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Exploring Organizer by APTE, Inc.

The tutorial Lotus Organizer is missing and then some.

I’ve used Lotus Development Corporation’s Organizer program ever since it came out (v1.0) and always wondered why it did not contain a tutorial. Using the on-line help offered is good, reading the manual is better but learning how all the features can help me without solid visual examples is a shortcoming this excellent program has always lacked. Enter APTE, Inc., a company specializing in multimedia training, including but not limited to tutorial programs for established products on the PC and MAC platforms.

Installation
The program only requires 5MB of hard drive space and 4MB of RAM for a full installation and operation. It is straight forward and installation is flawless. The program does not contain an uninstall icon/instruction for easy removal. This is desirable if you want to use the program/license on another PC for another person’s use/program learning.

Usage and observations
The high-quality program interface leave little to the imagination. A manual, although well written, is not required to fully utilize this program. The program is separated into 5 sections:

  1.  
    1. Lotus Organizer v2.x/3.x Tutorial and interactive program guide
    2. Group Features - Network/WorkGroup usage tutorial
    3. Speedy Steps for shortcut directions on group scheduling
    4. Quick Questions for answers to frequently asked questions
    5. Organizer Icons and an explanation of each ( bubble help alternative )

It takes 60-90 minutes to utilize all the features of Exploring Organizer. It is very thorough and just takes time. A little bit of thinking as to why and how it does what it does will serve you well in the long run. I would have liked using the program better if it added a icon to the smart icon set included with Lotus Organizer. Trying to add it to the Icon Bar in Organizer worked when I redirected an existing icon to execute the program but the programs built-in icon did not appear, nor could it be made to appear. Speedy steps and quick questions make for ideal additions to the Organizer program but they can not be accessed from within the base program.

APTE, Inc. is small enough that obtaining quick, knowledgeable and program literate help is no problem. This is the advantage of dealing with small companies in this age of over-structured program creating software giants.

Conclusions
This is one program that is a must for anyone in charge of a multi-user network or stand alone PC environment on which Lotus Organizer is the preferred P.I.M. If a picture is worth a thousand words then this program can serve as a substitute for several manuals. The manual that comes with Lotus Organizer is excellent, but without a tutorial grasping the significance of program features and practical application of them is difficult to grasp at best. The hour spent using the on-line tutorial is the best use of an hour you can make to learn how to use the features contained in Organizer. This is the program Lotus should have written but didn’t. Take advantage of it’s teaching/learning power today.

MSRP: $49.95; 10-user network pack $200.00; 50-user network pack $750.00
site licenses available

APTE, Inc.
1840 Oak Avenue

Northwestern University
Research Park
Evanston, Illinois 60201-3686

Phone: 1.800.494.1112
1.708.866.1872
Fax: 1.708.866.1873

Internet: birl.nwu.edu/apte/


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