Jan 19

Anagram is a must-have commercial mini-app that runs in the systray of Windows (sorry no version exists for Mac yet). It functions at an OS level and is invoked via a keyboard shortcut you setup (I mapped mine to ctrl-cc). You highlight a block of text on a web page, pdf, word doc, whatever… invoke anagram and it intelligently parses the text to determine whether it’s a contact or an event. It will pop open your Outlook or Palm Desktop and populate a new record with all the appropriate fields filled out. I’m assuming it uses some kind of regex on the backend but it’s very intelligent. For instance, if I were to use it on this phrase:

Meet me at the park on Washington and 1st in Phoenix, AZ next Thursday at noon.

Anagram would recognize it as an event, apply whatever the date is next thursday and put “Washington and 1st” in the notes field. Likewise, if I run it on someone’s sig file:

John Doe
Blah Corporation
Assistant middle manager of nothing
1234 Main St.
Anywhere, Anytown USA
phone (555)555-5555
fax (555)455-5555

It will intelligently parse all that into the correct fields of a new contact record. I know, it almost passes the “indistinguishable from magic” test which is why it’s so cool. I use this app every day with Outlook and I have found it to be the “tipping point” for storing useful info that I might have otherwise just skipped out of laziness. It works with Palm Desktop, Outlook and Salesforce.com. I could see it being even more useful for salespeople that deal with many leads and appointments scoured from emails and web pages. It’s the little timesavers like this applied over many uses that simplify life and for $30 this is definitely one of them.

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