Following on from our discussions on how we maintain address and contact lists, which I think we all agree can get a little tedious and repetitive. I've found it's no different on a computer, with duplicate records slipping in from time to time.
I decided to download the free demo of the Filofax Address Book software. I wanted to try this out before considering whether to purchase it or not. The software will only work on a Windows PC, no native Mac version is currently available, although I guess the software might work in Parallels or similar simulation software. I haven't been able to confirm this out at this time.
After loading the demo, I took a look around it, you can import your address files from a variety of sources, I chose to link in to my address book direct which was easy to do.
You then choose which size of Filofax page you which to print your addresses and contacts on. The software supports the following formats: A5, Personal and Pocket size pages in A4 size paper, and A5 with 8.5 x 11 inch paper. For Personal and Pocket it assumes you are printing on to the computer paper that can be obtained from your Filofax stockist or the on-line store. There are also settings for printing labels or envelopes (useful for Christmas cards!)
For each size there are a selection of page styles which give you a choice of how detailed to make your printed entries. The print preview mode allows you to see your contacts on a simulated page and switching between styles allows you to see how much detail is included.
You can also filter your contacts to include or exclude work, personal or a text based filters. This proves quite powerful if you are setting up your contacts exclusively for your work Filofax.
In the options you can add and control A-Z tabs and the way alphabetical ordering is handled, the number of contacts per page. You can also select which fields to print, which allows you to cram more contacts to as few a pages as possible. You have control over the field headings, font sizes etc.
Within the main body of the application, you have control over the sorting of your contacts, using the main fields or some of the sub fields.
You can also edit entries although I'm not 100% sure if the edited version of a contact is passed back to Outlook or not, I need to investigate this. Once you have imported your contacts you can maintain the file from within the application, so you can add and delete contacts, and as I just mentioned edit entries.
At present I print from within Outlook 2007 on to A4 paper in booklet mode to put in my A5 organiser, but I can see this software would make the job a lot easier, especially for personal size pages. (3 pages per A4 sheet) which are traditionally tricky to line up exactly.
I've not as yet purchased the full version of the software (the demo is more or less fully functional, except it limits printing to 20 contacts) or some of the Filofax paper. But I will be ordering some personal size paper along with the software this week.