Introducing Daylite 6
Product Updates December 1, 2015 AJ
We are super excited to announce the release of Daylite 6. We’ve added a bunch of amazing new features to help improve your productivity, and made it possible to use Daylite with our Cloud service! Now you have the option to use Daylite Cloud, giving you all the benefits of a native Mac app, with the convenience of the Cloud. Or you can use Daylite 6 as a “Self-Serve” customer and manage Daylite Server on one of your own computers. You decide which option is best for you. Either way, you can still take advantage of all the new features in Daylite 6.
Update: Check out our What’s New page and see everything we’ve added to Daylite 6 since launch!
Our focus for this release was on making it easier to get started, learn, and improve day-to-day productivity on the Mac, iPhone, and iPad. The biggest challenge of getting started with Daylite has always been setting up a Server. Daylite Server is the “hub” that coordinate all the moving info between Macs, iPhones, iPads, and third party apps like Apple Calendar and Contacts. It stores the central copy of your data, manages licensing, backups, and syncing.
Before today, setting up and managing Daylite Server on one of your own computers was required. For some customers, this is perfect and exactly what they want (and will still be able to with Daylite 6 Self-Serve). But for others, it’s not ideal because while you like being able to use a native Mac app, you don’t have the infrastructure or don’t want to deal with the technical/networking hassle.
Now with Daylite Cloud, you don’t need to setup or manage a server because we handle it all for you. We’ve invited a few customers to test it out and here’s what some of them have to say…
“Being a very satisfied Daylite customer since 2007, I value stability most of all for my company CRM. At first, I didn’t see the necessity to switch to a Cloud service as my previous Self-Serve setup was very satisfactory. I must say that after testing Daylite Cloud, I was immediately convinced. Initial setup was flawless. No more need to run a server. No more concerns with power cuts, server upgrades, fixed IP, or low upload bandwidth. My mobile devices sync perfectly. Basically, a whole lot of trouble just disappeared.”
– Vincent, International Pharma Services
“All of my data and work is available when I need it. Syncs reliably. Works perfectly. Works quickly! The magic just happens in the background.”
– Eriq, Eriq Chang Studio
With Daylite along with our new cloud service, all you need to do is download the app, create an account, and login. It’s that simple. Well, it sounds simple but making it happen wasn’t so easy…
The Challenge of Creating Daylite Cloud
Considering we have a component like Daylite Server to begin with, you’d think it would be easy to just stick it in the cloud and offer it as a service. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy for a number of reasons. The Daylite Server architecture is fine for about a hundred users, but it wasn’t optimal for people on a larger scale. We had to completely rethink from the ground up how the server component worked in order to offer a cloud service for Daylite.
Sure, we could have done what others have and made Daylite a web app using a standard web architecture. But we didn’t want to do that. We wanted to maintain the benefits of a powerful, multi-user native app – a real Mac app with better user experience and ability to work offline – with the convenience of the cloud. We wanted the best of both worlds – an ambitious objective. But we’re always up for a challenge.
We learned a lot through developing Billings for the Cloud. That’s one reason why it’s taken us longer than anticipated to release Daylite Cloud – we wanted to be confident in releasing a stellar product that’s been tested by us, our partners, and customers. We’ve been tweaking and testing…and testing and tweaking. After a few tries that sent us back to the drawing board, we finally did it. We built a backend for Daylite that’s scalable, syncs fast, and is cost effective for our market of growing small businesses.
There’s a lot to love about Daylite Cloud.
- Work offline and access your data anywhere without having to worry about networking, syncing, or backups.
- Faster to get started – just download the app, create an account, and go!
- Cheaper to get started – no need to invest in a Mac Mini, Mac Pro, or allocate one of your existing Macs.
- Easier to add team members – simply click “Add a User” from your account manager and our invitation system handles the rest.
- New integration possibilities – we manage the data in a central place so there’s options for services and integrations that aren’t possible with Daylite Server.
Now… let’s talk about the new features in the app!
New in Daylite 6 for Mac
With feedback from customers, we’ve added new features to Daylite 6 to make it easier for new people to get started, and for existing Daylite customers to do what you do, faster.
Simpler Scheduling For Busy Bees
For those of you whose day revolves around your calendar, we made it easier to get a quick snap shot of your schedule. We added a Calendar Year View that’s colour coded based on how busy you are. Days with nothing planned appear white, days with a few things planned are yellow, and really busy days are red. You can see at-a-glance what your schedule looks like over the course of the year and look back to spot trends in busy times of the year.
We found that when scheduling appointments and moving around tasks, you sometimes needed to jump back and forth to your calendar. We made this more streamlined by adding a Mini Calendar in the Daylite Sidebar. This cute little calendar is also colour-coded based on availability and lets you take a quick peek at your schedule while you’re working in another area of the app. Use the left and right arrows to jump forward or backwards through your schedule or drag the Mini Calendar up to view more than one month at a time in your side bar. To schedule appointments or tasks, simply drag and drop onto the Mini Calendar. Double click on a day to jump to your full Calendar.
