Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mint QuickView Tips and Tricks 1

Today's a really exciting day.  My team at Intuit just launched our first app called Mint QuickView for Macintosh.  This is a huge milestone for us because we're all new to the company and one hasn't really earned their stripes until they ship something.  Click here to download it.

What is Mint QuickView? Mint QuickView is a companion app to the website that works on your Mac and provides you a snapshot of what's going on with your personal finances.  It updates through out the day and lets you know when something new hits your account.  There are also handy little charts that let you see your spending, net income and account balances.  If you like to keep tabs on your money, this is the app for you.

For those of you who aren't familiar with is a free website that aggregates all of your checking, savings, credit card, loan, investments and property accounts in one site to allow you to track and analyze your personal finances.  We also have an iPhone, iPad, Android Phone and Android Tablet app which are pretty cool.

A number of friends of mine have expressed concern about entering their financial account information into the website and I totally get that.  I was the same way until I wanted to interview at Mint and thought I better use the product before I chat with them.  The bottom line is that the security is really really tight and to me the benefit out ranks the risk.  I have gained a lot by using Mint.  There's a lot of incite and benefit you receive from having all of your accounts in an easy to track location and it's been tremendously helpful.  First off my wife loves the iPad app and she now actually reviews our finances daily.  She never looked at it before.  Also because we're both looking at this stuff all the time, we actually spend less money because we know the other will spot it instantly.  Finally, I've seen things that I didn't know were occurring in my account like little fees that Fidelity was charging me because I owned a foreign stock.  Suffice it to say that I'm now a believer in Mint and will be a customer for life.  Sorry, I'm not trying to sell it because I work there but I've been really happy with how it's helped me get my personal finances in order.  Also, did I mention it's free?

So with that background you can see why my team and I developed Mint QuickView.  We really designed it for ourselves.  It's a pretty simple product so you may have found all of these tips and tricks already but just in case you haven't...

1) Two Finger Swipable - I'm guessing that's not a real word but QuickView is designed to work with your trackpad.  When your mouse is over the charts use two finger to swipe left and right on your trackpad and you'll get new charts.  you can also use CMD+1, CMD+2, and CMD+3 to go directly to the spending, net income and account charts.

2) Hit space bar in the search field to grow the transaction list - The official way to grow the transaction list is to click on the See More button below the transaction but if that's too much work just add a space in the search field and the list will grow tall and you'll see more of your transactions and you'll get a total.

3) Search for tags, notes and most anything in a transaction - Speaking of search, there's nowhere in the product that tells you what we search on.  Well we search on practically everything in a transaction so go for it.  We even search on the notes field which even the site doesn't do.  We like to rub salt in their wounds on that one.

4) Don't like charts, hide them - When we were building QuickView we had some pretty vocal people internally who hated the charts and felt they took up too much space that would be better served by the transaction list.  Well they are probably right but I like charts and think long lists of text is boring.  But if you are one of those that also hates the charts, you can run QuickView without ever seeing them.  Simply click on See More and leave it up.  QuickView will remember this state.  You can still swipe to different sections and then use the drop down list to filter the transaction list all without having to see a chart.

5) Don't like menu apps, snap QuickView off of the menu bar - We also heard loud and clear from beta customers that some of them don't like menu bar apps.  Gee it's like religion or something to people.  Some love them and some hate them.  Well we built QuickView for everyone.  Just go to preferences under the Gear menu and uncheck "Attach window to menu bar".  Now you'll be able to leave QuickView up all the time and drag it around even to a second monitor.

6) Passcode protect your personal finances - One of the first things we added to QuickView when we were building the app was a passcode feature.  Primarily because we're all running QuickView in the office and who wants to leave it available to anyone to just walk by your desk and find out how terribly poor you are.   By the way, we call it a passcode but it can have numbers, letters, special characters and be any length you want.  It's really a password but we didn't want to confuse people with the password that lets you see your QuickView data and the password to login to your Mint account.  To set the passcode, just click on the lock icon in the bottom right corner.  Once set you can use the lock icon to immediately put QuickView into passcode mode.

7) Edit your transactions - We think one of the first feature requests people will have is to be able to edit their transaction from within QuickView especially when you see that uncategorized transaction appear.  We didn't add it to this first release but we do know it's important.  Just right click on the transaction you want to edit and click on the Edit This Transaction... menu item.  This will bring up the site and will find the current transaction to allow you to edit it.

8) Find out what the heck this transaction is - As you may guess, we've been using QuickView internally for the past 6 months and have had quite a few of our own feature requests.  One of the things we've noticed with our own accounts is that there are times you have no idea what a particular transaction is.  There are a few things you can do.  First off there are tooltips for the transactions so just hover over a transaction and the tooltip will tell you the actual bank name for a particular transaction and this is sometimes really helpful.  Mint does a pretty good job of translating these things but sometimes it does a really bad job and so you want to double check the actual name from the bank.  Second, if you right click on a transaction you can use the Search with Google feature.  This simply uses the merchant name and tries to search for it using your default search provider.  Sometimes this can help you identify a strange merchant name.  Third, I think this is the coolest feature, right click on the transaction and select  Send This Transaction.  This will bring up your email an dump a bunch of transaction information into an email so you can send it to your spouse to ask him or her what the heck a particular transaction is.

9) Export Transactions as CSV - As you may have noticed, we have a lot of things hidden on our right click menus.  Here's another one.  If you filter the transaction list or simply want all of your transactions to export to Excel, right click on the transaction list and select Export Transactions.  This will export the current list of transactions into the CSV format which you can then import into Excel or another personal finance application.

10) Change the sort order of Transactions - Another hidden feature is the ability to change the sort order of the transactions.  You change sort by date, merchant, category or amount.  Just make sure you select Reset to Default Sort to get everything back to normal.

Anyway, I hope these tips help you get the most out of QuickView.  Under the QuickView Gear button we have a Send Feedback menu item.  Click that to let us know what features you would like to see in a future version of QuickView or any other Mint product you would like to see on the Mac.  I've also started a twitter account called @mint4mac.  Follow me and get the latest on QuickView and other things we're working on.  Here are some other posts on Mint QuickView to check out:

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