I was hooked; as it happened, I had to build a new project plan this very morning, so I impulsively reached for my credit card and bought a license for it. After a few hours of work, I was pretty much pleased as punch. Unfortunately, it was only after I had invested a good amount of effort in my plan when I discovered that the program is not without bugs; there’s a nasty rendering error on my system that tends to pop up when scrolling the Gantt view. But it’s the kind of thing that a simple patch will likely (hopefully) resolve; it’s not a show-stopper by any means.
Above: The Merlin interface. Like Microsoft Project, but not.
What’s so great about Merlin is that the interface was designed with an exceeding amount of intelligence and care. It’s obvious that someone very smart and very knowledgeable about the way project managers work (and the way Microsoft Project works) spent a lot of time looking for new efficiencies in the way people interact with this kind of software. For an application niche that I had almost given up on as a permanent province of Redmond, having this program in my toolbox feels a little bit like magic.