Better Task Management
When working on a large Project or Opportunity, it can be difficult to manage a growing list of Tasks. Pipelines and Activity Sets work great when there’s a structured process, but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes you just have a bunch of tasks that aren’t specific to a Pipeline stage that you need to group together. To make this easier, we created Task Lists so you can drag, drop, and sort your to-dos freely. Task Lists are separate from Pipelines and Activity Sets to give you more flexibility over those unique Projects and Opportunities.
We added a Smart Filtering Bar to Tasks so you can quickly sort through your to-dos by team member, Category, or Keyword. This makes it much easier for you to open a Project and quickly see just the tasks that you are responsible for. Or for a team leader to quickly see the workload of a specific person.
We also revamped inline tasks for a simpler look that makes editing your to-dos easier. Gone are the old days of tall inline task entry. Say hello to the new, clean look of single line entry tasks with quick edit sidebar details on the right. When working with inline tasks, simply hit the enter key to create the next one. Tasks are always in edit mode so you can start entering details faster just by hitting tab.
By popular request, we’ve added additional fields to Activity Sets so you can enter in details, a time or location, as well as the estimated time. This gives you more options while planning ahead for repetitive sets of tasks.
Cleaner Project Management & Opportunity Tracking
We found that when working in Projects and Opportunities, people switched back and forth a lot between the details tab and the progress tab to get the info they needed. We also found that a lot of people didn’t even notice the progress tab because it wasn’t obvious enough that you can switch between views there. So we revamped the look to make the two tabs more prominent and we brought important info right to these tabs so you can get a quick summary. Now as you’re moving through all your active Projects or Opportunities, you can see right away the number of days left, and the number of tasks remaining just by looking at the tabs. And any number of overdue tasks will appear red.
In a perfect world, when you’re using a Pipeline to track a Project or Opportunity, all the tasks are completed before moving to the next stage. But let’s face it, we don’t live in a perfect world. A lot of the time you’re working on tasks from different Pipeline stages at the same time. We made it easier to see at-a-glance how close a Pipeline stage is to being completed by adding a progress bar to each Pipeline stage. Now you can visually see how close a stage is to being done. And if there’s overdue tasks in a stage, the remaining part of the progress bar will appear red to alert you.
We’ve made a number of design tweaks to make Daylite visually more informative. And we made a bunch of under-the-hood changes to make Daylite faster and require less resources and memory in most cases.
But we didn’t just stop there…
New in Daylite 6 for iPhone & iPad
We enhanced Daylite on the mobile front to help you work better on the go.
Today Widget & Worklist Widget
We added a Today widget so you can see your objectives for today right on the lock screen. You can see what appointments you have along with any Opportunities or Projects due today without having to even launch the app. We’ve also added a Worklist widget so you can check your top priority tasks in one swipe.
Filtering on the iPhone & iPad
We brought filtering to the iPhone and iPad so you can find Contacts or sort through Tasks faster while you’re on the go. Filter your Contacts by Category or by Keyword and choose to view the filtered list by People or by Company. You can also filter Tasks by Category, Keyword, or by team member on your iPhone and iPad. So while you’re on the go you can pull up a Project and quickly check the list of tasks that you or a specific teammate is responsible for.
We’ve added the ability to add files from your iPhone or iPad so from a project you can snap a photo and link a copy of it. Files can be linked to multiple items in Daylite no matter what device you’re on.
Adding/Editing Categories, Keywords, Roles & Relationships
We’ve made it possible for you to edit and add new Categories, Keywords as well as Roles and Relationship preferences while on the go. This makes it much easier to capture new leads while you’re on the move and make sure your data stays organized.
We also added a few other handy features for added convenience:
- Call using FaceTime
- Open address in Maps
- Dismiss All for Notifications
- Accept/Decline meeting invites from the Appointment view
To learn more about all the new features in Daylite 6, visit our What’s New page. Now that we have Daylite Cloud and can offer Daylite as a service, we’ve updated our pricing page. You can also check out the new look of our Daylite website.
Upgrading to Daylite 6
You can upgrade to Daylite 6 Self-Serve if you prefer to manage your own server. It works exactly the same way as Daylite Server 5 worked in terms of licensing, data management and network access. Or you can upgrade to Daylite Cloud – whichever makes the most sense for you. If you’re interested in moving to Daylite Cloud, just follow these steps to contact us and our team will help pack up your data boxes and move you into your new home in the cloud. If you purchased Daylite 5 between September 30, 2015 and December 1st 2015, you get a free pass to Daylite 6. Please contact us within 30 day to redeem.
We worked really hard to make sure that the existing plugin APIs continue to work the same, however, there are a few small tweaks needed. If you are using any plugins, please contact the developer for an updated version for Daylite 6.
We are really proud of Daylite 6. It’s an epic release that will change the landscape for us. Our team has worked very hard on it for a long time. We hope you enjoy!
Until next time…