A must-have add-in for Outlook users

Any professional who uses Outlook to manage contacts, appointments and reminders should stop whatever he or she is doing right now and download Anagram. This is an elegantly simple but remarkably useful tool that lets you grab information from anywhere on your computer with a single keystroke and place it into Outlook as a contact, an appointment or a note.

Say, for example, someone sends you an e-mail to schedule a meeting. Highlight the meeting information, hit F12, and Anagram opens a new appointment window and inserts the information. Highlight the sender’s “sig” and hit F12 and Anagram opens a contact and inserts all the information in the correct fields.

But it is not limited to e-mail. Highlight information on a Web page or in a document or in virtually any application on your computer, and Anagram figures out what to do with it. This little program is smart. It figures out whether the highlighted text is a contact, an appointment or a note, and it figures out what information goes in which field. It will even search for information you have not highlighted — so, for example, if an e-mail signature does not include an e-mail address, Anagram will pull the address from the header and ask whether to include it.

I first learned about Anagram from Buzz Bruggeman, whose ActiveWords is a great utility in itself. Since trying Anagram at his urging, I have become better at managing contacts, simply because Anagram makes it so easy. You can download the program and use it for free for 45 days. If you like it, it costs just $29.95 to buy.