Why EccoPro? Why do lawyers, architects, engineers, movie producers, writers and many other individuals and entrepreneurs in over 52 countries use EccoPro to manage their daily information and time management needs? Why do many law schools advocate EccoPro as the Outliner of choice? After over twenty years, some tried other solutions but came always back to EccoPro. Enhanced with new program extensions and Smartphone synchronization, there is nothing comparable out there.
EccoPro uses outlining as the basic metaphor for Information Management. The software incorporates universal outlining into each of its productivity modules. An outline allows users to see the most information quickly by collapsing and expanding the outline from macro to micro context. Combined with the database metaphor it is possible to bring diverse information together. It is this combination of outlining and database metaphors that is well suited for finding and understanding everyday information.
Outlining puts information in context. It indicates how information relates to other information and it puts this information in an order of importance. Inherently, outlines are an easier way to facilitate the thinking process than other means. Because outlining is very visual; relationships between ideas become very evident. What makes EccoPro different is its combining of all of the best benefits of a structured database oriented Information Manager with outlining. Personal Information Managers have always been able to manage small amounts of information, but if you want to manage large amounts of information it becomes more difficult.
To be truly valuable, a user must be able to store, categorize and cross-reference all of his information, not just the material that conveniently fits into a database form. That means it must be easily moved into the Information Manager from other applications. And once the information has been moved, it must be easy to organize and relate it to other data, sometimes in more than one context. It should also help users think about problems, analyze them from different perspectives and reach better decisions.
Mobility, or lack of it, is another problem Information Management has faced. While users may keep a wealth of information on their systems, it is of no benefit when they are not working at their computers. Paper printouts of Calendars, To-do lists and Phonebooks don’t work because they provide only a slice of the total information contained in an Information Manager. Software that is truly the center of a user’s daily activities must be mobile. The industry is in the midst of a stampede to mobile computers in all shapes and sizes. Form factors from small Netbooks and Smartphones to Notebooks are gaining capabilities and declining in price. With the proliferation of such affordable mobile platforms, users will be increasingly reticent to accept a handful of paper printouts when they can have their whole information base at their fingertips.
Just as categorizing and organizing information makes it more valuable to an individual, sharing information among groups of people is critical in today’s increasingly collaborative work environment. Email as it is in use today promotes understanding and enhances productivity. A well-integrated Information Manager is the perfect complement to Email. Exchanging information in the form of Email over a network is valuable enough, but the ability to incorporate that information into an information management system where it can be organized, categorized and cross-referenced is a powerful and addictive concept.
Workgroup Information Managers must accomplish other critical tasks, including group scheduling and calendar management. But merely confirming the meeting is not enough. People need to prepare for the meeting and that means having an agenda in advance and all the other relevant supporting information necessary to make the meeting productive. Therefore, the Information Manager must be flexible enough to accomplish more than merely scheduling the meeting. The meeting agenda should become a living document, forming the basis for follow-up, and tracking individuals’ responsibilities. Thus, the Information Manager becomes the hub of daily activity. It not only is a place to find information, but is a management tool that facilitates decision making and enhances productivity.
This sets the stage for EccoPro, software that is able not only to track and compile information, but surround it with the context necessary for it to have real value. Information viewed in the framework of related information becomes extremely powerful. It is this ability to create meaningful relationships among items of information that forms the basis of a decision-making tool. In addition to traditional features such as Calendar, Phonebook, To-do list, Project Management, etc., EccoPro includes Dynamic Notes, LUA scripting, OLE client support, Smartphone synchronization, context-based information with the ability to view this information from various perspectives. Information may be entered anywhere – in Contacts, Calendar or an Outline – and viewed in a way that is most meaningful to you.
The flexibility to adjust to the needs of different professions and individuals, the ability to customize the layout for the most efficient use and the powerful capability to view information in the context of related information is what separates EccoPro from Microsoft Outlook and other Information Management applications.
Friedhelm Dohmann, February 2016