Merlin, the most successful project management software for the Mac, collaborates now even better with other applications. New workflows are introduced in the latest version 2.7.9 enabling it to connect to the popular personal task management mac software Things (by Cultured Code). Further enhancements are also implemented for the collaboration with the market leading project management software for Windows MS Project. And last but not least, several improvements under the hood ensure Merlin’s typical high software stability and robustness.
This is a dream come true for Merlin and Things users: Merlin and Things can finally work together. With just a few clicks you can now export Merlin activities as todos to Things or import todos from Things as activities into Merlin. The two market-leading applications for project management and personal task management on Mac are finally not only complementary on paper but also in practice. An easy and self-explanatory data exchange workflow, implemented in AppleScript, makes this possible.
We use Things from Culture Code regularly for personal task management in our company. It was only logical to add the capability to connect Things to Merlin and of course just a question of time until we would be able to provide such a solution to our customers. We are very happy, that this is now the case. It will be a great help for many Merlin users, as they won’t need to transfer activities and todos anymore between the two applications by hand.
….We were looking for alternatives. Someone in the company started to [ab]use MS Excel as a project management tool. In the beginning I found this to be a good idea, and followed willingly. Some weeks later we had scripted a great amount of data sheets with innumerable charts. It was fine for separate projects but made our overview on all running projects smaller day by day. When colleagues began again to do their job manually, bypassing the scripts and their automations, it became clear to me that we needed yet again another, better solution.
There is usually a long story behind a successful product. This applies for Merlin and my first visions about it in 2003.
But first things first. Back in 2002, founding ProjectWizards, I decided to switch to Mac OS X. It was a relatively new operating system based on NeXTSTEP, which Apple bought and developed further. The excellent quality that Apple machines had, and still have, was one of the main reasons for switching. With MS Office X, we had a good basic software package for daily work. And even though Word, Excel and PowerPoint on Mac were always a step behind their Windows versions, they contained the functions we needed. Last but not least they offered a relatively good compatibility to Windows files. All this was necessary for our job at ProjectWizards; Project management. And here is where the drama starts.
We tried at first FastTrack Schedule by AEC. It was the only Mac OS X application for project management available, with all limitations and problems of a classic OS 9 application. The software had some inconsistencies making its professional use by ProjectWizards impossible.
The next step wasn’t any easier. Virtual machines were not performing well on PowerPC based Macs, so MS Project on MacOS X was not an option. We had tested Windows machines with terminal server, accessed by “remote desktop”. But this was not really a better solution either…