Here’s the tale of two woes. The expensive solution for project management, vs. the inexpensive solution for managing a timeline.
It’s certainly not an apples to Apple comparison, and that’s the problem. Mac utilities span the spectrum.
In other words, different strokes for different folks. Matching a solution to the problem may be the most difficult task.
I say that because I’m always looking for a better solution, an easier way to accomplish a task, new management tools. What I found recently may surprise you.
The Mac has become fertile ground for attractive, easy-to-use, and affordable applications and utilities. To mess up the English language in a way that you’ll still understand, simply put—there are fewer crummy ones, more better ones.
My case in point is a new Mac utility called Temporis, from Bartas Technologies.
At a very basic level, project management is a timeline tool. It tracks objectives, milestones, tasks, dependencies, and more. Project management applications can be laborious to learn, difficult to implement, and require constant management and updating (depending on the complexity of the project).
Temporis is a timeline tool and as basic at project management as you can get.
The interface is simple, tools are easy to understand, and customization of time lines remarkably free of effort in a drag and drop way.
While most complex projects require a timeline, not all timeline tools require a complex project. If what you want is a graphical view of a date-base timeline for various events, or simple projects you’ll enjoy Temporis. It’s remarkably unassuming and a simple tool for simpler needs.
At the other end of the Mac scale is Merlin, which bills itself as project management with a bit of magic. That’s an assessment on which I will not disagree, except for one thing. It depends.
Matching your solution with your problem has become more challenging these days because Mac application developers have found more problems, and created more solutions.
Merlin is close to the ultimate project management solution, loaded with features, with a gentle learning curve, and sporting a pure Mac-like nature—the home to all the project and task buzz words you can think of; projects, tasks, phases, procedures, resources, dependencies, deadlines, checklists, and more.
At one end of the scale of solutions is Temporis which does timelines. Simple timelines. Attractive timelines. $25 can make you look like you know what’s going on when and where, even when you’re not really sure. I call that the PowerPoint Effect™.
Merlin’s $200 price tag takes you and your projects to a completely different level of understanding, tracking, detail, collaboration, and available information that’s tracked and ready for everyone. Merlin is a good Mac citizen and integrates with Microsoft’s Project, Excel, OmniOutliner—importing and exporting.
What I like about Temporis is the brutal simplicity of setting up a timeline. What I like about Merlin is the ability to set up a project with milestones, tasks, dependencies, resources, without being a project management genius, and without the resulting expense and complexity of a Microsoft solution.
If you’ve never used such a timeline tool, Temporis makes the start of your journey rather simple in true drag and drop fashion.
As you may suspect, Merlin lays no claim to such simplicity, yet, even those with nominal project experience, but who understand the basics of a timeline, projects, milestones, and tasks, will be able to implement such in Merlin on the first day of use.
We’ve reviewed many project management solutions that span the spectrum from ultra easy to superbly capable. If you’ve not ventured into such utilities but find a growing need to create detailed timelines on projects, and are required to manage milestones and tasks with dependences, then look closely at the new crop of tools for Mac users.
Do you manage projects on your Mac? What tool would you recommend for beginners? How about those with some experience? Share your knowledge with Mac360 readers in the Comments section below.