The strap line says it all – not the more productive bit, the ‘your business’ part. Daylite 3 is a very impressive application, that can enhance your personal productivity without any doubt, but starting at $189 I feel it is somewhat expensive for personal use. That isn’t to say it isn’t a lot of application for the money, but for me, based on purely personal use I think it would be somewhat excessive.
I mention this because since I said I was reviewing it I have had a number of requests for my views from individuals and so I wanted to stress at the start of the review that it was designed for business use, it works exceptionally well for business use and while it will do a good job for you personally there are a lot of features that I don’t think you will use. If you doubt me take a look at the scenarios they have on their web site, lots of disciplines, lots of flexibility but all businesses!
All of which begs the obvious question – why do I use it? Well I suspect that like a lot of you when I add up all my activities I am in effect a business. Now I happen to earn my money from a number of sources, have a number of projects on the go and am compulsive about keeping track of things. But you know what? Don’t take my word for it – with a fully functional 30 day trial try it for yourself.
As with many things in life an items strength can also be it’s weakness, and Daylite3 is no exception. It’s strength lies in the linking which enables the flexibility, but in order to do this it has to effectively ‘take over’ your work process, and to many that feeling of being out of ‘control’ may be a problem. Initially it was for me, as my natural inclination is to ‘batch process’ updating task lists, project plans, address books etc., so I actually found the way that Daylite automatically stored emails in related projects somewhat intrusive and frustrating, but stick with it – once the database is populated and you remember to use the ‘CMD 7’ shortcut you come to appreciate all the hard work Daylite is doing on your behalf. I even tried delegating activities over the network to Sands and although the application worked a treat I can’t say it was a feature she appreciated much.
On the web site they recommend that you start gradually and build up the features that you use, and that is a must – jump straight in and in all probability you will drown, not because it is difficult, but because there is just so much that it can do that you will probably fail to complete anything.
For me probably the best way to describe Daylite is as the ‘missing bit’ that you didn’t know was missing. As a Mac user I love the core applications (Mail, Address Book, iCal) and really have had no issues switching between them all, Daylite takes away that (minor) inconvenience by pulling everything together into one place.
An exceptionally well presented and designed application that will enhance the productivity of the ‘busy in many areas’ individual and great for the small business.
Plugins & Extras
To further emphasise the power of the application, the business awareness of MarketCircle, and their excellent approach to their customers they offer a range of HUD widgets and Plugins:
Extra Fields Viewer
Search with Google
Search with Flickr
Show in MapQuest
Send to DirectMail
Big Appointment Summary
Daylite Developer Kit
For those of you with development skills it is possible to extend Daylite to better meet your needs. You can create your own reports, HUD Widgets, plugins, scripts and more. Many customers have developed unique business systems on top of Daylite to help them run their business better. These extensions can be very simple menu actions or scripts or as involved as custom windows talking to other OpenBase or SQLite databases. The developer kit is free and anything you can do through the developer kit is also free. There are no licensing or royalty costs. The developer kit has the following resources:
* Daylite Data Description document (pdf)
* Daylite Developer Guide document (pdf)
* Daylite Object Model Graph document (pdf)
* Daylite Schema Description in EOModeld format
* Xcode template
* Distributed Objects API and a test application
* F-Script and F-Script through AppleScript examples
* Objective-C header files
* Command plugins examples
* Dialer plugins examples
* HUD Widget examples