CRM4Mac is a contact management interface for Mac OS X which combines Address Book, iCal and Mail into a single interface.
It allows you to capture all the to-dos, events, email, contact information, phone call records and sticky notes on your Mac related to particular individuals, groups or projects.
A new version (3.0) has just been launched. It adds projects as a top-level coordinating category for your information, new filter options to restrict what is displayed in the main window, an update check and the ability to add new contacts, events and mail without using the iApps themselves.
It has also been rebuilt from the ground up to improve speed and stability, replaced its AppleScript foundation with SQL database technology, and improved the consistency of interface behaviour throughout the app.
A screenshot shamelessly stolen from the developer’s web site demonstrates how it works and what a user might gain:
I think that the labels are legible. Top left is a window that displays your Address Book groups, companies or projects. The next pane displays individuals within those categories and the main window then displays the emails, to-dos and so on for that person or group.
Underneath a view of the information for the select contact stands to the left of a preview pane for the main window above.
Is this a good thing? Sadly for the developers, I think that the answer doesn’t depend on the quality of the app itself, but on preconceptions about interface design and workflow. People will either love this idea or hate it before they even use it (or OD4Contact which does something similar).
People like Mike Salsbury, who feels that the integration in Ximian Evolution makes it better than Apple Mail would probably love it. Others, like me, who value the “purity” of working with mail and only mail in one app, with events and only events in another and so on, will be faintly appalled.
To help you make up your own mind, a 30 day demo is available from the developer’s web site . CRM4Mac costs USD 49.95, although the new version is currently being offered at the reduced rate of USD 39 with the coupon code “MacExpo”.
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Tags: Address Book, Apple Mail, entourage, iCal, integrated interface, mail.app, Productivity