The word database probably scares most computer users, Mac or PC. It sounds complicated to set up, complicated to use.
A phonebook is a database. Address Book and iCal are easy-to-use databases. What would I recommend for Mac users who need to store information but are afraid of the complexity of setting up and managing a database? Start simple with a free, personal database app.
Store Things In A Simple Database
Yes, databases can be complex beasts to manage, and they can become very complicated. Address Book and iCal hide the database application functions behind an easy-to-use, rather intuitive interface.
Let me start with a simple need. Where do you store information about things you own?
Mac users can choose from a few dozen database apps which manage Mac application serial numbers, keep product purchase details, hold financial information. The more it does, the more complex it becomes.
InserziaThings is a simple Mac database app to store, well, things. Almost anything. It’s an app that is easy to set up and easier to use and the learning curve is one notch beyond instant.
The interface is drop dead simple. Date. Name. Category (user defined).
First, click the Plus + sign in the lower left corner of the InerziaThings window. That brings up the Inspector where the detail for each entry is placed.
InerziaThing’s interface is product oriented, hence the Brand, Model, Serial Number, and Warranty data fields. It would be better if each field could be renamed.
That said, the Categories field is user defined, which extends ‘Things usefulness to all kinds of products—perhaps a whole home inventory.
InerziaThings’ Preferences are equally straightforward, yet reflect the general product focus. Warranty length can be changed. The Appearance tab sets font sizes.
The only gripe I have is with ‘Things focus on products. As a database it could be useful for many other situations if the data fields could be renamed. Otherwise, InerziaThings is useful for storing just the information you need to track what you own—home inventory or Mac applications and serial numbers.
This kind of database is good for a home office, too, helping to track and maintain product inventory.
Assuming you have a lot of stuff, things, that need to be tracked, you’ll also need a search function, and ‘Things has that, too. Search by Title, Brand, or Category (defined by the user).
That’s it. InerziaThings could have many more features, but the price tag would rise from donationware to full on commercial (more features require more development and more support). What it does it does well and the price tag (whatever you want it to be) is attractive for Mac users who want the Mac to remember all those pesky product details.