What features in Quicken do you use?

Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
edited April 14 in The Water Cooler
In more than one thread the subject is that the person feels that they should only pay for the features they use.  Which got me thinking, if people really could customize a Quicken purchase like that, how many "editions" would there be?

One would have to consolidate the users using the same features.

So, here is my use profile, and I'm interested in how many others match.  And of course, others can put theirs in, and we can see how many editions would be needed.

Must have features:
  1. Registers.  (Note this includes all its abilities to filter and change things in it, and mini reports and such.)
  2. Downloading transactions using Direct Connect.
  3. Portfolio view.
  4. See Where Your Money Goes on the home tab and clicking to get the Spending tab details.  (My wife tracks her purchases this way.)
  5. Projected Balances on the home tab.  (This my "cash flow" system).
  6. Reminders (includes creating them and showing them in the register).
  7. Renaming rules.
  8. Memorized payees.
  9. Categories.
  10. Securities.
  11. Reconcile.
Occasional use, nice to have but probably could live without.
  1. Reports.
  2. Zillow estimate.
  3. Lifetime planner.
  4. Find and replace.
  5. Validate and Repair.
  6. Copy file.
  7. Help.
Features that have no value to me, or I outright avoid.
  1. Mobile/Web.
  2. Billing system (Online bills and any of the bill payment).
  3. Express Web Connect.
  4. Tax Planner.
  5. Everything on Properties & Debits.
  6. Budgets.
  7. Savings Goals.
  8. Alerts.
  9. Calendar.
  10. Address book.
  11. Backup/Restore system.
  12. Any of the exporting/importing.
  13. Printing.

Note I use other sections only when test for other people's problems and such.
I have a feeling that the very fact that reports isn't a "must have" for me, will make my use case "unique".
(I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/


  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Interesting list and mine would be a very similar list.
    In the Must Haves, I don't use See where your Money goes or Projected balances.
    In Occasional, I don't use Zillow or Lifetime planner.
    I do use Backup and QIF imports.
    I avoid like the plague anything to do with syncing information to the Quicken Cloud Account and attribute the health of my data file to that attitude.
    -splasher  using Q since 1996 -  Subscription  -  Win10
    -also older versions as needed for testing
    -Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 13
    This is an interesting question, @Chris_QPW

    Here is my take on features used/not used, in your order

    Use regularly
    1. Registers - Yes
    2. Direct Connect - Yes, including for bank bill pay
    2a EWC - I have 2 bank accounts that use it, no significant problems.
    3. Portfolio views - Yes. 
    3a. X-Ray - would use regularly if supported non-publicly traded securities somehow and allowed printing.
    3b. Performance/Growth of 10K - would use regularly if the calculations were not flawed
    3c. Allocations - Yes. I set security allocations manually, do not rely on the downloads.
    4, 5 Home Tab - I don't use it, seems buggy, I get the same info elsewhere.
    6. Reminders - Yes
    7. Renaming rules - Yes
    8. Memorized payees - Yes
    9. Categories - Yes
    10. Securities - Yes
    11. Reconcile - Only for banking and credit card accounts. I have it set to run automatically at the end of downloading
    11a Reconcile for investing accounts - I have it set to Compare to portfolio after download and use it every time. To check manually, I use Reconcile Shares. I never let it create Placeholders. My investing accounts run a zero cash balance so no need for a cash reconcile. 

    Use occasionally - I use these as noted, but they can be very helpful when needed.
    1. Reports - They are certainly needed. I mostly run ad hoc, not saved reports.
    2. Zillow - Zillow is all wrong about my house so I ignore what it says
    3. Lifetime Planner - Yes, but it needs improvements, esp. printing
    4. Find and replace - sometimes
    5. Validate and repair - sometimes, needs improved reporting of what it did.
    6. Copy file - occasionally.
    8. Help - Then new web based version is very clumsy, often incomplete and out of date.

    No value/avoid

    1. Mobile/Web. - I don't use
    2. Billing system (Online bills and any of the bill payment) I use bank bill pay
    3. Express Web Connect. See above
    4. Tax Planner. I use it. Interface is antique, but it ties in nicely with income reminders if you have them set up. Social Security income needs to be adjusted manually.
    5. Everything on Properties & Debts -  I don't use.
    6. Budgets. - I never did figure them out completely, the bar display at the top is confusing.
    7. Savings Goals - I don't use
    8. Alerts - also seems antique, I don't use.
    9. Calendar. I don't use
    10. Address book. - I don't use
    11. Backup/Restore system - I rely on it. What do you do instead?
    12. Any of the exporting/importing - I have imported share prices and TurboTax files. They need to fix the file name limitations on TurboTax files.
    13. Printing - I use it regularly for reports and Portfolio views. Register and budget printing is antique and not very useful.
    QWin Premier subscription
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 13
    I think I should explain why Backup/Restore is on my not use/avoid list.  First off I have my own, much better way to backup my Quicken data file.  That puts it on the not use list, but Restore goes on my avoid list because they are clearly doing something special with the Quicken Cloud dataset, because it can cause “too many datasets” error if used too much.  I bring back old copies of my data file all the time for testing purposes.  The last thing I want is a system that messes things up if you “restore data”.

    If I didn’t have a different way to backup and used Quicken’s, I would still not use the Restore, I would just rename the type, and open it.

    EDIT: Since @Jim_Harman asked about what I use for backup.  Normally I don’t go into it because it is only useful to me.

    I use a software version control system called SubVersion/SVN.  I have a command script the starts Quicken and when it quits checks in the changed data file.  The changes are “diff’ed” and as such take up much smaller space than if I stored them individually.  I can pull out any version that has been checked in.  An interesting side effect is that if I decide that I did something I don’t want checked in, I can just kill the command script before quitting Quicken so that the data file doesn’t get checked in. And then I just use SVN’s revert command to put it back to before I started that session.

    For everything else on my system I use OneDrive.  OneDrive is nice, but its history isn’t “long enough” for Quicken’s data file use.
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for explaining your backup/restore method, @Chris_QPW

    I use Quicken's automatic backup system, set to keep the 10 most recent copies plus a backup to a thumb drive every time I exit. In addition, I have Carbonite set up to do automatic cloud backups and I have never seen any conflicts. I don't use OneDrive, and Google Drive is set to skip the Quicken folder. So far, so good. I hardly ever do restores, and have not run into the "Too many datasets" issue.

    I think it is good that Quicken has a different extension for the backup files, even if the backup is a copy of the QDF. With the recent paycheck corruption issue, there appear to be people whose backups were trashed by opening them directly.
    QWin Premier subscription
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    With the recent paycheck corruption issue, there appear to be people whose backups were trashed by opening them directly.
    If you open a .QDF-backup file directly it will do a restore, not open it.  I would bet that is what people are in fact doing, not renaming it and opening it.

    The truth is though, it is always a gamble no matter which way you do it.

    If I’m not mistaken, for a restore they “unlink” the Quicken Cloud dataset and create a new one.  That is why you can run out of them (they say they don’t delete them because they have a requirement not to delete customer data).

    But note depending on the online services you use, this can cause problems too.

    If you open an old data file directly it is subject to “syncing”, and might mess up.

    That leads to another suggestion that has been put out and that is to do the deleting of the cloud data set from another file before restoring or opening a backup copy.

    The bottom line to me is that the whole system is broken.  One shouldn’t be faced with such problems for a vital process of restoring their data, especially when it is one of most stated “fixes”.

    I think the main reason I can just use old copies of my data file even “in parallel” with my current one is because I avoid all the “sync” processes including Express Web Connect.
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
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