Back in February, I heard about ActiveWords from my friend, Chris Kunicki. I communicated briefly in email with the two braintrusts behind this product, and they encouraged me to give it a try. I have intended to do so for nearly 7 months, but I could not whittle down my inbox enough to get the time.

Well, as you know, I have my inbox down to a manageable number of messages (I report on it frequently here, and I am currently at 165). I finally installed ActiveWords, and I am compelled to say here and now that this is a truly innovative, useful, time-saving, and powerful product. Imagine typing a small keyword at ANYTIME when in Windows to launch Outlook and open up a new task. How about launching IE and navigating to a special URL with only a couple of key strokes? Wouldn't it be nice to be able to do text substitutions in just a couple of keystrokes- not just in Office (autotext feature does this, but not in quite the same way as ActiveWords), but in any program? The uses are endless, and I am already employing a dozen or so of them. I have only had it installed since this morning.

It is truly rare for me to find a program whose addictive quality is matched only by its usefulness. Plain and simple: I am saving time by using this product. The Outlook agent I installed is very polished, and I am comfortable with it already. There is even a forum and some users sharing ActiveWords scripts etc.

One of the things I really liked was how simple and straight-forward the tutorial is that launches right after the installation. It took me 3 minutes, and I was soon moving to advanced features. I am not wild about their help documentation (I work for the part of Microsoft that does developer and user documentation), but I get complaints about our documenation as well. I would suggest some improvements to aspects of the program, but it is great product. I encourage you to visit the Office Marketplace  to learn more or visit their Web site.

 Second Rock Thought for the day:  The Hives album "Tyrannosaurus Hives" is true punk- plain and simple. I love the title of the first track, "Abra Cadaver". When I listen to these songs, I go back 20 years to highschool. Punk was good then, and, when unadorned as this Hives album is, it's good now. This is the real thing.

Rock on