Osmo: a simple yet capable personal organizer

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Osmo is a small, free, and multi-platform Personal Information Management (PIM) program. It provides the major functions you would expect in a PIM app, such as a task/to-do list with reminders and alarms, contacts management, notes, as well as calendar integration. Neatly packages in a tabbed, self-contained interface, Osmo is highly configurable and is module-based, allowing you to turn tabs/functions off and on depending on your preference. It is built such that all functions can be easily performed using keyboard shortcuts.

If you need a personal calendar app with tasks, notes, and contacts functions you should take a look at this program. Something about this is highly appealing: it is built to be a workhorse not a showhorse. Here are more notes on this program.

Osmo Calendar ScreenshotOsmo Tasks Screenshot

  • The interface: is quite nice. Aside from the tabs, which are great, there is an economy to the interface that makes this program easy to use, without sacrificing complexity in function. Osmo minimizes to the system tray, making it quickly and easily accessible.
  • Calendar view: is my favorite. It will display all kinds of info which can customized in the settings, including tasks for the selected day, week numbers, previous and next month, etc. You can add a note for each day that is separate from the main notes tab. The Calendar tab offers iCalendar export/import functions.
  • The task list: tasks can have a due date or not, and you can request an alarm or set a recurrent task if you need to. You can categorize, set the priority, and add notes to tasks, and print them out as a task list. You can right click on any day in the calendar view and create a task for that date, which is cool. There’s also date-dependent task coloring,
  • Notes: you can create a note for each day in the calendar, which is actually quite useful, or otherwise use the “Notes” tab for proper notes functionality. There are some formatting options for the text, such as styles, highlighting, separator and date insertion. Notes can also be categorized (and filtered by category) as well as password-encrypted.
  • Contacts: there is a comprehensive array of informational fields used for contacts, and you can import and export these from/to a CVS file. Tagging is implemented for contacts as well as a search function.
  • Keyboard shortcuts: if you like the efficiency that keyboard shortcuts provide then you’ve just won the jackpot, as every single function in Osmo can be performed via hotkeys.
  • Google Calendar integration / iCalendar subscriptions: this is NOT implemented in the version I tested but mentioned in the TODO section on the Osmo site.

Wish list (or how this program can be even better)

  • Global search: is strangely absent. It is possible to search contacts in the contacts tab or search within each individual note, but there really needs to be a separate global search function, perhaps in its own tab.
  • Tags: implementation of tags would be great (tags differ from categories in that an element, such as a note or task, can be associated with multiple tags rather than a single category).
  • Applying categories across the board: I was surprised to find out that I had to define my categories for the notes tab then re-define the same ones for the tasks tab.
  • Clickable URL links inside notes: was surprised that URLs were not clickable, which is a disadvantage if, like me, you do a lot of internet research.
  • Make the column heads clickable: for sorting purposes, in the task list. Although you can set rules for default sorting of tasks in the settings, its nice to be able to sort by clicking column headers.

The verdict: a very nice program overall, with a simplicity that gives it considerable appeal. I quite like the ability to switch off modules to focus on the functions I need. For example I only want to use the task management and calendar functions, and can simply switch the other modules off.

However, Osmo can (and should) be much improved (see wish list above). iCalendar and especially Google Calendar integration would take this program to the next level and significantly broaden its potential target audience.

If you’re looking for a nice, clean and light PIM give this one a shot; you will probably like it.

Version Tested: 0.2.8

Compatibility: Windows, Linux

Go to the program home page for more info, or the Osmo project page at Sourceforge to download the latest version (approx 4.8 megs).