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Don’t go there. Don’t even try it.

Conclusion

I can honestly say that as far as Mac project management software goes, I have now been there and done that. I think I have in fact more or less done all of them. It’s a slippery slope, a bit like crack cocaine I imagine: once you have started it’s very tricky to stop. If you are generally ok with remembering stuff and like writing lists with pen and paper, don’t go there. Don’t try it, not even once. Trust me. Simply turn off the computer and hide behind a bookshelve before you get hooked.

Admittedly, managing your next independent film shoot, theatre production, exhibition or installation with a clipboard alone may not be ideal. So, where do you turn? Have I found a new home in the candy-coloured world of OmniGroup? A quick look back on my spec sheet will tell me otherwise. In fact, all I have to do is think about my project with dear old Rudolph in Dubai: I can see immediately that while OmniFocus will help me sort out my own life, it will certainly not do much when it comes to collaborating remotely, assigning tasks to co-workers, managing events and contacts or tracking actions. I can just about display my project graphically by tweaking OmniPlan, but that’s all – and actually, if that’s all the mileage I will be getting out of OmniPlan, maybe I should seriously think about buying some felt pens and a wall calendar.

All in all, Daylite seemed to be the most convincing application for the admittedly rather comprehensive set of requirements I have. What I want, at the end of the day, is to be able to do all the tracking and organising in one single application that is mobile, inter-connective and fast. If the rumours about Daylite Touch are anything to go by, I may just get that with Marketcircle’s newest tool – either way, we will know more in January.

In the interim, it may be worth keeping an eye out for Now Software’s Nighthawk, which is the only competitor to Daylite on the Mac when it comes to all-inclusive business productivity tools. Nighthawk is a cross-platform application that is due out next year and will initially only consist of a contact and a calendar module, with more to be added, it seems, at a later stage. Its predecessor was Now Up-to-Date and Contact, which now looks seriously out-of-date but actually had some nice features likes “banners” for multi-day events in the calendar view. Nighthawk will also give you the opportunity to drop an American flag into your calendar sheet and use it as a background. Wow. Who said project management was boring?

While we are still on the topic, I should probably also mention Project X, seeing as this application is even featured in the Apple Store. Project X is basically, very much like Merlin, a gantt-chart software. It has less features, uses some horribly looking “creative” way of drawing up PERT charts, and looks generally very dull. In return, it is a little bit more expensive than Merlin. Judge for yourself.

Rudolph, that much is certain, will have to wait a little while before I can get that all-singing, all-dancing project plan to him. What I have not mentioned yet is that installing nine project management applications on my machine simultaneously and synching them all with iCal, Address Book, Mail and the iPhone basically corrupted my SyncServices database for good and cost me about three sleepless nights while I watched the system slowly rebuild itself. All other apps were frozen of course, so there was not much else to do but to scribble on some scrap paper that was lying around. Just a few thoughts, stuff I need to get done and so on….

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