MDE Software InfoHandler
MDE InfoHandler™ is a Personal Information Manager,
use it as your all-around information solution.
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Introduction to InfoHandler, the Personal Information Manager

The Card File Problem

Think of a card file box. In this box you have several thousand cards with evaluations of articles in periodicals. Every card with a header line - author, title, and reference - and below that extensive notes. All cards are ordered accurately by subject. If you are looking for something for a given subject, you only need to find an appropriate index and view all cards belonging to this topic.

So far so good - but now you are looking for something that was published for a certain subject in a certain magazine. You scan the few hundred cards for the subject and select those with the wanted periodical. Because you are uncertain about the subject you search other subjects as well. Now you see you got far to many cards, you couldn’t examine them all. You guess that really you are only interested in certain products together with this subject. Unfortunately, after deciding to order by subject, you couldn’t have ordered the cards by products too. So now you begin to search the collected cards for the wanted product. Don't forget to return all the cards that you have removed to the right places in the box when you have completed your task.

Libraries use to solve this dilemma by having two card indexes with duplicated cards, one ordered on authors, the other on subjects.

Another problem comes about if, preparing a new card, you find that several of the categories seem to fit and you cannot decide where to put the card - unfortunately, a card cannot be simultaneously at several places.

The InfoHandler Solution

To solve these kinds of problems with organizing information, this time using not a card file box but a computer, we conceived the unique concept of categorizing information that we implemented with InfoHandler. This is much more than just attaching "keywords" to the info. Most important is the centralized management of the Categories and their organization in groups. Categories are not just "words" or "character strings" but "objects" with their own properties and functionality. Shortly, with the help of these grouped Categories , a kind of multi-dimensional view on the data is accomplished, as opposed to the one-dimensional view of the common card indexes or with the hierarchical organization that is offered by most of the available tools for personal information management (PIMs).

But what is "information"? Bits of information are not only the perhaps numerous notes that you make on all sorts of occasions and topics and store somehow on your computer. Information are also the documents of all kinds that you create, the programs ("applications") that run on your computer, dates - single ones and recurring (e.g. birthdays) - that you have to observe, Internet pages that you want to revisit, postal and e-mail addresses, e-mail messages and News articles, and so on. For managing all these many types of information there exist many specialized programs or features of the operating system, all with their own concepts and user interfaces.

MDE InfoHandler enables the organization of all this information under one uniform interface. To do this, of course, you need some other special features aside from the universal categorization technology. Most important is the quality of the text that you can attach to the info. With InfoHandler this text can be "richly" formatted, it can be initialized automatically for new info, and it knows about "fields" where you can jump to using the keyboard or toolbar buttons. To manage documents, Internet pages, or e-mail addresses you can attach links to those objects to the info and then manipulate the objects from within InfoHandler. To manage dates, or birthdays, or other time data two universal time objects (called InfoTime1 and InfoTime2) are optional components of the Info. And last not least InfoHandler Alarms, attached to InfoItems , remind you about things to do.

To retrieve all these many bits of different kinds of information you apply the same set of powerful means. Using the assigned Categories you compose complex queries on the data ('category filters') with just a few clicks of your mouse. By setting bounds for the diverse time stamps ('time filters') you narrow further the displayed choice of InfoItems . And, of course, there is a handy global text search function that you can apply selectively to the components of the collected data.

On the other hand, because InfoHandler has a broad and powerful range of features suited for many different information management tasks, it and its user interface are a bit more complex than some of the more specialized "simple" tools. But it will be well worth the effort to invest an hour or two to familiarize yourself with its concepts and interface. Several sample InfoHandler databases (InfoBases) are provided to assist you in this. Help is also easily obtained from within the program itself. 

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