Need todo and contacts manager
I used Outlook for 4 years, and got to really like the todo list and contacts manager. I'm at a new job where I don't have Outlook. I'm using a better mail client (Eudora), a suckier meeting planner (don't ask), mailbox folders for a todo list (inadequate), and a text file for contacts (yeech).
I recently installed the calendering plugin for Thunderbird, and it looks really cool. It has basic appointment / todo coordination with dates, but certainly not every feature of Outlook. I don't know if you can easily convert an email to a task like in Outlook, which sounds like something you want, but other than that it seemed to work well.
I have a Palm V (that I rarely use it anymore/just use the laptop). Anyway I use their Palm Desktop application to manage contacts/addresses. They have a to do list. Its free and you really dont need the Palm (and if you have one you can sync up to it). The link for the Palm Desktop is http://www.palmone.com/us/support/downloads/windesk414.html . (You will need to fill out some info to get a link to the download)
Ecco. Although development stopped in 1997 because their new owner thought it couldn't compete with Outlook, it still has at least one killer feature that no other PIM has: Outliner. To-do lists that won't allow you to break down tasks into subtasks are a pain. Add the freeware FreeWheel utility to add support for the wheel mouse, and you'll have all the features you're looking.
You can have this ( http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_gen.php?topcat_id=9&topcat_search=1&form_keyword=Outlook ) for 40$.
Just me (Sir to you)
For managing all kinds of lists and freeform text stuff, I strongly recommend TreePad (www.treepad.com). It can handle Rich Text Format, HTML, etc.
Fog Creek Home