Managing your personal finances is often somewhat of a pain, particularly if you’re suffering from a lack of funds to manage! Fortunately a variety of different applications are available for assisting with the process. Whether you’re trying to save a few extra dollars each month or have an enormous investment portfolio, there’s something for you.

These apps will assist with tracking your spending, paying bills on time, planning a simple budget, displaying detailed reports, and (in some cases) entering transactions on-the-go from your iPhone.

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To be blunt, I’m cheap when it comes to buying software. I often find myself waiting for a sale, looking for a discount code, or putting off a purchase until the next great ‘bundle’ is announced. However, I occasionally see an application for which I’m happy to plunk down my credit card and pay the full price for (because it’s just that good!)

Bento is a personal database for OS X that integrates with other applications on your Mac. It was out for about 38 seconds when I downloaded it to try it out, but I didn’t really see the value in it at first. Over time, however, the ease of use of the application, beautiful interface and included templates drew me in. The new features in version 2 more than earned my $49, giving Bento a permanent place in my applications folder – and recently, a slot on my iPhone screen as well.

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Today I’ll be taking a look at a simple timer application – TimeBoxed. A whole range of advanced time tracking and management software is available for OS X, but you may not necessarily have a need for the complex features offered by these tools.

TimeBoxed offers a remarkably simple solution for ensuring you stick within a time limit for any given task. After entering the desired time, a progress bar illustrates how long you have left to get the job done. The idea is remarkably straight forward, but TimeBoxed impresses on account of the wide variety of notification options available and the polished user experience.

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All of us deal with bills in one way or another, whether through running a house, car, family, education, or expensive software obsession. It’s easy to lose track of what needs to be paid, and at what time. Rather than having an elaborate system of sticky notes, Chronicle aims to provide a central resource for storing all your bills and recording payments.

The application is still young with a number of areas for improvement. That said, I’m a fan of the concept, iCal integration, handy reminders, and quirky, original interface.

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After posting a recent roundup of Mac applications for freelancers, I’ve decided to take a more in depth look at one tool in particular. Billings competes with many other similar apps for tracking the time you spend on a project, managing clients, and sending statements/invoices.

This review will focus on the main features of Billings, investigate how it enables easy time tracking, and outline how it simplifies communication with clients. I’ll also touch upon competing applications and web based software to help with similar tasks.

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Running a freelance business requires you to be an expert at everything – from communicating with clients to meticulously tracking your time and expenses. Doing all this manually can be dramatically time consuming, and it’s easy to make mistakes – nobody is perfect. Fortunately there are a range of Mac applications which can lend a hand and assist in the day to day running and organizing of your business.

This overview will focus on two key areas:

  1. Invoicing, Accounting & Time Tracking – Tools to ensure that you’re on top of finances and invoicing, whilst devoting most of your time to work you enjoy
  2. Organization & Utilities – Applications for managing thoughts, research and speeding up the day-to-day use of your Mac

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There are a huge number of different task managers and “Getting Things Done” apps for the Mac, each of which has various strengths and features. I’ll be posting a roundup in the near future, but for now would like to focus on a fairly new entrant which has already received widespread accolade.

Things, developed by Cultured Code, launched officially on January 6th during the MacWorld conference, winning the Best of Show award. I have been using the application since November and have come to rely on it to organize my entire work schedule. The functionality which Things provides appears simple on the surface, but in terms of simple usability it is one of the most impressive Mac applications I’ve ever used. (more…)

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