There have been some questions on the Macworld ForumÂ and requests for screenshots of other parts of the program, so I’m going to provide shots that we didn’t use in the Macworld article here.
It’s important to note that the current beta of Quicken Financial Life is REALLY a beta. In other words, there is much about this program that is not working yet, some of which is really important, like account reconciliation, which you cannot do using the current beta. What I was able to see worked nicely, but, again, it’s important to note that I did no testing with this program. I didn’t download account info from my bank, couldn’t reconcile an account. In fact, the data I used came directly from Intuit.
In short, the article was exactly what the title says, a Preview of an application that’s very much in the early stages of beta testing and at least six months away from potential release.
Here are two of the aforementioned screenshots:
As you can see from this shot, while the look of the entire interface differs considerably from what you might be used to in Quicken, the ledger-like look hasn’t really gone away. What has gone away is the checkbook register look that has been the hallmark of the Mac versions of Quicken and QuickBooks since those programs first shipped.
I like QFL’s tagging tool a lot. Here’s why… I have always felt that Quicken, and for that matter, every other personal financial app’s categorization requirements were way too stringent. For example, in Quicken, in order to add something like “Lunch” to a Meal expense you’d have to type “Meals:Lunch” in the category field. If Lunch didn’t exist as a category Quicken would pop up a dialog box telling you that it didn’t exist and that you’d have to create the category before you could use it. This kind of thinking makes perfect sense for Business apps, but was too strict, at least by my thinking, in a personal finance app. Tags allow you to be much more informal about how you categorize your spending, which I think is a real benefit to those using this kind of software.
Caveat: I don’t use Quicken. I have it on my Mac, but, ever since I started using my bank’s online bill pay services, I haven’t felt that I was gaining any benefit from using Quicken. What I now use to track my spending habits is Mint.com. It’s an imperfect solution, as it doesn’t support one of the credit unions I use, but it does support the bank where I do the majority of my business and it tracks my expenses with a minimum of hassle. Scary for some, I know, to have your financial info on a third-party site, but for me, a solution that saves me time, works well, and doesn’t cost me a dime.