Manuscript Tracking and Filemaker Pro

Hi! I’m new to this forum, new to forums in general, and very new to manuscript submission tracking. I’ve been researching software for the mac and have been taking a serious look at Filemaker Pro for purchase. It looks like the customization potential with Filemaker is terrific. The solution they offer that comes closest to what I’m looking for (I think) is Lending Library. I’d need to do a significant amount of customizing, though to make that one work, I think.

Does anyone out there have a solution they’re using for tracking submissions, markets, and agents/publishers? My time for writing is really limited, so I’d sure love to find a solution that’s designed specifically for tracking manuscripts rather than spend my writing time creating a customized database.

Thanks so much for your help!


Have you looked at Bento? It’s an app that’s a subset of Filemaker Pro that’s much easier to learn and use. Though it doesn’t have the full power of FP, of course, it might have all you need and the learning curve would be much faster.

Less time fiddling - more time writing. :slight_smile:

I have. It looks like an awesome program and the price is much better than Filemaker Pro. My mac is seven years old and at the end of upgrades. I’m stuck at 10.4.8; Bento starts at 10.5. I actually seriously considered upgrading my computer, but after looking more carefully at the numbers decided that I need to find a solution that’ll work with the equipment I already have.

After that first book sale, though… :slight_smile:

Filemaker is very powerful and customizable and you can create all kinds of things BUT the learning curve can get extensive at times.

Filemaker though is really worth the investment once you have wrapped your mind around developing in it. It can be odd at times and frustrating at others but in the end you can really do a whole lot with filemaker. Instead of being a “specialized” program it is more useful in that it can offer solutions to many custom needs. If you use Filemaker Developer or as it is called now Filemaker Advanced you can even create solutions and offer them as a stand alone runtime application (ie. bento). It’s database engine is not as fast as as many others but it is much easier and much faster to develop in.

You can google Filemaker solutions and see if someone has already written a solution for what you seek.


On my real job, I use Filemaker Pro 9 to do mail merges and sorts with an 11,000 person list. Some of these sorts are pretty complicated. I’m a dunce with computer stuff, but compared to Access (which I used for 10 years before switching to Macs) Filemaker Pro is a piece of cake.

You can certainly use it to track manuscripts. You can even use it to file manuscripts, if you’re so-minded. You could probably do all sorts of fancy developer extravaganzas if you have the time/talent/inclination, but it’s not necessary. I wouldn’t have any trouble doing this with Filemaker Pro. I regard that as a sort of gold standard for easy.

Also, Entourage has a Project Manager which would do the same thing for you, only (I think) even better. Once you get it set up, it will go out and find the right emails and files on your computer and bring them into the project without any input from you. This can be a real time saver. It has a place for notes, a calendar, etc. I use it to coordinate the classes I teach.

I’m an adjunct professor, as well as wannabe writer. I also have a family and a career that pays the bills. I need my computer to keep my work organized and to do it simply and without a lot of tweaking.

Either of these softwares will do the job for you.

Good luck with your writing.