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What the he** are "contacts"? Chaos Intellect review - and why that prog, too, seems to be up for the bin

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Posted by 22111
Feb 26, 2014 at 11:16 PM


In “Neudeutsch” = “New German” = a sort of German “modernist” slang trying to literally translate English Expressions into German, a “Kontakt” now is a “contact” = a contact PERSON - how wunderful!

Fact ist, if you replace the term “contact person” with “contact”, there is currently no term left for any contact (by personal call, by telephone call, by letter, by email, or any other way - are there other ways?) WITH that contact person.

Now here,


= thread “Best personal information, knowledge and idea manager software?”,

the last entry was,

Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Dec 25, 2013 at 07:18 PM
Steve wrote:
>I’ll post my usage of Chaos Intellect with my work flow in and out of
>the program - I like in that sucker every day.
Does it now support Unicode or at least a good number of codepages? in the past,  it was the main reason that I didn’t use it, even though I found it very elegant indeed.

But I refuse to give my impression on ChI in a thread named “Best…”

Since ChI is more or less rubbish.

There are 2 toptenreview.com reviews on it, in 2 different categories. Since we didn’t get the promised (see above) ChI review here, I finally downloaded not ChI trial, but “Chaos Free” (or whatever they call it, it disappeared from my system in less than an hour), BUT I also consulted all online help files, including the ChI one, in order to verify my observations - if anybody wants to correct me, feel free to do so: I’d be happy to reconsider my stance. So:

- In the web, long-term users complain about the latest version’s lack of reliability - I don’t know, I can’t say, but it certainly is an aspect to consider.

- I had trialled ChI some years ago (= previous version), and it was NOT possible to retain POP mail on the server, like that is possible in Outlook and other mail tools; in ChI you just could prolong the delay for deletion on the server up to 15 days if I remember well (or was it 30 days?), but preserving the mails on the server was not possible: Very bad - but then, today, even people like I have several devices to fetch their mail, so it’s big time to leave POP mail accounts anyway (I’m currently searching for a better solution, and I think that paying some bucks a month in order to rent a virtual cloud Exchange server is the best solution; some providers get you mail together with your domains, but not even IMAP - of course, those offerings are complete rubbish, e.g. domain.com, lotsa “special offers” for this, and just POP accounts: ridiculous (we’re 2014, remember?)).

- Then, I’m not alone in finding it visually rather appealing, which triggers some interest into this applic even if it’s not very sophisticated as a CRM.

- BUT, “contacts”, again:

in “Chaos” - a ridiculous name, but in fact, there IS chaos there, which you will not succeed in working out, so there is some premonitory value in that denomination -, you will have “contacts” (= contact persons).

You select such a person. Then, in an ideal applic, you would have a list of your “contacts” with that contact person, on screen; not so in Chaos.

You double-click on such a person; now only you’ll get “contact history” (my term) and other details.

Now, how to do that “contact history”? Chaos says you should do it by “Tasks” - of course, this is a non-sense (tasks are for the future, contact history is history), but they simply don’t have anything better to offer. I tried - it’s terrible.

Then, they have “Notes” - oh, very well, or so you think!

In fact, the plural is only there to indicate that many such contact persons can each have one note, and one only - do you realize now how primitive this applic is?

It goes without saying that for any contact history, you would want to have, as a strict minimum (= not speaking of replicas of relevant documents to such contacts!), two views/panes:

- a window for each such contact with a contact person, and ideally with some additional standard fields; ideally, also, with a filtering function (which then would only list the relevant contacts)

- a compound window for all contacts with that contact person, and where you can scroll them all (of course, the fields above would have to be “translated” into tagged text for this) (We spoke of such a compound view with the respect to Citavi.)

As said, in Chaos, you only get the second variety, in the “Notes” field, and that’s what I call Chaos; ideally, you would instead have a list field, with date, short description, kind of contact (telephone from them to us, from us to them, or personal call of our representative M/Ms xyz, email from us to them, from them to us, etc.), in a shortened form (= symbols), and then, by scrolling that list field, you would see the respective “full contact” fields.

- I had used “Act! 2000” for some time (but then left it for askSam, for CRM, and yes, AS needs some spicing up with macros before becoming a rather good CRM system, but after doing so, it IS a rather good CRM system, after all…), and so, I was rather pleased, at first look, by the additional fields Chaos has on offer, and which can be individualized… but then again, these fields apply to “contacts”, i.e. to contact persons

Now, let’s speak plain English: A CRM system which does not offer a correct contact history, has to be considered rubbish.

And, btw, most German would swear a “call” is a telephone call, and a phone call only, whilst originally, it’s the visit of a representative.

Let alone ridiculous “New German” “Handy” for “mobile( phone)” - oh yes, all this is terrible, but in the case of “contacts”, the prob lies with the English language:

Not clearly distinguishing between “contacts” (= calls and such), and contact persons (which would perhaps better be called “correspondent”, or then, “interlocutor” or something like that if you want to avoid (= for abbreviation purposes) to use identical first chars) is the first step into the wrong direction, for a crm system; then, not grasping that you need quick access to a good contact history is the second one; and finally, not becoming aware that today’s screens are larger than 1024x758 (and not making the customer profit from this) is the third and final step into real bad, for any sw.


If you have arguments why ChI was rather good or something from some other aspect, please tell us, but I think as an email tool, it’s substandard, and as a crm tool, it’s substandard, too: Having users ask, after that many years of development, even for CORE functionality, is not professional; lack of imagination in core elements is éliminatoire.

Also, if some native speaker had some ideas about better terms for “contact person” (or then, for “contact” in the sense mail/phone call/etc, so that “contact” could be preserved for what I call “contact person” at this time), that would be a treat, for us, and for the industry as a whole. And yes, it would be splendid if such term translated well into other languages like German, French, Spanish…



Posted by Prion
Feb 27, 2014 at 09:38 AM


With all due respect, I find your posts rather hard to read at times and even when I do, it is often unclear what I am supposed to do.


Posted by tightbeam
Feb 27, 2014 at 12:09 PM


I believe it’s a rant about Chaos Intellect based on that product’s use of the ubiquitous term “contact”. But it could also be about the Westminster Dog Show. I’m not sure.


Posted by Paulo Diniz
Feb 27, 2014 at 04:07 PM


I find it ironic its about a piece of software called “Chaos Intellect”.


Posted by Franz Grieser
Feb 27, 2014 at 04:45 PM


You made my day, Paulo.


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