Quicken 2009: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore

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Quicken 2009: The Missing ManualQuicken 2009: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore is part of the O’Reilly Missing Manual series and focuses on the popular personal finance application – Quicken 2009.

I’m not a Quicken junkie by any means but I have no idea how people were able to figure things out about Quicken before a book like this. Quicken has grown to be a very complicated and powerful personal finance tool if you know how to use it. Personal finance, in some respects, is complicated and so it’s understandable that a tool used to track your own finances would need to be equally complicated in order to be useful. What’s amazing about this missing manual is that it explains how to complete complex tasks with ease. It really lives up to its billing as a missing manual.

The book utilizes a lot of screenshots in its instructions (unfortunately, they are in black and white) on how to complete things so it’ll be difficult for me to pull out an examples to show you. I’m certain that if you were to visit your local bookstore, you’d probably find it there and can flip through it yourself.

As a testament to both Quicken and Bonnie, this book is remarkably specific in what it explains. Just looking at the Investment chapter, which is about 70 pages of the 550 pages, there are instructions on how to record stock splits, dividend reinvestments, mergers, acquisitions, stock options, etc. All those complicated situations that probably happen once or twice a year (perhaps not dividend reinvestments) that I would normally just figure out a hack for are explained very clearly in the book.

I think that if you want to get the most out of Quicken and don’t want to resort to little hacks, you’ll want to have this book by your side. I’m not a Quicken power user so I can’t really speak to the full utility of the book but I’ve always found O’Reilly books to be extremely valuable in almost any technical realm.

If you haven’t updated your copy of Quicken lately, don’t order it without checking out these Quicken 2009 coupons.

{ 3 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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3 Responses to “Quicken 2009: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore”

  1. The investment module is what makes Quicken superior to QuickBooks for the self employed entrepreneur who doesn’t have employees or lots of vendors, etc. A place to keep track of the personal side of money as well as the corporate side of money.

  2. Gates VP says:

    I was a Quicken junkie from 1998 to 2006. I stopped, b/c of the lack of common feature improvements, a move to vista and the blatant misdirections about “sunsetting” features (their term).

    Obviously, they now have some on-line competition ( & Wesabe) and have built their own on-line version. So they’re trying to keep up, but I’m actually kind of blown away by this comment:
    …there are instructions on how to record stock splits, dividend reinvestments,…All those complicated situations…that I would normally just figure out a hack for…

    It’s good that the book is there, but there should be no reason for hacks or books. The new standard in UIs (especially for 2009) is the integrated “search” feature. The little search bar at the top of your IE or Firefox should definitely also exist in Quicken. If you type in “stock split”, it should just bring you to their “stock split” wizard.

    Yeah, search isn’t the universal replacement for having actual buttons on the toolbar, but I can’t possibly draw a UI for every stock-related “feature”. And I definitely can’t draw one that’s quicker than simply typing “stock split” and then selecting something from my portfolio.

    It’s good to know that the book exists, it’s just kind of unfortunate that it still has to.

  3. Chelsea says:

    Hi All,

    Chelsea from Quicken here. Sorry I’m a little late, but wanted to share this article on tips for using Quicken 2009 I tweeted yesterday:

    @QuickenPRChels 8 ways to get help within Quicken 2009:

    Hope it helps.

    – Chelsea, Quicken

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