Earlier today, a reader reminded me about OpenGoo, a free, open source suite of web-hosted productivity applications. I’ve used OpenGoo in the past, but hadn’t checked back in on it for a while. It has a nicer interface than it did before, and delivers word processing, document management, contact management, e-mail, project management, and time management applications.
If you like to use Google’s online applications, or Zoho’s, definitely take a look at each of the applications in OpenGoo, especially the information management features.
You can try a demo of OpenGoo by clicking Demo atop the project’s home page. The first thing you’ll notice is that the OpenGoo suite is localized for a number of languages, including French and Japanese. You’ll initially see a time management application that allows you to see pending tasks, milestones, and events. You then switch to various applications in the suite via a tabbed toolbar atop the application.
When you work with documents in OpenGoo, you can save notations about the revisions you’ve made, which is especially handy if you collaborate with others online. You can edit text and HTML documents and work with presentations. You can also collect contacts, make use of a good looking calendar, and track tasks. OpenGoo makes extensive use of “workspaces” which are especially useful for collaboration, and these are described here.
Unlike Google’s and Zoho’s applications, OpenGoo is open source. There is fairly complete online documentation for it, which I recommend perusing before you download to make sure the suite will meet your needs. There also appear to be a few comedians in the community that develops OpenGoo. For example, I noticed that if you click on the “Web Links” choice in OpenGoo’s dashboard, one of the “personal” links stored there is named “porn.” Hmm.
If the idea of using open source online hosted applications brings up privacy concerns, you can download OpenGoo and run it securely as a local suite. The suite does have a few shortcomings. There is no spreadsheet, although one is in the works, and I like the hosted versions of several of the OpenOffice applications found at Ulteo.com better thana few of OpenGoo’s. However, OpenGoo is very strong at calendaring, tracking projects and tasks, and contact management. For jobs such as customer relationship management (CRM) or personal information management, it’s worth a look, and might keep you better organized in 2009.