Pageonce Personal Assistant Review

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Editors' rating:
The Pros

Collects balance information from a wide selection of banks; Users can get alerts about account activity and spending; Syncs with social networks; Premium users can also monitor flight information;

The Cons

Mobile interface not as clean as Mint.com's

Verdict

The best way to tell, at a glance, how much money you've spent and have left. (Not to mention, peep at information about your Facebook friends and upcoming flights.)

With the ability to cull information about your bank accounts, credit card transactions, flight information, and updates in your various social networks, it's no wonder Pageonce made a recent LAPTOP list of time-saving apps. Indeed, it's one of our favorite finance apps across lots of platforms, particularly because its interface is so easy to use. While it doesn't help you save or budget money the way its competitor Mint.com does, there's no question it's just as feature-rich, and that for many people it's even easier to master. (Click here to review more finance apps

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Getting Started

Setting up a Pageonce account is free, and it takes just a minute. At any time, you can add sync with accounts from wide selection of banks and institutions, as well as store credit cards. Unlike the less elegant app Splashmoney, you won't have to enter any account numbers or routing numbers; just enter the username and password that you would use to access that account online (e.g., on CitiCards.com).

Moreover, Pageonce is unique in that you can sync with social networks as well, including Facebook and Twitter. While most platforms have native apps that do these things (or, at least, sufficient third-party options), some people might appreciate not having to leave the app to check their Facebook newsfeed. A dedicated Facebook or Twitter app looks cleaner, and more like the original site, however, and also allows you to do more. For instance, even though Pageonce knows your log-in information for Facebook and Twitter, you have to enter that information again if you want to do things such as compose a Tweet or comment on someone's Facebook wall. Without logging in a second time, you can just glance at this information.

In general, adding our financial and social networking accounts was easy, although we ran into a glitch when we entered the username and password for Charles Schwab and Banana Republic cards, and the account information appeared blank. Unlike Mint.com, whose error messages might signal a glitch is a known error, Pageonce doesn't provide an explanation when these things go wrong.

As a final customization step, you can decide if you want e-mail or SMS notifications sent, as well as for which accounts. You can't, however, decide what the triggering activity will be; if you choose to receive notifications for an account, you'll receive one every time there's been a change, which could include something as simple as you depositing a check. Pageonce's alerts appear less urgent than Mint.com's, thanks to subject lines such as, "A change that might interest you." Whereas Mint sends an alert for each incidence of account activity, which can lead to an inbox teeming with updates, Pageonce is more likely to consolidate them into one e-mail, particularly if the updates are more like confirmations of things you did voluntarily, such as transfer funds.

Mobile Apps

Pageonce is more prolific than Mint, with apps for the iPhone and iPad, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile. In each case, there's a free version with which you can check financial and social networking accounts, as well as a premium $6.99 version that adds the ability to check flight information and frequent flier miles.

From the app, you can log in using an existing account, or even register, thereby bypassing Pageonce's website. When you log in, you'll see a list of categories on top of a blue background: Accounts, Updates, Transactions, Balances, Credit Cards, Itinerary, and Add Account. Under Accounts, you'll find finance and social ones. As we mentioned, social networking feeds are less pretty than Android's native Twitter and Facebook apps, although they're still easy to follow.

Although Pageonce's overall look, with its sky blue background, is less clean than Mint's app, and although we wish it had color-coded balances to emphasize if we were in debt or had a surplus of cash, we generally found its interface to be more intuitive. That's because Pageonce's M.O. is to box off each account, showing a balance at the bottom. (To be fair, you can still view accounts within categories, such as finance.) Since we, not Pageonce's algorithms, know which accounts are most important to us on any given day, we'd rather have pieces of glancable information than Mint.com's all-encompassing balance, which dominates its homescreen. We also like that if you want more information than just a balance, you can go into a transcations section to see where you've spent money recently.

Another nice touch: When you log out you'll see a message assuring you that your data has been deleted from the device.

Verdict

Thanks to its simple, practical user interface, which cleanly presents your balance information for every bank and credit card you choose to add, Pageonce (free) is one of our favorite money management apps. If you need help organizing your money, or at least exercising self-control, Mint.com (free) is a better choice, with its guided goal programs and customizable budgets. But for people who are really interested in glancing at how much money they have (not to mention flight stats and what's new in their social worlds), Pageonce is the better choice.

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Laptop Mag & Tom's Hardware
Platforms iPhone
Platforms iPad
Platforms BlackBerry
Platforms Android
Platforms Windows Mobile
Company Website http://www.pageonce.com