[Windows] EssentialPIM is a free portable task and information managment program

EssentialPIMI love keeping my information and tasks organized, but that does not mean that I want to spend an arm and a leg trying to organize my personal and business information. So let’s see if EssentialPIM is worth the download.

WHAT IS IT AND WHAT DOES IT DO

Main Functionality

EssentialPIM is a personal and business information manager. It is completely portable as it can be downloaded to a USB flash drive. It can work as your calendar, note taker, contract manager, password manager, task reminder, and much more.

Take note EssentialPIM comes in Free and Pro versions. This review is specifically on EssentialPIM Free but we will discuss the differences between Free and Pro.

Pros

  • Mange your passwords, email, contacts, and notes from one place
  • Use the calendar and reminder feature to be reminded of upcoming tasks and appointments
  • Has free iPhone/Android apps that you can sync data with
  • Offers multiple languages
  • Interface is clean and easy to understand
  • Offers a free version for those that don’t want to commit to the paid Pro version
  • Portable

Cons

  • I would have liked to see some of the Pro features included in the free version of the program

Discussion

EssentialPIM ScreenshotEssentialPIM Free is a personal information organizer that has apparently won a few online awards. The fact that it is supported by a pretty big online community is further proof that people love this program. However, I don’t like going by what others say, let’s check it out for ourselves.

Now, EssentialPIM actually comes into two different versions. There is the free version and the Pro version. As you can guess, the Pro version offers more features (we will get to those in a second). For now, let’s cover what you get when you download the free version of this program.

EssentialPIM Free has a lot to offer despite the fact that it is completely free. It can be used to manage your mail, contacts, notes, passwords and tasks. On top of that, you can also use it as your daily calendar and planner. Of course, my favorite thing about the program is the fact that it can be synced with your iPhone or Android. This means that this program is truly portable as it can remind you of tasks you need to complete, even when you are away from your computer.

Now, if you really like the free version and you want more, they do offer a Pro version. This offers a lot more features. This does include synchronization with Google, Outlook, iCloud, etc., multiuser access to a single database, global cross-linking, advanced backup of all of your personal data, advanced encryption, posting notes right to your desktop and the ability to send any item you want to your email. Heck, the Pro version can even help you design and print labels.

The following chart explicitly lists out the differences between Free and Pro (click on chart to enlarge):

2013-01-29_234756

Really, I have no problem with this program. It is pretty easy to use and does not take long to learn your way around. That being said, I would have really liked to see some of the Pro features included in the free program. For example, the ability to post notes to your desktop does not feel like a feature I should have to pay for. Not only that, but I don’t think that the Pro version is worth $40. So, this means that I am stuck with the free version, which is lacking some features I would have really liked to use. However, that does not take away from the free version in the least — it is still great.

CONCLUSION AND DOWNLOAD LINK

Despite the fact that it is lacking a few features I would have liked to use, the free version of EssentialPIM is perfect for most people. It will help keep you better organized, and that is the whole point of this program. The fact that you can easily sync your data between your Android/iPhone devices with the information on your computer is extremely helpful as well. If you are looking for a good personal data management system, you may want to give EssentialPIM a try. I don’t think the Pro version is worth the price tag but if you do, you are always welcome to upgrade to it.

Price: Free or Pro version for $39.95

Version reviewed: 5.3

Supported OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7

Download size: 4.6MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/46

Is it portable? Yes

EssentialPIM homepage [grab portable version from here]

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13 comments

  1. alhall

    Rob (Down Under), thank you for stressing the importance of portability!!!

    Ashraf, thanks for mentioning portability in your reviews!!!

    It’s comforting to know that the program I’m trying can be removed by deleting a folder rather than trusting some voodoo uninstaller to successfully remove every bit of crap installed hither and yon on my hard drive and registry.

    As far as the term “portability” is concerned. I take it to mean that it CAN be run from a thumb drive. The fact is that I rarely do actually run anything from the afore mentioned drive. OTOH, there is a class of portable utilities that SHOULD be installed and kept on a handy thumb drive. These are recovery programs and everyone should have a portable drive filled with them.

