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Posted by : Anita Unmuted April 15, 2015

If you've read my review of Efficient PIM, you know I'm always on a never-ending journey to find the perfect PIM [Personal Information Manager]. Recently, I was looking for a different type of product, and I came across MSD Organizer. The images and feature list intrigued me, but I still expected to be slightly disappointed. Well, that's usually the case. However, with this product, I came across a few features I didn't expect.



MSD Organizer is definitely an all-in-one PIM that offers a few more features than many similar products out there. There are so many features and options that there's no way I could possibly mention all of them, but I will mention as many as I can. Please note that this will make for a rather long post.

The Pros- Now, to the features.

Appearance/UI: The user interface is beautiful, functional, and complete, and you can choose from 13 different skins to personalize it. (My favorite is gray.)


The MSD Organizer comes together with Modules. Tabs that show which modules are open are located at the bottom of the screen via the Open Modules toolbar which you can hide if you prefer.

This program includes the expected Calendar, Tasks, and Contacts modules; but it also includes:
    • Repeating Tasks/Events with documents and images
    • Contact Management with Notes, Categories, Documents, and Images
    • Diary 
    • Alarms
    • Cards- Keep information classified by groups like internet or email addresses, recipes, password lists, important notes, etc.
    • Property- Store all the financial or technical information you need about your property- including transactions. When an action is performed on a property element, a transaction is created.
    • Budget- A financial planning tool 
    • Health- Record health information classified by family member and groups like birthdays, vaccines, infections, accidents, allergies, serious diseases, etc.
    • Music- Yes, you can store and organize your music collection. Nice!
    • Union Module- groups specific data
    • Mail- Send and receive emails from an unlimited number of mail accounts from services such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, and other services that support the POP3 protocol. Sweet!
Extra! Extra! Here are a few of the tools that kick this program into gear.

  • Data Backup and Restore
  • Password Generator
  • Protected Sites- Safely visit password-protected sites.
  • Google Synchronization 
  • Spell Check- Options include flagging double CAPS and repeating words.
  • Word processor
  • Spreadsheet
  • Image Viewer
  • Calculator
  • Financial Tools Calculator
  • Note pad, Clock, and more
The database has two different views: Basic and Expert. Basic provides a cleaner, more simplistic view without showing extra information you may not currently need. Expert uses the bottom half (adjustable) of the window to provide more detailed information about the selected record. A click of a button easily switches between these two views, so if Expert view is a little too much for you, Basic is just a click away.

Calendar and Tasks: In most PIMs or calendars, calendar events and tasks are completely separate entities, but depending on how you set preferences, tasks are visible within the calendar. This is not exactly the case in the MSD Organizer. Here, every event is a "task", so all events are entered into the Tasks module (even in calendar view), though they are visible in Tasks and the Calendar. This was difficult for me to get used to, but I did. It kind of makes sense because everything we have to do is a task anyway-- just different degrees.


The Cons: 
I've only found a few cons with this program. They are not super serious, but they are rather irritating. 
My main issues is the inability to hide completed tasks. If there's a way to do it, I haven't found it yet. I add recurring bills as tasks, so seeing those I've already paid in my list irritates me.


For simple tasks, the Add Task window is too complicated. Average/typical users usually just need to name a task and add a date or a little note. When it's completed, we just want to click "complete". Unfortunately, something that simple can't be done here because of the date and time requirements. The required dates and times on the Planning tab cannot be overridden, and your task cannot be marked completed unless all of this is entered properly. The fields will self-populate, but if you didn't add dates when you created the task, you'll likely get an error message when you try to mark the task completed because of your dates and/or times. This detail is wonderful for businesses or complicated tasks, but it's overkill for simple, everyday tasks. Adding an option to simply mark a task complete and not use these fields would be very nice.

For me, there is also a terminology issue in a few areas such as the information window for tasks, alarms alerts, etc.
 Some of the terminology is different from what I would typically expect to see in other organizers. At times, I actually found myself saying, "Huh?". For example: There are words like "Annotation Date" instead of just Date or Start Date. Some of these differences would be quite useful and even necessary to those using this organizer strictly for business. But, for the average user, some of the terminology differences would be distracting and a little confusing. 

As nice as this organizer is, some aspects of it may be a little much for the average user. I mean, this organizer is detailed, but it's so easy to customize that it's a snap to figure out what will or won't work for you. There's also a tour and a great Help section (also quite detailed), so it's easy to find any information you need.

So, let's get to the big question... How much does this thing cost? MSD Organizer is available as Freeware and Shareware editions. If you're interested in a few extra features, you can download the shareware version for free to try before you buy. As a matter of fact, all of their products are free to download and try. As of this writing, there is no longer a set price for this organizer. This is true for their other shareware products as well. Customers may now pay what they can afford above the minimum. It's pretty cool, so visit their pricing page for more information.

Overall, I really like this organizer. This is the most complete PIM I've found, even the freeware version, and I will continue to use it.

Rating: 4.0 out of 5 paperclips

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