ContLab is a free business organizer for Windows that is currently still in its beta stages. Nevertheless, it shows promise of being a reliable tool for business enthusiasts who have trouble keeping records of their projects, contacts, agendas, reports and accounts. Also, the application comes packed with networking feature, which allows you to run the application from the server, so that all connected computers can easily use different features of the application from one central location. Details to follow after the jump.
Once installed and run, a notification icon appears in your taskbar. Just double-click it to open the main interface. For the first time usage, it will ask you to create a new database. Once you’ve created a new database, the window will shift into view mode. Henceforth, every time you run the software, the previously opened database will automatically load. By default, the application will automatically run at startup, but you can disable this from application’s Settings.
You can choose to immediately add new project, contact or event (which will be displayed in their respective Work Areas, except for events, which will be shown in the Agenda Work Area). Alternatively, you can click the tabs on the bottom-left to navigate to their respective Work Areas and create/view/edit/delete their records. All Work Areas follow the same outlook template. The Menu sidebar on the left displays common tools and actions, which you will definitely find useful. For example:
- The Projects Work Area Menu holds links that Highlight the projects with their respective status colors or Expands or contracts the projects in order to display more or less information.
- The Contacts Work Area Menu holds links to a tool that is used to show the contact address on a map and an option to display only a certain type or contact.
- The Agenda Work Area Menu displays event type display options and filters options for the events.
- The Reports Work Area Menu has an option to switch between summary display and data warning display mode.
- The Reports Work Area Menu has an option to switch between viewing the common cash flow records and the movement of money to internal teams.
- The Tools Work Area Menu has links to navigate between a Document, Sites & Passwords as well as the Notes Manager.
After opening a Work Area, clicking the Add or edit buttons will open windows similar to the one below. Here you can add new records or edit an existing record’s information. Different tabs hold different parts of the record. Using them to their utmost capacity will enable you to keep track of all projects, contacts, agendas, etc. Records from different Work Areas can be linked together to create an interrelated database that would be of even more use to a professional. Once the data has been entered to your satisfaction. Click OK and the changes will be committed.
Even though ContLab has all these functionalities, it is still in its beta phase. One of the biggest problems seen is the mix-up of the English and Italian languages. In the Tools menu (the top-menu bar one this time, not the sidebar one) you will find additional settings that will allow you to choose to change the behavior of ContLab; like changing the language, user accounts’ settings, as well as other advanced application settings.
Note: Closing the application window does not end its execution. Thus all events will be notified when their time of execution comes. In order to properly close ContLab, you must select Close in the right-click menu of the application’s notification icon. However doing this will stop ContLab’s event scheduler and you won’t be able to check your agenda for notifications.
Once all the problems have been solved, it is anticipated that this software will become a must-have tool for businessmen everywhere. Currently, you are required to register in order to download from the author’s website. It supports Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.