If you were to ask most Mac users to name the best software for business use, Microsoft Office for Mac probably would top the list. After that, what? QuickBooks? Maybe.
The iCal, Address Book, Mail trio? Sure, they’re great, integrated apps, but lack many features businesses require. With Apple’s iWork competing in the Office space, is there another suite of apps that can be valuable to business users? The answer is yes, and it’s a surprise.
Out With Entourage, In With Daylite
My business tool of choice for about a decade has been Microsoft Office for Mac, but, specifically, Entourage for Mac.
After all, iWork—with Pages, Keynote, and Numbers—can power many business operations as well as Office.
Entourage, though, is different because it mixes and matches the right balance of email, contacts, tasks, projects, and calendar to make a suite of productive tools. So, what’s not to like?
Entourage is going away. Microsoft plans to give Mac users a version of Outlook. So, if I have to move to something new, different, and challenging, why not look around to see what else is there?
That’s where Daylite comes in.
How To Stay Productive With Something New
Daylite is billed as a productivity manager for big business, small business, or one-person business. Like Entourage, Daylite has shared calendars, tasks and projects and a single window view of your world.
All the pieces integrate—calendars, tasks, projects, notes, groups, appointments, and, importantly, sales tracking—and they’re all in one place, one window, one click away.
Don’t get me wrong. I like iCal, Address Book, and Mail, but they’re lacking in other aspects required by business—tasks and projects, specifically. True, iCal lets you publish calendars online, but Daylite lets you integrate calendars with other coworkers.
Appointments can be associated with other information, such as notes, and opportunities (more on that, later). Regardless, Daylite’s calendar can be synced to iCal, so you can keep personal and business separated, but in sync.
Tasks And Projects
iCal does not do project management. Even the thought of managing projects and tasks and assignments can be daunting. Daylite isn’t Microsoft Project, so you’re not going to construct a building with it.
But Daylite provides Mac users with an artful blend of simplicity and power. Tasks are simple to set up and use. Set reminders. Set an estimated time, drop them into your schedule, and then, link tasks together to form a project.
Daylite even lets you delegate tasks or projects to others, but gives you notification of changes, updates, or completion.
Projects are really nothing more than a bunch of related tasks strung together, sometimes in sequence, sometimes overlapping. Daylite lets you set up projects with specific milestones, each milestone holding one or more tasks.
Again, all these pieces are integrated into a single window, and perform together in a seamless manner.
Scheduling, tasks, and projects are one thing. What about email, contacts, and mobility. How does Daylite differ from Entourage?
Again, the idea is to bring all these business functions into a single place on your Mac from which to work, and make it work well with others, whether they’re on your Mac network, or in the field.
Tomorrow, on Part 2 we take a detailed look at how Daylite manages communication (via email), streamlines office workflow, helps you build new business (contacts and tracking), and provides an integrated way to stay fully synchronized with other devices, including the iPhone.