December 2003, send
to the web site
Mobile 2003, Pocket PC 2002 and previous versions
(full versions), $9.95 (license transfer)
a colorful note and use it as an alarm - include a picture
file, include and voice note, include a drawing. Use different
backgrounds. Set an alarm using any of the preset intervals
or set up a custom date and time, with repeats, different
alarm sounds and even different stationery. BugMe! is an
ingeniously simple note taker and memory jolter. We've
reviewed BugMe! for PalmOS but this is the first time we've
had a look at the Pocket PC version.
detest Outlook on the Pocket PC and avoid it at all costs.
Some people absolutely live inside Outlook (on the PC and
on Pocket PC) and for many it's a robust and versatile
tool. But I can't stand it. Give me the PalmOS DateBook,
or better yet, the excellent DateBk5 for PalmOS from Pimlico
Software. Either program has better data input, more room
in the user interface for data input and display, and generally
better ergonomics all around than most of what I've seen
on the Microsoft dominated Pocket PC. Needless to say,
when Electric Pocket asked if we'd like to review BugMe!
for Pocket PC, we jumped at the opportunity.
things first, lest the previous paragraph remain somewhat
deceiving: BugMe! is not a replacement for whatever calendar
or date book you're using on your Pocket PC. There's no
full day view contextual screen in BugMe! such as that
which exists in almost every calendar and date book. But
that's not the point. BugMe! is designed for customized
notes containing lots of data. You can print a note (on
stationery, colored backgrounds or photos), add drawings
and add voice notes. Outlook and its rivals can't touch
that combination. So the two programs (BugMe! and Outlook)
are not necessarily rivals. If you use BugMe! as your alarm
(instead of the boring and uninformative Outlook), while
keeping Outlook as your general daytimer, life can be quite
a bit more interesting.
Why bother with BugMe! you may ask? The plain truth is
that standard Pocket PC and PalmOS alarms become easy to
ignore after a while. Sometimes, the alarm goes off, we
tap the screen to acknowledge the alarm, then go about
our current business and forget about the alarm. A BugMe!
note can be made so overtly and naggingly multimedia that
it becomes almost impossible to ignore. If you've ever
cursed the world after acknowleging (then immediately forgetting
about) a PDA alarm, BugMe! is for you.
The programmers at Electric Pocket have done a proper
job of integrating BugMe! with the Today screen so that
the software is available from the context menu. Pop up
the menu, tap BugMe! and start making notes in your own
handwriting or with text. The visual alarms you set up
are infinitely better than any typical date book-type of
alarm. The notes themselves - complete with drawing, photos
and anything else you can think of - become the alarms.
Individual alarms can be set up to be as annoying as you
like, including nagging alarm sounds, silly drawings and
so on. The drawing functions are robust enough, with lots
of paper, colors and pen styles to choose from to suit
many different sorts of messages. Among the most helpful
bits of integration in BugMe! is the ability to add voice
notes. We were actually able to create a single note using
a photo background on which we wrote a text note, attached
to which was a voice recording containing an additional
reminder. Once again, BugMe! makes it very hard to ignore
Cons: We'd like to see BugMe! be able to integrate with
Outlook and other calendar and ToDo programs for Pocket
PC. Although BugMe! is genuinely useful, it would be a
killer app if it could be called within the most popular
calendars and date books.
Pros: Rapid, smooth onscreen printing and drawing response.
Absolutely beats the pants off mundane audible alarms.
New BugMe! notes can be started in the Today screen. Individual
notes are lockable. Thumbnail view of all available notes.
Integrated voice note recording. Zippy performance. Uses
almost any photo as a note background. Never again endure
boring and uninformative alarms. Adaptive, useful for everyone
from salespeople and students to busy Moms and anyone else
who needs informative alarms rather than simple pointers
to their day timer or date book. Highly recommended.
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