OS 4.5.0.52. One issue I have with Agendus is the inability to view an entire mail message. I can view all details of the header but not the body of the message. Is that a limitation of the trial version, is there some setting that's needed, or is there an issue with the software?

We are aware of the inability to render email bodies on some messages on OS 4.5 devices and we are working to correct it in a future update.

I can't seem to find a review for Pocket Informant BlackBerry. I've used it before on a previous device and it works perfect. How does it work on the BB?

Agendus professional for the Palm operating system is a superb product. I have been using it for several years, and only have good words to recommend it. I recently purchased a Blackberry Bold 9000, and downloaded Agendus for Blackberry. GREATLY GREATLY disappointing. Terrible interface. No navigation options. After a few minutes, I removed it from my Blackberry.................... I am surprised at Iambic.... How can they let themselves put out such a miserable product. Shame on you.

what did happen to the icons.I use the month view with the icons on my palm. I wanted to jump to the BB but......