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Daylite 5 adds refinements to the business management app

Marketcircle's Daylite has been around for a number of years, pulling in Best of Show awards at Macworld/iWorld and kudos from happy users. The application, which comes in Mac, iPhone and iPad versions, is a full-featured system for keeping track of your business. Whether it's calendar, email, or contact management; project tracking or following up on business opportunities, Daylite is hands-down the best and most comprehensive tool for managing a business. Now the company has just introduced Daylite 5, the latest version of the multi-platform solution.

Priced at US$299.95 per user, Daylite 5 includes licenses for the Mac, iPhone and iPad apps, as well as for the Mail Assistant (used to link Daylite and Mail) and Daylite Server. Existing Daylite 4 users can update for $199.95, while Daylite 3 owners can make the jump for $249.95.

What does the new version provide? A lot of refinement to an already polished set of apps. The new Insight View is described as a "visual summary of your data" that "helps you discover patterns and answer questions about your business." By displaying a number of graphs on one screen, it's easy to see patterns appear and then make comparisons. Clicking on a bar chart drills into summaries, and dragging across a timeline allows even further focus on project details.

My personal new favorite feature is the timeline, which provides a quickly scrolling list of project information and associated emails to give a history of what went on during a period of time. Hovering on a small graphical timeline to the left of the timeline detail allows you to quickly jump to a specific date, while filters create a way to grab only certain pieces of information -- like emails associated with a project -- while getting the others out of the way.

One feature that Daylite users had been asking for is now present -- repeating tasks. Regularly scheduled tasks such as project status meetings can be set to repeat daily, weekly, monthly or for any other time period.

The iPad and iPhone apps have received an amazing makeover, with a flat, simple design that would make Jony Ive happy. Searching is available from the Daylite home screen, and synchronization with the Daylite server is done in background. Those of us with mature eyes love the way that Daylite now uses the text size that's chosen in the Settings app so that it's possible to read details without squinting or holding the iPhone screen two inches from our faces.

On the Mac app, the sidebar now has the ability to have folders and subfolders added to group items, and since those folders can be opened and closed, it's possible to hide those projects or groupings that are unimportant at a particular time. You can even hide the sidebar altogether to make more room on your workspace.

The Daylite Mail Assistant now has the capability of allowing you to update details in Daylite right from within Mail.app. If a contact's information (email, address, phone number, etc...) has changed, or if you need to change the status of a project, there's no need to jump into Daylite -- it can all be done in Mail.

Marketcircle has also provided more advanced filtering capabilities to allow you to dig into your data -- for example, you can search all contacts that have no opportunity associated with them to provide a list of customers you should cold call.

Finally, the Mac app has received a redesign that provides a visual look and feel that is closer to the iOS apps. Things are less cluttered and much easier to read in the revised app.

Marketcircle has obviously listened to Daylite customers in making the changes to Daylite 5, and all of the apps now have a much more streamlined and polished feel to them. For existing Daylite users, making the jump to Daylite 5 might cause some temporary heartburn as you get used to the new features and find your way around, but you'll quickly get back up to speed and be able to accomplish more in less time.

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