One of the benefits of using Banktivity is being able to look up historical financial information. For example, the other day when we were prepping for a yard sale, we wanted to know how much we originally paid for a bicycle we were selling. No problem, I thought, I can just pull up Banktivity and search for “bike” or “bicycle” and if I gave it a decent note, like I normally do, it would be found. I also remembered I bought the bike originally at West Hill Shop, so I could have searched for that payee instead. Anyway, I found the $295 transaction without too much trouble. When I did this search on Banktivity for iPhone I didn’t even need to remember from which account I made the purchase. I just tapped the search icon, entered my search terms and it searched across all of my accounts.

Many of you might be thinking, well that’s great, Banktivity for iPhone and iPad search across all accounts, but I know Banktivity 5 for Mac doesn’t. And if this is what you are thinking, you are absolutely right. I’ll be honest, this lack of ‘across account search’ has been a weak spot in Banktivity for Mac for several releases. There are a couple of tricks, for example putting accounts into a group account, selecting the group account, and then searching across all of the accounts in the group. Even with this workaround, Banktivity 5 for Mac has been lacking a comprehensive search like has existed in the iOS apps for some time now.

Well, today I’m excited to be able to show you the new search we’ve been working on. This new search implementation, rebuilt from the ground up, will find transactions across all accounts and you can also limit the results by amount. It searches transaction payees, notes, line item memos, securities, categories and amounts, and it’s fast! Results of the search start coming back almost immediately.

Before I show some videos of this new search, please note that I’m going to show some UI that isn’t finalized; there will be changes. Additionally, as with most of the other previews I showcase on this blog, we don’t have a release date yet, so please don’t ask 🙂

Quick Search Example

For the following video clip I’m searching a Banktivity document that has 10 accounts and data going back a few years. As you will see, the results appear almost instantaneously.

Refined Search Example

For this next example, I show how the minimum and maximum fields work. This is new functionality we’ve added to help people refine their search results further or even allow customers to find transactions within a range of amounts. In the example, I first search for “Groceries.” I then refine the search by finding only “Groceries” transactions with amounts between $100 and $150. In this sample file there is one result with an amount of $128.33. After we see that result, I demonstrate how you can also find transactions just by entering amounts in the main search field. (Please note that I pause between tabs to the different fields in an attempt to make the demonstration video easier to digest. In reality, you can tab between fields as quickly as you want.)

Finding what you need, when you need it, should be fast and easy. I hope you’ll agree with me that our new search implementation does both. I’m excited to get this into the hands of our customers, but unfortunately I don’t have a release timeframe to talk about now. Rest assured, we are working on these features and many more improvements every day.

What do you think – will this new search implementation be useful to you? Leave a comment and let us know what you think.

-Ian

Ian Gillespie
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Ian Gillespie

CEO/Founder at IGG Software, Inc.
A California native, Ian's academic background was in biology, botany and environmental studies. He comes to the field of technology purely out of personal passion, and has been writing Mac software for over a decade. He's also an avid birdwatcher, a soccer player, fiddler and an organic gardener. He lives in Oregon with his wife and their two sons.
Ian Gillespie
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43 comments on “State of Banktivity: Part 3, Search

  • That would be a great tool. Hopefully it will apply to searching for activity related to specific securities in investment accounts as well.

    Looking forward to Banktivity 6.

      • I have multiple investment accounts – Joint, IRA, Roth, 401K, wife’s etc. At times I want to look at all activity related to a specific security – which may be held in multiple accounts, a search function would provide a great tool to determine where I hold that security.

        I do accomplish this currently using a smart account. In many cases search would be quicker and in other cases it would help narrow down the range of transactions so I can more efficiently define the factors used in the Smart Account to identify what I am actually searching for.

        • By the way, one frustrating feature of smart accounts, is that when I am using them to search my investment accounts, the screen version of the account does show the account name, but the printed version does not.

  • This is similar to waiting for Xmas Present 🙂 I get up every morning and check for the update 🙂

  • REALLY nice to see a universal search tool coming soon. The min/max feature is a very nice addition. Nice work. Now about that new app name… ugh 🙂

  • Archiving Data – I really think that it is about time that Bankivity incorporates a better method to archive data. I have been using iBank since its inception and my data file is now 64 Mb. I also have 10 bank accounts, 15 credit cards and about 50 different investment accounts (each Investment certificate is a separate investment accounts so I can track them all by due dates).

    The method you suggest to archive data is very difficult to manage. Other banking programs offer archiving.

    • I agree. It would be great if there was an efficient way to archive older data.

      Currently I accomplish this by making a copy of my file and carefully deleting older irrelevant data – such as closed accounts, and purchase activity from prior years. This requires setting an opening balance and manually removing out of date reconciliations and deleting securities that are no longer relevant. I also have to be careful about transactions involving transfers between accounts.

      I do this about every 3 years when my file is getting sluggish.

      It would be great if you would have a function that would archive specific accounts, and or activity in specific accounts prior to a user defined date.

      It would also be helpful to be able to perform an annual scrubbing of data of that is no longer relevant from the Archives

    • I don’t know how relevant archiving data is though Terry. All of my transactions have images attached (hard copy receipts), and so my Banktivity file is running well into the GB territory now days. Cloud sync with the mobile app only uploads text data to the servers – so I’ve never really run into sync or even general performance issues. Searching across many 000’s of transactions though can be a hassle, but by the looks of it it will be majorly improved! I guess it should be included as a feature for those who need it, but maybe you could create whole new Banktivity documents every 5 years or something?

  • That looks like a welcome development. Much better than my “Smart Account” (all accounts) fudge.

