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Web 2.0 Journal Product Review: "Zoho Planner"

Simple, Elegant, Online Planning Software

Web 2.0 Journal editor-in-chief Dion Hinchcliffe writes: The Zoho series of online software products from AdventNet has been growing quickly over the last year, and their Zoho Planner product has just been revamped. Designed specifically for the Web 2.0 era, Zoho Planner is an online service for managing task lists and appointments. 

Zoho Planner has some basic collaboration features, and provides all of its functionality completely as an online service.  There is no software to download, install, or upgrade, ever.  The new version of Zoho Planner is 100% free and allows users to manage an unlimited number of pages anywhere they go.
 
Using a wiki-like page model as a unit of work and collaboration, Zoho Planner lets you drop to do lists, appointments, file attachments, and notes on a page at will and then share them out for others to view or work on.  A nice feature in particular is the ability to import your To Do lists and appointments into your iCal calendar.  To Do list management was basic, with no hierarchical structure.  I would have liked to see a notes section for each To Do item to add background information.
 
Zoho Planner offers the now expected Ajax client and in my tests, the resulting interface was clean and natural to use, in fact, probably one of the best I’ve seen.  Overall application performance seemed quite good including round-trips to the server for updating data.  Use of Zoho Planner did bog down a bit on a slower 1Ghz client machine once I loaded up a few dozen data items, but the application remained usable.  Long running tasks always provided a visual cue that something was happening, and I encountered no bugs in my testing.  Overall, interaction experience gets a big thumbs up.
 
And while Zoho Planner claims to be Web 2.0 software, a few of the expected Web 2.0 features were missing.  No RSS feeds are available for planner pages and permalinks only work at the user account level, not the page.  A public API that exposes the underlying Web services is also not available.  However, tagging of planning pages is supported and worked well.
 
Overall Zoho Planner is a basic but capable planning service that is exceptionally easy to use.  Users with advanced project management needs will need to go elsewhere, but the features are more than adequate for most users, and the price is right.  And you’d be hard pressed to find planning software much easier to use.  And one of the great things about Web 2.0 software, is that the upgrade experience is continuous, I look forward to watching Zoho Planner evolve in the future.

More Stories By RIA News Desk

Ever since Google popularized a smarter, more responsive and interactive Web experience by using AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) for its Google Maps & Gmail applications, SYS-CON's RIA News Desk has been covering every aspect of Rich Internet Applications and those creating and deploying them. If you have breaking RIA news, please send it to [email protected] to share your product and company news coverage with AJAXWorld readers.

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