I'm looking for a program on behalf of other people, but in doing so it has struck me how few easy-to-use personal organiser type programs there are out there. Don't get me wrong, there are thousands of ones available, some free, some commercial, but they almost universally tend to be fiddly, unintuitive, and, bottom-line, more annoying than useful. This is particularly important when there is an emphasis on collaboration and mobile use!

A lot of the products put emphasis on use by external users - such as booking engine (for customers) or clocking-in/clocking-out features (for employees). I'm not actually looking for any of that - rather the inclusion of such services is likely to make the system more cumbersome if anything. Crucially, the system is being sought for non techies. Unfortunately, from my point of view, most websites that review these products place a great emphasis on these types of features - hence the question here. :D

Ideally the system would

  • Integrate with Outlook (including Outlook's calendar)
  • Be accessible by a smart phone
  • Allow users to make and share appointments between a few colleagues, and most importantly, make notes relating to meetings.
  • A UI which is based upon a calendar

It doesn't matter whether or not it is free.

What have your experiences which such systems been?


Have you looked into Google Apps? Its calendar sharing features seem to match your requirements.

It is syncable with Outlook, accessible from smartphones (either via syncing or a web GUI), and certainly has a calendar GUI.

Taking notes from meetings could be done via Google+, or a Google Doc attached to the meeting invitation.

  • Quite frankly, I'm starting to come to this conclusion myself. The people for whom I'm looking for this wanted something that was a bit more self-contained and slightly more secure, but such products tend to have the exact sort of clunkiness that I'm trying to avoid. Could you outline the manner in which Google Apps in particular would be useful, as opposed to plane old Drive:spreadsheet+form combo combined with Google calendar + Calendar Sync ?
    – user137263
    Aug 13 '12 at 12:26
  • 1
    Well, one feature that I have found useful, is the collaborative editing of meeting notes. Before inviting to a meeting, I create a Google Doc, giving the attendees access to it. When creating the invitation in Google Calendar, I add the Google Doc as an attachment to the invitation. During the meeting, the meeting notes is brought up on the projector, and everyone contributes to it during the meeting. I have found these meetings to be highly productive, and the meeting notes actually reflecting what everyone agreed on at the meeting. Aug 13 '12 at 12:34

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.