The conversation that Marc Orchant and I had with Josh Einstein on the current Tablet PC Show got me to thinking, which is always dangerous. Things happen when I get to thinking, sometimes good, sometimes not, but always interesting. Josh spent a lot of time talking about how powerful the Outlook Journal is and I have to admit I haven’t been using it much. I played with it a couple of Outlook versions ago and it seemed a bit clumsy to me so I did what so many other users do and that’s to ignore it. Josh mentioned how he uses the Journal and how useful it is as an information collector and that his next version of TEO will have rich note-taking capability and audio recording all within the Outlook Journal.
That’s what got me to thinking and if you’ve listened to the aforementioned podcast you heard me ask Josh about a problem I was having with my time billing software. It’s a strange problem and will no doubt take the developer a while to figure out why I can’t run it anymore but in the meantime I am completely stuck with a huge need for a program to replace it. Armed with a renewed respect for the Outlook Journal it struck me that a time billing solution integrated into Outlook would be marvelous. Off a-Googling I went and came up with TimeMeter by Maximus Software, a time billing program that uses all the power of Outlook to track hours and projects. TimeMeter makes heavy use of the Journal and special forms to make entering time worked on a given project very simple to do. I am still fumbling through the reporting part of the program, a process that is much harder than it needs to be because there is no documentation anywhere for this program, not in the help nor on the web site. I am waiting for some requested information from the developer to create my own custom reports. Once I have that I will be one very happy camper with all my important information and data in Outlook where it is backed up onto my Exchange Server.