4 Replies Latest reply: Dec 2, 2007 1:23 PM by Gavin Lawrie
Wesley108 Level 1 (0 points)
I'm sure this question has been asked before but I can't find it anywhere. Plus, I'm not sure if I'm even in the right place. But, can you tell me what contact management software works the best for Mac?

Also, I'm new to using such software, is there anything specific I should be looking for when choosing one?


iMac 4, 1 (intel core duo), Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • Gavin Lawrie Level 2 (395 points)
    I'm sorry to say there isn't much around. It has been a bit of a weak spot for Mac / OS X for ages - but things are possibly improving.

    Any CRM solution for OS X needs really to co-operate with Address Book and iCal - so you can sync your stuff out to PDAs or whatever, and use them in Mail / iWork / Office 2008 etc. that are already written to work with such info in AB and iCal. If it doesn't, you end up with a closed-off app that can't easily work with you on the machine, and which then has to re-do code that already exists. Odd design constraints in earlier versions of iCal and AB made this harder - they were not very aware of other systems / apps. But this is changing in Leopard, and there are some promising things on the horizon (though none really useful solutions avail yet).

    Of those out there, probably the best notional app is (in my view) Now Software's Nighthawk (http://www.nowsoftware.com/nighthawkSubsite/index.html). It is written by a team with a solid track record of CRM development on Macs, and is apparently designed to play nice with iSync and the rest. Trouble is it doesn't yet exist - rumours of a public Beta have been out there for months, but the date keeps slipping. Could be a good thing, or signs of major problems - who knows. Realistically you'll not see anything commercially viable from them before April next year I reckon.

    But waiting could be good. The other attempt we've seen is SOHO Organizer by Chronos Software. (http://www.chronosnet.com/Products/sohoorganizer.html) In description it does the business - iSync / iCal / AB compatible. But it has had a troubled development, and there is lots of grim sounding reports of trouble with the app on the net. The developers are not very kind to themselves with not much disclosure and (at least last time a looked) a restrictive demo / preview policy (you get one trial period, and that's it, for ever! Even if they bring out a major version number change). My personal experience is that they tell a much better marketing story than they deliver in software - but I've steered clear of the app for a long time now (after a seriously bad experience) but who knows, they might well have caught up with their ambitions by now.

    There are many others about that are really central web-based systems - which is fine provided you don't want to use Mail / AB / iCal or sync any of this to your phone / PDA / .Mac or whatever.

    So, nothing much going on now. But ever hopeful...

    If anyone knows more / other stuff - would be good to know about. We're still travelling hopefully.

    Message was edited by: Gavin Lawrie - correct typo
  • petesweaty Level 1 (120 points)
    I use to live by my now contact/now up to date software as a sales person. It would run circles around ACT which my companies would force us to use. I would always stick with my now contact software anyway. I even had a nice small GPS device which would map my route on my Powerbook Directly from the contact software, This was back in my OS9 days. Nowdays with Address book being the defacto base of operation for storing records and integrating more and more with other programs I use address book. Though I know you need more as I do. I was hoping Filemaker Pro would develop something useful which would link to address book. I've sampled Filemaker's new bento but it's still seems a long way off for serious business use as a contact manager. If I expect anything to come out, Filemaker Pro hopefully will be the contender to achieve it. Also don't depend on Quickbooks to integrate financial data. They seem 20 years behind on the apple platform.
  • Ian Morrison1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Now Contact and Up to Date is one of the best but rather creaky these days.

    I reckon the future lies with web apps, such as Highrise, provided you can get on line any time you need to.
  • Gavin Lawrie Level 2 (395 points)
    Ian Morrison1 wrote:
    I reckon the future lies with web apps, such as Highrise, provided you can get on line any time you need to.

    Not if you want to have any of the information in your Address Book (and so be able to use it with things like Pages) or sync any of the phone numbers to your phone, or keep a copy of a calendar on a PDA etc.

    There are dozens of web-only CRM type systems out there, and many that are free and open source - but all suffer from problem of not linking well to either the OS X standard apps (AB, iCal etc) or to anything that plugs into a Mac.

    Fingers crossed this will change for the better in 2008.