Sunday, August 21, 2005


tablet pc 3rd party app you can't live without - contest

I'm embarrased to say that it's not specifically a Tablet PC app, but I'd have to go with Mozilla Thunderbird.

It wasn't until just last week that I found out just how powerful and slick this thing it. It takes some time and some serious organization, but having E-Mail, Newsgroups, and RSS all in one app, and all running from a _USB KEY_ is pretty powerful stuff.

By the way, I'm using the fantastic "Portable Thunderbird" mod by John Haller, so I guess this would be my "holla" to Haller. (I'm _so_ sorry about that, but I couldn't resist!)
Rob - great idea. I'm hard pressed to choose between my two favorite Tablet apps but ultimately, Tablet Enhancements for Outlook is my choice. My other must-have is MindManager (as many know) but I live in Outlook - it's the dashboard for my day and having experienced the joys of working in Outlook with TEO, I can never gain use the application without this essential add-in.

Outlook without TEO is like having a high performance sports car sitting up on blocks - you can see the potential but can't really get anywhere. I'm terrificly excited about some of the new ideas Josh Einstein is pursuing for version 3.0 which will, I'm sure, only further reinforce this opinion.

Here's my $.02 and it's the same copper as Marc's. TEO is the Tablet PC software I can't live without. It makes the day doable on a Tablet PC, for like Marc, I live in Outlook. I'm really looking forward to TEO 3.0.

OneNote would be a close second for my work flow, simply because I take so many notes and gather so much info.
I am in OneNote all the time. But, that doesn't seem to be a 3rd party app. ActiveWords inkpad is indispensible. It saves time every day, all day.
If a Tablet app, then Network Whiteboard for network design,,,,
if a general 3rd party app....
then whiteboard software.

Allowing 2 software architects to write at the same at the whiteboard and one at the TabletPC annotating in a different color ....
is extremely productive at capturing IP and user stories....

Steve Epstein
network whiteboard? never heard of it....sounds very interesting. I'll check it out.
here is the URL to network whiteboard:
Mine would be OmniPass from softex using a fingerprint reader. I could not imagine how to use passwords without it, because I don't like if anyone can read my emails just because he could easily read my password while I was writing it to the TIP. with Omnipass it is very comfortable and I have just to put my finger onto the reader to get into everything.

This is the Program I definitely use EVERYTIME I use my Tablet!
I'd definitely say Actual Windows Manager. The always on top window feature & transparency is a must have. GoBinder is also great but currently I've temporarily Migrated back to OneNote until GoBinder 2006
I think it's got to be Mind Manager. I'm using it for everything from project planning to a daily event records

As an aside, it's good to hear Josh Einstein is thinking abort integration with TE0 :)
I can't live without StrokeIt at

I was hooked when I first used it on my desktops. (It's funny when I still make the gestures on other people's computers.)

On the TabletPC, it's essential and more natural. I like being able to customize it to send keystrokes or even send or post Messages to Windows.

robphy (TabletPCBuzz user)
With a free copy of MathJournal being offered as a prize for the "contest" I'm worried that the contest will have a built-in bias against MathJournal because MathJournal users will have little incentive to suggest MathJournal. To counteract this bias I thought I'd nominate MathJournal and mention its name a few times. I don't need MathJournal for anything I do but it is one of my favorite programs for showing people how pen input can be superior to a keyboard for some uses. MathJournal is terrific for any high school or college student, and from what I see from the pre-beta program for version 2 it is great for people like me who think infinite series are cool.

InkArt and MathPractice also deserve mention.
All of the applications listed are excellent. The one ink-related application I could not live without is RitePen. Most programs will let us use the TIP. Unfortunately, some of my heaviest-used programs (Trillian, for example) do not. I use a few other programs that do not call up the TIP, and RitePen gives me the ability to use them on my tablet.

In addtion, RitePen integrates seamlessly with programs that the TIP does recognize, so it gives me a wide range of input options.
While another poster mentioned that OneLook doesn't seem to count as a third party app, it ought to in such a comparison--after all, one has to choose between OneNote, GoBinder, and the like--and I come out clearly in favour of OneNote--The syncrhonized Audio recordings are simply not available in any other program--and they are a true lifesaver--rather than searching through endless mp3s of lectures, i can do a quick keyword search on my lecture notes, relisten to the relevant 10min section of lecture, and be on to the next study topic i need to address--this is going to be of amazing use when i start taking music courses again next fall--i will be handwriting musical notation on the sheet music stationery, and i will have a complete, syncrhonized, recording of all the examples the professor plays at the piano, and any recording we listen to in class, etc.--to me this feature makes it a no-brainer that one should choose OneNote over any other note-taking program.

I'm also now configuring the AutoCorrect list to convert lots of ASCIIMathML and/or LaTeX strings to the appropriate unicode character (using the Arial Unicode font that comes with Office/OneNote). Thus handwriting or MathType/Equation editor/Education Pack/MathJournal are only required for the more complex expressions or for graphs. Also, if you find yourself using certain symbols very frequently compared to the standard ones on your keyboard you can use MS's free "Keyboard Layout Converter" program to redefine keys on your keyboard. I will likely post these files online somewhere once i've created them..

(also, the collapseable outline structure is great for study-notes as well, because it allows you to study at various levels of detail.)

while some features are desparately needed (fullscreen mode, inserting tables, linking, better handling of mixed typing/drawing, i.e when typing labels on a diagram), the features above nevertheless make OneNote the best application of its kind.
My application of choice is also MathJournal. Let's begin with the fact that MJ is impressively powerful, and it's only just one year old! It would be one thing if it took complex math and provided a unique or periodic answer, but MJ is also capable of producing symbolic results for many cases. This illustrates a foundation capability that has the potential to grow to the same level as Mathematica or other intensive math solvers.