    Will the results be printable? I often want to print a list of payments to a specific payee but have yet to find a way of doing so.

  • I actually shuddered reading this Ian – one of the things I hate most about the mobile app is its search! It’s obviously great searching across every account/field in one go, but the account headers separating the transactions take up way too much room on small devices. On the Mac I have all my accounts in one super folder, which is definitely counter-intuitive, but I appreciate the non-invasive box on the far right side that lets you know which account the transaction belongs to. On a 15-inch Pro I get about 21 transaction results without having to scroll, but going the iOS way seems it will bloat everything out and I’ll be scrolling forever! I’ll give it a shot on the Mac, obviously because there’s more real estate to work with. But I was kinda hoping you guys would go the other way, and make the iOS search UI more like the Mac’s (with the same functionality).

    Still, it looks beautifully designed, and I’m looking forward to the final release.

  • The improved search is a very welcome update. I look forward to not using a workaround.
    I hope you’re also working on the cloud sync. I have two MacBooks and an iPhone with Banktivity. I have fits keeping the data synced. Just now I pulled up the app on one of the MacBooks and found an unreconciled statement on one credit card (it is reconciled on the other computer) and no statements at all on a newer credit card (there is one reconciled statement on the other computer). Last time I contacted help on this, I was told to start all over with sync: uploading new data from the most accurate machine, then setting up a new sync on the other computer and iPhone and do downloads. It took HOURS to do this. Now it’s messed up again.

  • Great initiative Ian. In fact I have been so frustrated at not having this feature that I was just googling it to see if anyone had a solution, when your blog came up with this welcome news! Can’t wait.

  • Any hope for an Android app? You may have quite a few Mac users that are also on Android. (Project Fi after next Nexus phone release looks tempting.)

    • Ping. Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones released – schweet. Android phablet app needed, por favor! (Pixel XL coming my way in two weeks.) You will broaden your reach with an Android app and drive more Mac platform sales as well.

  • Would love to see a caption for “Charge” in the credit card accounts for the iPhone Banktivity app.

    It would also be helpful, for example, to have a credit card payment from a checking account show as “Withdrawal” on the checking account and automatically be coded as “Payment” on the credit card account.

    Also, when will Banktivity for Mac customers be able to title category reports? I thought this was an imminent improvement.

  • Will you PLEASE fix the mobile apps to mirror the transaction “Type” field with the mac version of iBank. It is ridiculous that you cannot make these one and the same. This has been requested for over a year. We don’t care of it is “a plus or minus”. It is a matter of preference. The fact that you made this functionality in the MAC version is evident that it is a preference to many. It’s not that tough. I’m ready to say goodbye to IGG and go elsewhere with my annual subscription of you can’t make this simple upgrade happen soon. You had it in previous versions so what’s the deal?!?!?!?!

  • On a business trip with time on my hands. Decided that mastery of Banktivity would be a goal for the week. Like many I suspect, I was a longtime Quicken user who was orphaned by Intuit’s boneheaded decisions 10 years ago. I’ve bought into the iBank/Banktivity ecosystem and don’t regret it. However….I’ve been limping along without leveraging the full capabilities of the software. Still waiting for IGG to finally catch up to all that Quicken did that you still do not. Happy to see from blog post #2 that “classes” may be coming soon. I’ve got Quicken data going back to 1986. I would love to have the ability to “bulk edit” transactions to preserve that historical data and make it viable/vibrant in your software.

  • I agree with John. Like him, I have Quicken data dating back to 1990. I am struggling getting the info into Banktivity, especially the investments. In fact, I am pulling my hair out with the investments. On an import, they either come in partially or some not at all. The other huge issue I have is that accounts disappear from the Source Pane such as Schwab – where did it go? All of the stocks are visible under securities but the Schwab account is completely gone.

  • The new Quicken for Mac is out and has received very good reviews on Amazon, notwithstanding some missing features – loan amortization, etc. Any idea when we’ll have news of some of the Banktivity’s new features, and will it be a “dot” release (5.7.x) or a full new release?

    • I too hop ewe can see an update to Banktivity soon. Based on some of the new features coming, my guess is that it’s a full new release. Hopefully, we’ll know more soon because, as much as I feel Quicken has dropped the ball with Mac users, they are making some improvements. I see a real opportunity here for Banktivity to become the de facto financial program for mac users if they are able to bring more frequent updates to their lineup.

  • I’ve been experimenting with QMac 2017 and running it side by side with Banktivity. I have to say Quicken is putting forth and effort and trying to improve their product but Banktivity is still a superior project IMO.

  • With all the silence from IGG I wonder if they are about to close up or get bought out.
    Anyway, IGG, please fix the fundamental problems in the investments. The lack of ability to accurately download mutual fund prices and the really odd odd bug relating to the inability to have more than one ‘label’ per ticker causes the investment section to fail to track my 401ks. Happy to explain more if you haven’t noticed this very problematic bug.

    • Nope, we aren’t closing up shop or being bought. I’m working on a new blog post. I hope to have it up in a few days. You should file a ticket for the issues you describe. Right now we depend on Yahoo for all stock quotes.

  • Thanks for the update. I would personally like to see search / reporting functionality using tags with Boolean parameters. e.g. Search for / summarise transactions with Tag “x” but without Tag “y”. This would vastly increase the power to slice and data how you need it.

  • I really think that it is about time that Bankivity incorporates a better method to archive data. I have been using iBank since its inception and my data file is now 64 Mb.

  • I agree with Joyce. Please add the ability to search Payees/Import Rules. And Categories, and tags. Not sure why we can’t already do that…

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