Since I wrote about it a few days ago, I've been spending what is starting to feel like way too much time searching for, researching, downloading and evaluating project management applications for OSX. One thing I find rather surprising is the virtual dearth of project management applications that can actually manage more than one project at a time.
FastTrack Schedule seems to have this capability, but only in a sort of one-way summary mode. You cannot change anything on the multiple project view that will carry back into the individual projects.
Meanwhile their GUI is a little stiff. I find myself repeatedly clicking on things, expecting to be able to edit or manipulate them, only to find out I can't. I realize this is a learning curve issue, and since FastTrack Schedule is up to version 9, I'm sure they are quite clear in their own minds as to appropriate work flows we're supposed to be using, but still I'm left a bit frustrated.
What's more, their help screen is a kludgy stale old browser thing that keeps popping open new windows -- and with my workflow in Firefox, that means a long array of tabs. If they can't even integrate that content into Mac help, I really wonder what their commitment is to OSX anyway.
I was hopeful of xTime, which is put out by a company that actually does develop directly for Mac, but their current version is a buggy affair, with incomplete line displays and frequent lock-ups, that hasn't been updated since March. I've had to force quite xTime more than I'd care to.
Now xTime does have a new version 4 coming out next month, but their current beta is available only for existing customers, and I don't have the luxury of waiting over a week just to try it out. When I wrote to ask whether I could evaluate their beta, I got a terse slacker-style response (no caps, no punctuation -- very professional, dudes!) that only existing customers get to try their new version's beta. So much for their wanting to draw in new customers. So xTime is going off the list.
Merlin2 is still on the list. It's relatively easy to use, but doesn't do all I want. Even though the beta I have has crashed a few times, which is frustrating, to say the least, the feature set seems to offer ease of use, and that counts for a lot. So I'm still evaluating there.
iTaskX shows some promise, but again fell short in the crucial area of multiple project management. Still, I love the clean nature of its Gantt -- very clean, with minimal (and optional) 3D effects (though I don't care for the squared-off path lines). The task list, though, is on the dry side, with few visual cues as to dependencies and hierarchies. The program seems to have an easy ability to share projects to a designated webserver, which is something that I'm sure will come in handy in the near future. Still, I'm not sure this is the one.
Which takes me back again to OmniPlan, which is by a company I admire. OmniPlan is on the basic side, and does not do what I need. But at least it's easy, and maybe I can just find some sort of workaround using iCal or something to actually try to coordinate our various projects into one time management workflow.