CNET Editors' review
Chaos Free is actually a good name for this freeware version of Chaos Software's Time & Chaos CRM tool since keeping busy people free from chaos is its mission. To that end, Chaos Free focuses on the basics, omitting some features and support options offered by Time & Chaos (better) and Chaos Intellect (best). Chaos Free organizes and manages your contacts, phone book, schedules, appointments, notes, and task lists. It syncs with the Cloud and connects with a wide range of e-mail clients and other apps, including Microsoft Word. Chaos Free even handles everyday tasks like printing labels and calendars. Yes, it's free, and yes, it does more than some expensive tools. Chaos Free runs in both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows XP to 8.
When we first opened Chaos Free, we chose the option to create a new database, though we could also import data. With its light blue tones, "Start" button, and efficient, well-rendered layout, Chaos Free's Classic theme will fit in with many business environments and mesh well with most productivity suites, including Office, though many other themes are available under Appearance on the Options menu. Like most tools of its type, Chaos Free attempts to pack a lot of windows and data in the available space, including a calendar, search field, Contacts, Appointments, and a subfield tabbed for Phone, Notes, Field, and Photos. Unlike many such tools, Chaos Free succeeds. Its workspace is busy but businesslike and efficient, with welcome touches like draggable frames and full, separate toolbars for subwindows, many with icons directly opening Word. It's not difficult to just start adding Contacts, creating Appointments, and so on, but many users will find the Help menu's resources a good place to start, not just because of its indexed Help file and training video but also its submenus of database tools and reset options, technical support details, and more.
As we noted, there are similar tools that do much less than Chaos Free, and not nearly as well, yet cost money. If you're looking to tame the chaos of your contacts, appointments, and other critical information, this is a good place to start.
From Chaos Software Group:
Chaos Free is free version of Time and Chaos contact manager CRM to organize your telephone book, appointment schedule, and to do task list for better time management, all on one screen. All users on a network can even use the same databases at the same time to collaborate without being locked out or requiring expensive server software. Appointments on your calendar and to do items on your task list can be linked back to the matching contact in your telephone book to help you keep a complete contact history of every meeting or telephone call, including the notes you took about each event. Print mailing address labels, calendars, address books, and connect with email, fax and web applications, and mail-merge with Word.
What's new in this version: Version 220.127.116.11 has fixed a bug that would cause program to restart rather than shutdown during a program update.
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