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For Software Addicts: Yes!MaybeNah!
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Articles In Category

March 18th, 2007

QIF Master: Shareware Helps Mac Users Manage QIF Files

February 14th, 2007

FinanceToGo: Yet Another Post-Quicken Contender Steps Up

January 8th, 2007

Still Seeking Freedom From Quicken: Alternative Personal Finance Apps for Mac OS X

I’ve Quicken Jail Barsbeen using Quicken on my Mac for over 10 years now. Quicken came free with the very first Mac I bought back in 1996, and having nothing else to compare it against, it seemed like a pretty good thing. Sure, it was buggy, and as time went by I realized it was just a pale shadow of the version Intuit was providing to its Windows customers. But it definitely was saving my wife and I time at the end of the month in paying bills and reconciling the checkbook.

By now, I’ve grown accustomed to Quicken’s face, but unlike Henry Higgins’ statement in My Fair Lady, that’s not a compliment. I hate Quicken’s face, in fact, and I detest the continued second-citizen status Quicken consigns me to in the world of personal finance. That’s not totally Intuit’s fault, but they haven’t done a good job of improving Mac users’ lot much over time. I guess I should feel lucky that I can connect online and automatically download transactions from my bank. Too bad I can’t do the same with the mutual fund company where I have my IRA money.

The worst thing about Quicken’s face is the total absence of control over all the windows that get spawned. You think the Finder is bad? Then you haven’t spent much time in Quicken! Fortunately, I use WindowShade to keep my account windows from taking over, but do you know what? Quicken can’t remember from session to session where I’ve left my windows, or in what state I left them. This means I have to spend a minute or so each time I open the damn software to rearrange all those windows. What fun! :-{

The next worst thing is the incomprehensible set of menus and toolbar items. Quicken’s interface appears to have grown like the suburbs of most U.S. cities in the last few decades—that is, totally without order, logic, or aesthetics of any sort. This is probably why I never venture far when I enter QuickenLand… Just do my checkbook, pay a few bills, update a few stock prices, and get the hell out of there.

Naturally, Quicken has no concept of the Mac OS X Cocoa framework, so all the neat little user interface utilities I use in my other Mac apps don’t work here… or they work with a jerk. Application services? Ha! Automator actions or Spotlight support? Ha Ha! Intuit has made no attempt whatsoever to keep Quicken up to date with the latest and greatest Mac OS X technologies, and if I’m a typical customer, I can understand why.

I’m so locked into Quicken that it’s almost painful contemplating my escape. Not only do I have the last 10 years of financial data locked in there, but I also spent a lot of time early on entering all my data back to the early 1980’s. Some of my investment account data go back even further than that. I know that some Mac customers have gotten free, but I also know they probably had to spend a lot of time digging themselves out. And once they were out, did they feel like Neo waking up outside the Matrix? Lord, I hope not!

So I’ve been keeping a close eye on the various personal finance packages that are available for the Mac. In the last 2 years, there have finally been a few apps that looked interesting enough to do more than just open them, take a quick look around, and leave. I’ve now tried four of them and have at least four more to go. As I finish the trials, I’ll keep this article updated on my prospects for a Quicken escape.

Full article

January 8th, 2007

Cha-Ching: Can Any Money Manager Boot Quicken Off My Mac?

January 8th, 2007

iBank: Not Yet A Viable Quicken Alternative

January 8th, 2007

Liquid Ledger: Another New Challenger to Quicken Arises

November 18th, 2006

iFinance: Easily Track Your Finances on Mac OS X

November 8th, 2006

iCash: A Cross-Platform Money Manager Worth Trying

November 7th, 2006

Money: New Version of Jumsoft’s Money Worth A Look

June 26th, 2006

Wallet: Storage for the Sensitive Stuff

May 25th, 2006

iuPro: Investment Property Analysis for Mac OS X

December 23rd, 2005

CheckBook: Personal Finance Made Simple

Just Say No To Flash