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Summary:

SOHO Organizer is actually SOHO Organizer + SOHO Notes + SOHO Print Essentials. Why would you name the suite the same name as one of the apps in a bundle, especially when the most important app in the bundle isn’t even that one? I also wonder […]

SOHO Organizer is actually SOHO Organizer + SOHO Notes + SOHO Print Essentials. Why would you name the suite the same name as one of the apps in a bundle, especially when the most important app in the bundle isn’t even that one? I also wonder how confusing that must be around the office when refering to SOHO Organizer. Naming issues aside (and I have more), this is a feature packed packed suite for sure. That being said, having this many features is not always a good thing.


SOHO Notes

It’s very hard to generalize SOHO Notes, as it has more features than I can even begin to scratch the surface of here. There are some great, so-so, terrible, and just plain confusing features in Notes. For just note taking, there aren’t many apps that will give you more options than this. But at times it really feels like overkill for just taking Notes. When you start managing more content of varying format, Notes begins to shine. SOHO Notes really is much more than a note app, as it can store just about anything.

The stickies are “interesting.” They offer a lot of options -too many, if you ask me, and they are kind of ugly. The alarm feature is quite nice, and certainly very useful. In the main window there are labels. Nothing new here, just your standard label, but I quickly grew frustrated I could not sort the list by label. If you can, I didn’t find it easily. The default labels were a bit dark for my taste. Luckily, they make it very easy to change the colors.

Note linking is another great feature, taking cues from apps like Voodoo Pad. I am not sure why this feature needed a seperate window, and it wasn’t just incorporated into the Get Info window. Regardless, it works nicely, and certainly can be very helpful, and is a feature you won’t see on many other note apps.

Now to my least favorite feature, the DockNote. A great idea. In fact, I made an app that did something similar to this a while back. What is DockNote? Well, it’s a tabbed window that minimizes off the edge of you screen, and can be quickly accessed to add or retrieve info from SOHO Notes. The problems for me mainly stem from its lack of features. The tab can not be moved, except from the left to the right, and you cannot place it on the screen. For instance, if you would like your tab on the bottom of your screen on the left side, you’re S.O.L. Hopefully this will be addressed soon.

SOHO Organizer (the application)

An interesting offering as the title app of this suite. It seems to me to be little more than AddressBook.app on steroids. Sure, it’s the Barry Bonds of Address Books, but it seems a little bloated for such (like the size of Barry’s head). Of course there is a calandar system built-in… or is there? No, it seems to just be using iCal. Which is ok, but it doesn’t really improve upon iCal at all, just adds some hooks to add events and schedule things. I am not saying this is a bad thing, but this whole app feels unnatural. It’s like it isn’t quite sure what it wants to be yet.

SOHO Print Essentials

A nice little app to create labels, cover letters, envelopes, and other related items. The interface seems easy enough, but it was not as simple as I had hoped. All-in-all, it is what it is, and it works just fine. Nothing special here. If you need to make labels and envelopes, check it out.

Conclusions

If you need a heavyweight Note application, and a way to organize your entire life in one suite, this is a pretty solid offering. At times it suffers from feature bloat, but they usually don’t get in the way. However, if you do not need all of these features, there are alternatives. For notes, I would suggest VoodooPad, and as far as contact go, I’ll stick to using AddressBook and iCal.

  1. I have tried to use SOHO Organizer suite recently and I have been very disappointed. The applications look nice and SOHO Notes is actually quite useful. But their disk and memory footprints are way too large. Also, what’s the deal with this OpenBase crap that gets installed on your system? I mean, you have to *reboot* after install :( Also, Organizer lacks some features. I have to say it looks very unprofessional to see a “Coming Soon” on your screen when you click the Week or Month view for the calendar…

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  2. By the way, Journler is a free notes-taking application that looks nice and provides some interesting features. There are better apps available, I’m sure, but you can’t beat that price :)

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  3. Try DayLite 3.1x (Productivity Suite). It is light years ahead of SOHO blah blah blah. DL even integrates with Apple Mail, is multi-user if needed and syncs with your Apple Address Book. No contest here.

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  4. I used it when it was Consultant and liked it, I ran my business off it when it was Personal Organizer. Then came OSX and iCal and AddressBook got better and suddenly there was no need for either Consultant or PO. Finally, they ported PO to OSX as SOHO Notes. I’ve tried various versions of this, but I’m afraid it’s more or less useless. Nowadays I use iCal, AddressBook and MacJournal. There could be more integration between these apps, but I am betting that will come. I’m also looking forward to Leopard’s system wide To Do feature!

    Yours sincerely,

    John Davis

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  5. I have a few of Chronos products and like the F10 launch studino & StickyBrain (later merged with SOHO Notes). I had been waiting for a good replacement to their Personal Organizer and did try the SOHO Organizer, however must say I was very disappointed.

    Did not like the ‘less integrated’ suite with little or no value add to iCal and AddressBook. As someone else pointed out Daylite is a good product that I am evaluating alongwith the new Contactizer Pro from OD (www.objective-decision.com).
    Both have very well integrated UI with support for Apple Mail.
    Based on my small biz requirement could go with one or the other.
    While I have always liked Chronos products, they seem to have been left behind in this game due to their own mis-steps.

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  6. STAY AWAY FROM SOHO!

    Notes is so full of bugs that it is unusable. Sync does not work. Data gets lost. Tech support is awful – Soho recently eliminated all user forums and went to support-by-email only, which never get answered. Check out the user reviews at Version Tracker and MacUpdate. This isn’t just one disgruntled troll… :)

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  7. [...] One thing many implementations of labels leave out is sorting (see my review of SOHO Notes). I’ve included code to do the nice little circles seen in the first screenshot for selection, and code to sort by labels. Although not in this example, I also think there is no reason why an entry should not be able to have more than one label. In reality, there are many times when your data belongs to two or more different sets. [...]

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  8. Sara Rasmussen Tuesday, November 7, 2006

    It’s no surprise SOHO pulled their site forums as they received nothing but complaints, gripes, expletives and so forth. I could write a very long list of things that are incredibly annoying in regards to the Soho suite of products, unfortunately I’ve already wasted enough time on matters concerning Soho. To summarize, while positioned to leverage the powers of mac os x’s cocoa technology, the app fails miserably to realize this potential in any elegant manner. The apps are way too “in your face” for tasks that should gracefully execute behind and next to your primary Mac apps. Additionally, they tout features that don’t even exist yet, trying to pacify users with a “promise” to add said features ASAP; very lame. Flashnotes and quicksearch windows are very handy, but implemented in an VERY clunky, clumsy way. Additionally, the reliance upon an openbase database creates more problems than not. Once upon a time I was excited about setting up soho, but as time went on, the letdowns outweighed the advantages, and we’ve put soho solutions to sleep for once and for all. Sayonara Soho, and best of luck to anyone who opts to try their apps! Sara

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  9. hello. it’s a nice day for your ideas and our money…

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  10. I love SOHO Notes Friday, January 19, 2007

    I’ve been using SOHO Notes since it was StickyBrain 3. I have had nothing but good experiences with it. I never have any sync problems with my Palm and have never lost any data. It is an invaluable aid in keeping track with all those “scraps of information” you don’t know where to stick. It is not only SpotLight aware, it has its own quick-and-easy search that appears on the menu. And the grab-from-other apps is superb. I just grabbed an OmniOutliner fully styled outline and it looks just like the original inside SOHO Notes.

    I too am disappointed Chronos ended their support forums.

    But I am a big fan of SOHO Notes. I can’t imagine getting along without it. I’ve tried other products, but never found one that works as well. I hope they continue to support and develop it.

    doug

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