Tips, Tricks and Secrets: #3 Launch Multiple Instances

As Chaos Software celebrates our 21st birthday, we are posting 21 tips, tricks and secrets to getting the most out of our software.

Tip #3: Launch Multiple Instances

This tip isn’t for everyone. Most people only have one set of data and have no need to open it twice.  Even for people with more than one data folder, you can drive yourself crazy keeping up with two or three instances of the program going on all at the same time.

If you need it though, you’re already being driven crazy by the demands of the job, so being able to have two or more copies of Intellect or Time & Chaos going at once is much better than the normal toggling back and forth you would otherwise do.

So, what’s the trick?  Shift-Click!  Instead of the mouse-only click that starts the first instance of the program, hold down the shift key with the other hand when you click on the icon to start up the program.  Instead of switching you to the already running instance, it will start a new one which you can use to reopen a different database and have both going at the same time!

Tips, Tricks and Secrets: #2 Google Maps support

In celebration of Chaos Software’s 21 years in business, we are posting 21 of our favorite tips, tricks and secrets for our software products.

Tip #2: Google Maps support

If you have contacts in Intellect 4, Time & Chaos 8 or ChaosFree, you can utilize Google Maps to get the location or even directions to a contact by using the so-called business card section on the right side of the contact list.

Business Card to Google Maps

Just click directly on the visible address, and your default web browser will pop up and deliver you to Google Maps with this same address already selected.

If you want the secondary address instead, look for the arrow button to the right of the address and click on it. This button toggles the address between primary and secondary.

Finally, the button with the two pieces of paper will copy the current address to the clipboard to be pasted into other applications.

Tips, Tricks & Secrets: #1 Go To Date

Chaos Software is celebrating our 21st birthday this year! To commemorate, we are posting 21 of our favorite tips, tricks and secrets in our software products.

Tip #1: Go To Date

This one is found in Intellect, Time & Chaos, and Chaos Free.

Why use it? If you are trying to go to a date that is far away, don’t click the next year over and over and over. Just use this Go To Date feature and type in the date you want to be taken directly there. Even better, what if you have something that needs to happen in 90 days from now or needs to happen 90 days before a specific deadline? Go To Date is for you!

There are two ways to trigger the Go To Date. One method is to right click anywhere in the navigation calendar(s) on the left side of our screen. The other is to click on a date in the nav calendar, then press CTRL-G on your keyboard. Either way, you’ll get a popup that says “Enter a date or a numeric value”.

Enter a date like 4/1/2016 if you know the exact date you want to move to. You can also put in +90 or -90 and the calendar will jump to exactly 90 days after (+) or before (-) the currently selected date. You even have options for other time periods than days to jump by years, months, weeks, or weekdays, if need be.

GoTo Date

Your ability to juggle many tasks will take you far

Today at lunch, I had Chinese food and received the following fortune cookie message: Your ability to juggle many tasks will take you far.fortunecookie I certainly realize that fortune cookies are meant to have nice platitudes that appeal to almost everyone who might receive it, but this particular fortune reminded me that if I am good at juggling tasks, it is only due to my use of Chaos Intellect (and Time & Chaos before that).

Task management is a popular thing now. Everyday I see another announcement for a new task tracking website or app for my phone.  I have tried many of them, mostly to look for good ideas, but I’ve yet to use one that I thought could top Intellect or Time & Chaos?  Why?

The tasks in Intellect and Time & Chaos only show you today’s list.  I don’t need to worry about tomorrow yet, so future ones are hidden until the day comes for them to appear.  I don’t need to worry about completed items. I know they are stored safely and can be found easily, but they don’t need to distract me from today, either.  Instead, our task list is an immediate reminder of just the things I need to worry about right now (or at least, before the end of the day).

As I work through my list from top to bottom, if I don’t plan to do the first thing on my list, I try to decide when I do plan to do it, and I drag it to the calendar on the left to reschedule it.  When the day comes, this item will popup on my list again, but for now, it is out of the way and no longer a distraction from what I am juggling for today.

When I finish an item, if appropriate, I add some notes about what I did, then I mark it as done to keep a record of it. (Over the phone, I hear people telling me that they delete items when they are done, but since our programs only show you current tasks and don’t make you fight through a long list of completed items, I think you should never delete but keep it, mark it done, and keep a record of what you’ve done and when.)

At the end of the day, if I rush out the door without completing each of my tasks, there is a “safety net” feature in our programs that will roll over unfinished items to the next day. That way, you are still juggling the task without forgetting about it and dropping the ball.  Incomplete items show up along with all the new items scheduled for the new day and I can start marching through them again the way I did yesterday.

I admit, sometimes I do procrastinate. (No one reading this blog would do that, right?).  One bonus tip I can offer is to right-click on the task column headings in Intellect 4 or Time & Chaos 8 and turn on the “date” column.  That way, if you do happen to procrastinate, you can easily see which items have been sliding for a few days and are past due.

If you haven’t been using the Tasks area of Intellect or Time & Chaos to their full potential, hopefully this has given you some good ideas and will bring you good fortune, too.


Merge Fields for Drag and Drop Text

One of the “hidden” features in Intellect and Time & Chaos is the ability to customize the drag and drop text when creating a new Appointment or Task from a Contact.

While using the Classic view for instance, you can drag a Contact’s name to the Appointment or Task area and a new record will be created.  The same holds true for dragging a Contact to the Calendar or Task navigation buttons at the lower left of the program or for dragging a Contact to the left hand calendars for creating an Appointment specifically.When you create an Appointment or Task through this drag and drop process, the description will be automatically filled with some text based on a setting in Options such as “Meeting With” or “Call” followed by the Contact’s name.

If you click on Options at the top of our software and then go to the Calendar or Task section, you can then modify the text that creates this description.  The cool hidden feature here is the ability to add merge fields to this text.  In both the Calendar and Task area of Options, the “Default Drop Text” can contain special merge fields.

These fields must be formatted properly to make sense to the program.  Each field is essentially given a corresponding number.  For instance, the Primary Address Line 1 field is field number 8.  So if you changed the default drop text for Appointments to:

Meeting at «8» with

The Appointment description would automatically fill in with something like:

Meeting at 123 Main Street with John Smith
Options Screen Showing Default Drop TextNOTE: The type of brackets used are important.  You can copy and paste the brackets from this article to use in your merge fields to make sure the correct brackets are used.For reference, the fields and their corresponding numbers (in brackets) are given below.  Keep in mind, the Contact’s name is included automatically after the drop text.  If copying and pasting using the following information, you would only need to copy the number and brackets.

«1» Last Name
«2» Company Name
«3» Create Date
«4» Last Modified Date
«5» Group
«6» First Name
«7» Title

«8» Primary Address Line 1
«9» Primary Address Line 2
«10» Primary City
«11» Primary State
«12» Primary Zip
«13» Primary Country

«14» Secondary Address Line 1
«15» Secondary Address Line 2
«16» Secondary City
«17» Secondary State
«18» Secondary Zip
«19» Secondary Country

«20» Category
«21» Prefix
«22» Suffix
«23» Notes

«24» Custom Field 1
«25» Custom Field 2

«43» Custom Field 20

«44» Phone Label 1
«45» Phone Label 2

«63» Phone Label 20

«64» Phone Field 1
«65» Phone Field 2

«83» Phone Field 20