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Old 19-05-2010, 09:19 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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A clean sheet of paper: The PIM suite: Part 1

In the first of a two part feature, Ewan looks at what's really needed for Personal Information Management in general, and Calendaring in particular, on a Symbian smartphone. He outlines the modules and functions that he'd like to see, ahead of jumping into Symbian^3's roadmap and user contributions mechanics in part 2, coming soon.

Read on in the full article.

Old 19-05-2010, 10:31 AM
SWR SWR is offline
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PIM Applications

Interesting thoughts, Ewan. The calendar application is definitely the weakest link in the S60 apps. The ridiculous lack of copy/paste and the inability to make all day entries, etc. Since the Psion 3 and 5, the in-built calendar (Agenda - Freusian choice of name??) has got steadily weaker, coming down almost to the level of S40.
The multiple levels for users is an old concept. GEOS used it in the 80's for their system. Users could decide on which of 3 levels of complexity to see, from beginner to advanced. Each one presenting more info and more options. I would welcome this in Symbian.
I would also like to be able to make longer journal entries. I used it extensively for travel journals in my Psion 5mx. Talking of which, doesn't your blueprint look like something I've seen before? EPOC Agenda, wasn't it? No matter, it was and still is one of the best.
The addition of categories, similar to Outlook would be very helpful, but I would like to see an improved entry assistance, with the application remembering subjects, locations, etc. instead of always having to type them. Also copy / paste. If UIQ could do it, albeit a little round about, why can't S60 / Symbian?

Old 19-05-2010, 11:59 AM
brendand brendand is offline
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What do you mean 'lack of copy and paste'? Do you mean copying entries?

As for all-day events, that's available in Symbian^3.

Old 19-05-2010, 01:43 PM
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My 6710 Navigator can create all day events

Old 19-05-2010, 04:11 PM
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compare the s60 stock pim to handy calender its embarrassing nokia couln't go thay extra foot and make it useable.

Old 19-05-2010, 04:38 PM
Interesting Interesting is offline
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I wholeheartedly agree that the PIM needs a massive upgrade.
One area I don't think you addressed was that of meeting participants. Blackberry support for this has always been good, but with an N97mini I can't set up meetings inviting specific atttendees aas I can with outlook. I think this is a must and perhaps even more important than the extra views that Ewan mentions.

Old 19-05-2010, 05:02 PM
mjbrown mjbrown is offline
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Ewan well done for raising this issue and your constructive thoughts! As an ex-Psion user (before that Time Manger paper diary system) and since that Nokia 9300 then E71 I too am constantly frustrated by the loss of functionality form the Psion days. In fact since Symbian presumably own the Psion Agenda code they could do worse than take that functionality and add the multiple calendar functionality (categories were already there). I think there are also opportunities to integrate with other functionality on the device ie to create Agenda entries from events like Emails, SMS, or any other the many other means of communication received on the device which could trigger a potential To Do, Note or Meeting action. Integration with Contacts is also a must for meeting request type events and the contact view should show any such events which are in the Agenda. I guess other links like birthdays also make sense. Turning to your input examples, I would add Mini-Calendar popup for rescheduling, an Escape without saving option, enter end-time or length then length or end time calculated, the ability to change date and time of a calendar entry, the option to Copy/cut calendar entry and paste to new time/day. In terms of views the Agenda view from the E series is one I use a lot. An anniversary view is also one to consider. One of my biggest frustration with the E71 is how alarms are handled we need the ability to specify the default warning period (I think some other S60 devices already have this) and then to postpone the alarm by either preset tranches or an amount of time the user enters. In addition the user should have the ability to reschedule the Agenda event to a new date/time. If an alarm is missed it should remain pending until the use decides to do something with it. A warning on the home screen would be ideal too. I mentioned contacts integration above, but one of the main problems I have with contacts is synchronisation with Outlook. The list of fields synchronised is limited which means that I have more phone numbers in the E71 than in Outlook because only certain fields are synced. We need the ability to expand this and even parameterise it ourselves perhaps via editable templates...?