But it isn't number-crunching capability that makes MJ such a unique application; it's the pen-based approach. Unlike some applications, that could be considered a simple "mechanical" translation to the pen environment, MJ is one of the best and most effective illustrations of why someone should care about the future of pen-based computing! Math is a type of input that is ill-suited for keyboards, but much easier to handle by pen. MJ allows almost free-form input of math expressions, provides fairly prompt recognition and a menu of options determined by the nature of the math itself. The user can usually obtain either symbolic or numerical answers and even 2-D and 3-D plots.

The point is not so much that MJ is a cracker-jack math solver, it's that MJ provides "click-to-select" ease to what would ordinarily be a labor-intensive activity. Better than almost anything I know, it shows WHY the tabletPC makes sense. And finally, it's LOGICAL; computers are the tool of choice for evaluating complex math... but inputting complex math to a computer was a torturous process... until now! - Steve S
It's not specifically a Tablet PC app, but Mozilla Firefox would be the #1 app I couldn't live with on my Tablet (Compaq TC1000).
#2 would be OneNote.
Well, applications SPECIFICALLY for tablet pc I would have to mention:
1) Ink desktop: Because it's perfect for those ideas that come to your mind and you don't want to lose them, or take a quick note on the phone without having to wait for any other application to open. Place a reminder where you will always see it. It's small, smart and easy to use.
In second place I would say the MS Snipping Tool.


Believe or not I still use the good ole pen journal, the app that came with it. I have tried many different apps in the research for my agency but I myself always go back to journal.

Too many apps require too much time to get to the productive level, I just don't have that time. The only other app I used extensively was the original drawing app done by Wordperfect (forgot the name) they took down the free version and replaced with an updated $ version. I lost my original download and when I switched tablets, I lost it.
Sorry to be late to the party. I have been way behind on blogs lately. It's probably expected for me to say TEO but I won't. :)

My favorite third party app that I use all the time on my tablet (but is not tablet-specific) is SnagIt from TechSmith (

The thing is, this is a tough question because the beauty of the Tablet PC is that your favorite applications still work on it. You just get unparalleled mobility and more comfortable interaction. So it's hard to find a need for too many "tablet-specific" apps.

By the way, MindManager looks great but I have not had a chance to fully evaluate it yet.
Actual Window Manager
MSN Messenger
Mind Manager

Since the screen on my TC1100 is small and option of going 19" with a rez of 1600x1200 is out of the window (with all the pun intended) - Actual Windows Manager really helps to rollthemup, make them trasparent or just pin to the top.
GoBinder (or Franklin Covey's Plan Plus) together with MS Outlook (to synch datebook and then to synch your pda to outlook). After using GoBinder for some time... Daily use of handwritten notes and having all papers documents together in one place, searching handwritten notes the same way you usually searh for typed text!!! if I had to remove all applications from my TPC and leave only one - GoBinder would be it. This single program actually makes my Tablet a Tablet, everywhere else I would still rather use my keyboard and mouse to move around.

MSN Messenger
Well, I can just write with a pen all my messages to everyone or draw whatever I want and if you want to write in a different language nothing is stopping you here...

Mind Manager is another app that is, well nothing short of remarkable if you want to SEE!!! your ideas, it is actually quite an eye openiner what a difference this program makes if you really want to explore your projects and ideas.

These four apps that what makes my Tablet PC a Tablet PC, otherwise it is a laptop.
#1 - MindManager. This program is a must for mapping out my curriculum for the year. I also use it for grant and project planning. Invaluable (and they used some of my examples!)

#2 - OneNote (and Office 2003). Meeting notes; journaling what I did my students daily; keeping track of items in the calendar; writing and tracking changes to handouts, etc.

#3 - Maxthon. I love having "mouse gestures" in this tabbed browser and, since it uses the IE engine, I get to use tools on BlackBoard that don't show up in Firefox.
Active Ink from ActiveInkSoftware is my most cherished tablet application. With it, even the $99 version, any business form can rapidly be turned into an ink enabled form, including multipage forms. When signed, the fields can be locked so they no longer can be changed. An XML version of the formed can be saved and can be reproduced for printing, etc. The data can be exported to XML and loaded into a database ... and if a database is involved, the forms can be preconfigured with database data. And you can even load the forms onto a PC that is not a tabled, and use the keyboard to enter data. It is a truly an outstanding product.
David Guest,
My "must have app" is actually two apps.. well, they're really both productivity tools and amazing time-wasters.

See.. I'm an animator. I spend a LOT of time in dailies and meetings where I pipe up for all of 1 minute, but have to sit there for at least 30 minutes to an hour. During that time, my tablet pc has become invaluable in terms of doodling.. and the best app to do this with has been Sketchbook 2.0 from alias.. it's just so quick and easy to use. I love it!

The other amazing productivity & time-wasting application is, of course, Firefox. It's not specific to tabletPC's at all... BUT when I'm not wasting time doodling, there's nothing better than wasting time searching for tablet apps on the net. :)
For the student of any age, if their is something you want to learn and not forget, RecallPlus is the software to get. Once I create my knowledge tree on a particular subject RecallPlus takes over and from time to time prompts me for a brain refresh. As a student what I most like is its ability to prepare me for testing. I simply enter the test date and the knowledge tree info that I need to know and RecallPlus then sets up a schedule in countdown mode for preparation. They have been working on bringing full inking capabilities to their software and that sholdbe ready soon. I'd suggest anyone who wants to learn and retain give it a try.
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