Seeing Daylite3


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.

Seeing Daylite


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:

FTP Plugin
Extra Fields Viewer
Google Map
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


16 thoughts on “Seeing Daylite3

  1. Andy Rudkin

    Wow… sounds like a cracking app for my kind of business. I must say that the £565 price tag for a company of our size (with the Mail integration) does kinda stop me in my tracks. However, having used a few ‘free’ CRMs in the past, this may well be something worth smashing the piggy bank for!

    Cheers Chris, another great review

  2. Mac Sokulski

    Great review. I’m always looking for something that will let me organize my work. So far I like the email integration, and the ability to link everything and everybody. I guess I will have to get used to the idea of not using my iCal and Address book. Now back to playing.

  3. Mac Sokulski

    Well I’m not impressed at all. As the application worked fine yesterday,this morning it could not connect to the database. No matter what I tried it just refused to connect. Reinstalling the software did not help. I can tell you one thing, uninstalling this is a pain. So after installing the Apple mail addition, the palm conduit sync and making all kinds of modifications and settings to the application to make it work the way I do, and it stops working the next day. It does not make me very happy, and it doesn’t instill any confidence of using it. So as of now, the app is uninstalled and gone. I’m back to iCal and MailTags. Too bad, as the app looked like something I might actually use.

  4. Chris Marshall Post author

    That doesn’t sound good at all! I didn’t have any problems BUT I don’t own a Palm so can’t comment on anything to do with that.

    Why do you say it is a pain to uninstall it?

    Hopefully the developer will pick up your commments and respond.

  5. Mac Sokulski

    Ok now I’m really not impressed. The Palm Conduit deleted all other Palm conduits from Missing/Sync. Right now all I have is backup and install. That’s just lovely.
    Why is it a pain to uninstall? Because you have to jump around to different Library folders either global or user, and delete parts of it. A lot of programs that use an actual installer have a uninstall option under Customize install. Back to getting my Palm Conduits back in order.. Don’t even know where to start. Damn!

  6. Mac Sokulski

    The main app you probably could AppZap, but the mail plugin and the Palm conduits not really, since they are not apps.

  7. andie Smith

    Sounds like a great app on paper…but i think I’ll agree with you and say its a tad much for a one man (or woman in my case) show.

  8. Chris Marshall Post author

    For the one ‘person’ show I must say OmniFocus is starting to stack up really well!!!!!

  9. Wayne LeFevre

    I love OmniFocus! I tried and tried for months to use Daylight, but it just wasn’t happening for me. It was too much stuff and too much of a learning curve for what I would have been using it for. Otherwise, for real businesses, it would probably be OK. I even think they have personal trainers that will come to your company.

  10. Mac Sokulski

    Well Mr. Lucky beta tester. Don’t tease with Omni Focus. It’s not out yet, so there is nothing so play with. Right now iGTD works very very well and it syncs with iCal and .Mac and works very nicely with Mail tags. And iGDT is free to boot. Very well writen app that gets better and better.

  11. Dunks

    Currently spending time with Dave Allens GTD book and trialling iGTD which grows on me every day. I have also installed mail tags for which integrates with iGTD. So far so good but a bit to learn. Regarding Daylite – installed it, got scared by the seemingly complex nature of it but will persevere for the time being. I do some web design work on the side and am looking for a good ‘organiser’ for this small business but think Daylite may be overkill. Also exploring the 37 signals route of using basecamp and Highrise to see if they are possibilities.

  12. Chris Marshall Post author

    @Dunks: I think you will find OmniFocus does the job you want

    @Mac: I know – salt in the wound and all that 🙂

  13. Henry

    Our business has four people. Daylite 3 has been ok but the complexity or more properly the variety of ways to set up lists, smart lists, groups, contacts, etc. has confused me so that I’m unable to export mailing lists or use the sales pipeline feature. Frustrating. There are no certified Daylite trainers. We also use Basecamp from 37signals for project management. And Google Calendar. And Entourage (MS Outlook for the Mac OS). What a mishmash. I can switch to anything. Can use whatever suite or group of apps. But what a time suck to try to figure it all out. I want Daylite to work but am thinking about giving up on it. Bummer.

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