Old 19-05-2010, 06:27 PM
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The trouble with a PIM is that there is no one size fits all solution, and I would rather have no inbuilt PIM, but instead have a choice of 3rd party ones. If Nokia put a load of effort in to improving the ROM one, 50% of people would find a problem with it.

Old 19-05-2010, 06:28 PM
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The inbuild Symbian Calendar has all the features of the famous Psion Agenda (look at the calender API from PyS60). The normal S60 calendar (delivered on the device) is just a demo app. If you want the full power, you need an extra (commercial) app like e. g. HandyCalendar. Together with e. g. HandyProfiles the "S60-Agenda" is nearly perfect and comparable with the Psion Agenda.

Please note: HandyCalendar, AquaCalendar, ... are fully compatible with the delivered calendar app, which shows even entries like:

Repeat every three month on last (! - not the 4th) Friday.

Of course you can't edit those repetitions with the delivered calendar app (but you can delete single entries of the repetition without breaking the repetition series, because this is a feature of the calendar module of Symbian).

Peter Sulzer

Old 19-05-2010, 07:12 PM
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Well, there is a lot of hope in the contribution of Peter Sulzer. And everyone who once had a Psion knows, what we all miss. For me, the Psion Agenda is just the perfect electronic transformation of the Time System. When my Psion "died" I switched back to paper, now I use toodledo for my tasks and (company)-Outlook for my calendar. I sync to my E52, but I'm not very happy with it.
I agree with all the above mentioned requirements and like to add:
- location-aware to-do-list: for customizable filter in the views and automatic reminder, when I'm near a place (a shop for example)
- the good old slot compression
- don't forget the need for a really and reliable working sync (to standard applications like outlook and ovi, google etc.); this must be written from the scratch or it will never ever work!
- show birthdays with age and/or year of birth
- I'd like to strike through calendar entries (like completed tasks)
- customizable views like in the good old Psion-days

There is a ray of hope! Maybe it is not named Symbian^3, but MeeGo.


Old 19-05-2010, 07:56 PM
ianuk10 ianuk10 is offline
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Yup, agree about the Psion PIM. With that, plus all the software, and the keyboard on the Series 5 / 5mx that's still never been beaten? Never has a device been so far ahead of its time.

Old 19-05-2010, 11:14 PM
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Calendar woes

The two biggest hassles with the Series 60 calendar on my E71 are display issues. Missed alarms should persist on the home screen until they are dismissed, just as missed calls do; that to me is basic and vital. You should also have the option of displaying only current, or nearly due ToDos (say next 24 hours) instead of everything due long in to the future; that's just annoying. Finally, when entering a date in an appointment or todo a pop-up calendar needs to appear; what date is next Tuesday again? You shouldn't need to refer to a separate calendar off the device to work that out. The scrolling iPhone type date thing is just a gimmick and extremely useless in this regard and it's sad to see some Series 60 apps trying to immitate it.

Old 20-05-2010, 07:45 AM
brendand brendand is offline
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At risk of sounding like a broken record - missed alarms are, you guessed it, fixed in Symbian^3. Good idea about the date picker, I wonder does S60 have such a widget? I'm sure Qt does, so I'd be surprised if they didn't use that in Symbian^4

Old 20-05-2010, 10:27 AM
SWR SWR is offline
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PIM Applications

What I meant about not being able to copy / paste is the inability to just copy an entry in S60 standard calendar. Further, for making all day entries, this can be done by Options / New Entry / etc, but if I just start making an entry (the quickest method), the options are limited and there is no way to change the entry type.

I agree with the comments about synchronisation. It is a drama. Double entries, loss of entries, etc. With iSync it is even worse. Bring on Ovi Suite for Mac, please.

Old 20-05-2010, 11:36 AM
xerxes xerxes is offline
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A very useful addition to any calendar type application would be to allow multiple alarms on a single appointment.

For example, I would like to have a reminder 2 weeks in advance of my car insurance expiring so I have time to look for alternatives, then a second reminder the day before expiry to ensure that I have actually chosen a replacement or renewed the existing policy.


clean, paper, pim, sheet, suite

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