    Ashraf et.al., how about an article on what’s in your emergency thumb drive;the one you grab when troubleshooting a friends computer or when the shit hits the fan at home?

  2. David Roper

    @Rob (Down Under):

    AFAIK, ALL programs should be written like you are doing. Windows should be just there to provide Graphics etc and speed. God, what I would have given to have these quad core 64bit CPUs running my compiled Basic programs. The banter between you and Ashraf gave it all away. I prefer Portable Programs running on the Root or maybe a Psuedo Root of C: called “See” drive. as C:\See\portpgm1.exe

    Put another shrimp on the Bar B for me tonight.

  3. David Roper

    Well after all that yaking I did on Portable pgms I went to the Essential PM web site and download the pgm – tried to install it and it would not, Bummer. The exe file had no version number on it, just saying.

  4. Rob (Down Under)

    @David Roper: Yup, I am definitely a control freak.
    In fact every VB6 program that I have written for the last 12 years has been as portable as they can get. The programs don’t need installing, and can be placed into any folder.
    There sometimes are dependencies that must be supplied (EG a grid or Data Base accessing), but what I do with those is create an empty (no code, no forms) project containing just the dependencies. The user runs an installer for that just once. Then for the next decade I can give them my ‘portable’ programs, which never need installing

  5. David Roper

    Hey Ashraf, I know what’s going on with Rob Downunder. Those aussies are crafty, huh? I used to email one who was my consultant on a DOS program I wrote called DRMenu. He was super critical but I took it and we became friends. I digress.

    Rob is a closet DOS person, like me, He wants total control over programs, like me.

    If he can get a Portable Program, he can put it into ONE damned folder, hang it off C: or D,E,F etc, and know where everything related to the pgm is. If he wants to take it with him, he SIMPLY copies the folder to the magic Thumb drive, or to a new PC should he upgrade every 5 years.

    Whatcha say Kangaroo Friend? Did I peg it right. Works for me too.

  6. Shawn

    @Ashraf

    I seriously need more coffee first time I read your post that said : “Thank you for regularly asking for us to mention portability in our reviews.”

    I saw the word profanity instead of portability I seriously think I need a vacation xD

  7. Rob (Down Under)

    I nagged for bloody months on getting portable mentioned, and I got ignored TIME AND TIME AGAIN. Most would have given up after one quarter of the times I had to keep raising it. Go back and check.
    This is a very sensitive topic with me (after being ignored for so long), you really should not be so flippant on it.

  8. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    @Rob (Down Under): Firstly, you weren’t the only one asking. Secondly, I’m not sure what you want us to do. In every article put a little note [Thanks for the suggestion on portable mention Rob]? :-P

    In all seriousness, I usually thank people for their feedback and suggestion as they give it to us but if I forgot to thank you personally, I apologize. Let me make up for it: thank you for your suggestion Rob!

    That said, when we say a program is portable, we mean the real portable — not “is made unofficially portable with a portable suite”. I hope that clarifies it.

  9. Rob (Down Under)

    @Ashraf:
    Yup, seriously, some programs can only be run from a thumb drive, and they are called portable.
    Some need a suite for them to run in, and they are called portable.
    And don’t pick on me for nagging for months to get portable mentioned, and as usual I never got any credit for any of my promptings/pushing. They just got quietly adopted. I have been quietly annoyed about that for a while, so . . . . .

  10. Rob (Down Under)

    Portable to me, also means it can be placed into a folder on your C drive.
    Is that part of your definition of portable ?
    . . .
    When I went to their web page, there appears to only be one download – EssentialsPIMs.exe
    That could mean one of three things -
    a) They only have a portable version, and that is it.
    b) It is an installer, but one of the choices you get is to ‘Install’ it in say a thumb drive
    c) That is just an installer, and I have not found the correct download yet