Small business owners who have chosen to use a Mac often wonder, “What’s the best contact manager for the Mac?” The answer, obviously, is, “It depends on your needs.” I’ll describe my situation and decision, my hope is that you might find my story helpful.
I’m a retired medical doctor. I run a small business from home. I communicate with thousands of customers and hundreds of team members internationally.
Solutions I’ve purchased:
- FileMaker (last version owned v7.x)
- Now Up to Date and Contact (NUDC) (last version owned v4.x)
- Chronos’ SOHO Organizer (last version owned v5.x)
- Marketcircle’s Daylite (last version owned 3.5.x)
- Contactizer Pro
It hasn’t been easy for Mac contact manager developers:
- the transition from OS 9 to OS X
- Mac’s switch from Power PC to Intel processors
- frequent OS X version updates, most recently OS X 10.5 Leopard
- integrating with Apple’s Address Book app
Apple’s Address Book is more powerful than many users realize, but it can be difficult, even impossible, to make it work for a small business.
SOHO Organizer and Daylite install an OpenBase SQL database on your Mac. I understand NightHawk will also us a SQL database, but not OpenBase. Syncing SQL databases with Apple’s Address Book has proven to be problematic, particularly in a multi-user environment.
Frequent visits to the developer’s support forums suggest that there are currently quite a few disgruntled Mac contact manager users. Some NUDC users are frustrated because the release of NightHawk, a new version of their app, has been significantly delayed. A few Daylite users are perturbed by Marketcircle’s delay releasing a 10.5 compatible version. Some grumble Daylite’s calendar and UI is showing its age. The Chronos forum disappeared altogether suggesting that frequent negative feedback might have been hurting SOHO Organizer sales.
I happily used Daylite until the arrival of Mac OS X Leopard caused me to rethink my data management strategy. My needs are very simple. I wondered, “Could I get by with just Address Book and iCal?” The biggest problem I encountered was easily sending customized ‘boilerplate’ email. This task was very easy with Daylite. Finding an email merge solution that leveraged Apple’s Address Book and Mail proved impossible, although, MacTank’s MailTemplate, Christian Fries’ Serial Mail and Joe Pagliaro’s Mailings came close.
Interestingly, Contactizer Pro was mentioned, in a positive way, a few times in other developer’s forums. I briefly used the, version 1, predecessor of Contactizer Pro; it was beautiful, but unstable on my system, so I abandoned it. I decided it was time to have a fresh look at Objective-Decision’s Contactizer Pro.
Here’s what I discovered:
- Contactizer Pro has grown up
- it’s still beautiful
- it has become very versatile.
The Contactizer Pro developers are carefully crafting a solution that is very tightly integrated with Apple core technologies. Contactizer Pro looks and feels like a modern Mac application. It is remarkably intuitive. Working at home is fun and now I’ve discovered a contact manager that doesn’t feel like a smug corporation. My compliments to the developers, Guillaume W. Rager, Aurelian Hugele, Michael L. Noyon, Pierre Oleo, PY Bertholon and Matthew Ouvrard. Thank you for your continued hard work! I’m looking forward to watching your application develop in the coming years.
Contactizer Pro is currently the best contact manager for the Mac, for my needs. If you’re a sole proprietor or very small business, I recommend that you check it out for yourself; the developer offers a fully functional thirty-day demo.
Update: These days I use Apple’s Address Book and BusyCal