Daylite, Marketcircle’s contact, schedule, project, and sales management program, is designed to help you stay on top of everything your business is doing. It’s purpose is to keep you focused on two objectives: Tracking new business opportunities and following through on what you promise to current and potential customers.
Daylite can be used by organizations with users who need access to company data on all their devices no matter where they are. When I last reviewed the app Marketcircle offered a self-hosted option: you set up your own server in your office and managed it like any other server, or they recommended you use Macminicolo’s colocation services, which is kind of like self-hosting with a better backbone—Macminicolo offers stellar, Mac-based colocation services. Marketcircle still offers these two options for $300 per user, but now also offers a cloud-based hosted service option starting at $29 per user per month.
For the purposes of this review I used Marketcircle’s cloud-based service with initial data that was created by Marketcircle. I found it to be fast, quickly synced across all my devices (as long as I had access to the Internet), and overall worked quite well.
I have to laugh a little here, as one of the things I complained about in my last review remains an issue in the current version of Daylite. In short, all the video tutorials on Marketcircle’s website are about Daylite 5. Fortunately there’s not a huge UI difference between versions 5 and 6, but they are different enough that new Daylite users might find themselves looking for things that don’t exist in the same exact locations as they are in the videos. I recommend clicking the Help menu and downloading the User Guide, which is up to date. (Although, the document’s footers all reference Daylite 5!) This documentation issue is also mitigated somewhat by Daylite’s new First Run Tips feature, which displays context-specific information related to Daylite’s features.
Everything in one place
The main idea behind Daylite is to centralize every aspect of your business in a single location and allow everyone involved in a project to update information. Daylite’s sidebar provides one-click access to the app’s Calendar, Contact, Objectives, Tasks, Notes & Email, Forms, and Groups. Because this is a tool designed for group work, most of the items in the sidebar allow you to quickly filter the information you see either by using the search tool or by selecting a specific item.
For example, if you look at Daylite’s calendar you’ll see your personal calendar, a calendar for all users and resources and individual calendars for each of your team members. This allows you to very quickly see what’s going on in your organization and make day-to-day assessments of what’s on tap.
Since this is a collaboration tool, it’s important to have a way to manage what users can see and who has access to what information. Daylite offers (within the app’s preferences) tools for managing access to any Daylite object. Using the permissions tool you can create permissions presets that provide a defined set of permissions for specific users and groups and then apply those permissions to the objects you want. My only complaint about the permissions tool is that it requires that you restart Daylite for every new permissions change you make.
One of my favorite Daylite features is the app’s Mail Assistant. When you install Daylite a Mail app extension gets installed that links Apple’s Mail app to Daylite. Once installed a new sidebar appears in the Mail app allowing you to quickly link any email message to an existing Daylite contact, objective, task, and apply viewing permissions. When you do this the email message you’ve linked appears within Daylite.
Linked email messages become part of your Daylite database, where you can make changes to a document, update permissions, and link them to other objects. This makes no changes to the original email message.
Import(ant) fix not in
I said earlier that there was one thing that wasn’t fixed since my previous review. I confess now that I was only half accurate. Both of the things I complained about in my last review still haven’t been fixed in Daylite 6, the second item being the introduction and duplication of contacts when importing Calendar app data.
In short, if you import calendar data and you have calendar items with contact information embedded in them, you will end up with a Daylite contact record for every one of those events. The upside is that it’s unlikely you’ll import calendar data more than once, but seriously folks… you’ve had some time to work this out. Hopefully it will be resolved by the time Daylite 7 is released. Or sooner! (I hope.)
Unfixed issues aside, Daylite 6 remains an excellent tool for creating, managing, and keeping business and business opportunities. The app’s Mail Assistant streamlines linking correspondence to Daylite clients and projects and Marketcircle’s cloud-based hosted service offers “always-on” access to servers that you don’t have to manage. If centralized client management is what you need you’ll be hard pressed to find a better tool than Daylite.