EssentialPIM - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

EssentialPIM

CNET Editors' review

While there are plenty of programs that help manage your daily tasks, many are terribly expensive. EssentialPIM offers a free way stay organized, and we found it to be a fairly effective program.

This freeware heavily mimics the display and functionality of the popular Microsoft Outlook program. This, however, is not a bad thing. In fact, it makes EssentialPIM very intuitive thanks to the toolbar along the left side that allows users to easily cycle through the calendar, to-do list, contacts, notes, and trash. Inputting data into any of these fields is fairly easy. Anyone with prior experience with time management software will leap right into creating reminders on the calendar, recurring to-do events, and more. The menus that create such items flow well, with versatile pull-down menus, fillable fields, and dates.

We had a simple time managing nearly all aspects of this program, but we did find that although the program is listed as free with no limitations, the freeware version lacks numerous features found in the paid version. Users looking for advanced features to sync with other programs, add advanced encryption, and filter task lists and events won't find those features in the free program. Still, if users don't need these options, EssentialPIM covers the basics and its price cannot be beat.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews

Results 1-10 of 109

  • 5.0 stars

    "Miles better than Outlook"

    December 10, 2013  |   By garesfield

    Version: EssentialPIM 5.57

    Pros

    Easy to use. Uncluttered interface. Can import Outlook, and other, data.

    Cons

    ICS files have to be imported using EPIM's calendar function. It would be nice if the files could be associated with EPIM to open with a double click. But that is a minor thing to be added to a wish list, not a real criticism.

    Summary

    I needed to open a .ics file I had ben sent by an Outlook user. Not wishing to use Outlook, which I find annoying, I looked for another (free) program and found EPIM. I didn't expect to use it for anything else but I now find it indispensable. Highly recommended.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "OK, but marginal sync and support"

    August 17, 2013  |   By pnpayneppj

    Version: EssentialPIM 5.56

    Pros

    I like the main program, and find some features better than outlook. It does not change the meeting times like outlook does. You can set a 9am appointment time in another time zone or daylight savings time, and it remains 9am. A correct and simple concept which Microsoft can not grasp. So I like that and other parts of the main EPIM program.

    Cons

    Sync:
    Support:

    Summary

    Sync: Sync with iPad and Android is good to horrible. I have spent hours and hours waiting for a sync, and finally found it crashed. There is no indication that it is actually working like showing "item xxx out of xxx". Once you get past the initial horribly slow multi-hour sync with a device, then plan to spend a mere one hour for each subsequent sync.

    If you are syncing with a phone, and the phone rings before completion, EPIM will crash and destroy some of your data. If you give up in frustration believing it has already crashed, then you will crash it and destroy some of your data. I have never (after 10+ attempts) been able to sync the calendar on my android phone. On a positive note: I have synchronized with my iPad many times. But it normally takes one hour.

    When there is a sync conflict, there is no way to look at the two entries to decide which one you want. You must write it down, stop the sync, check both devices, decide which one you want, then re-start the sync. The re-started sync then takes much longer for some unknown reason, hence the one hour sync time.

    Lost Entries: On several occasions I have found entries totally gone, as if they never existed. Is this better or worse than duplicating entries 10 times like some other sync programs do? It is worse if you really need the information but can not otherwise find it. That has happened too many times with EPIM.

    Support: This appears to be a one man band, where the one man has another job. For the support requests that he chooses to answer: It takes one day, there is no human name, and most answers are incomplete. If you ask a question that he does not like, such as what is your name and phone number, there will be no answer at all. For heaven's sake do not tell him that his program has defects and deficiencies, because he does not like that either.

    I bought the program to escape Microsoft Outlook, avoid my private data being on some cloud server subject to who knows what. I really need good synchronization, but this program does Not provide good synchronization. If the sync worked ok, I would never have needed support. So I got neither.

    I would like to find an alternative, and recover my $70 or $80 but have temporarily given up. The money is gone for ever, and there is not enough time available to search for something else and start from scratch again.

    Overall: For $70 or $80, the sync should work a lot better, and the support should be better. If you will never need to sync with another device, maybe you will like EPIM better than I do.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Convenient, simple location"

    March 7, 2013  |   By tagoo

    Version: EssentialPIM 5.5

    Pros

    all items in one location, easy edit of entry

    Cons

    no alphabet listing or category group (e.g. banks, appliances, hand tools, tree services, etc)

    Summary

    very useful

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Simple, clear,friendly"

    September 27, 2012  |   By tagoo

    Version: EssentialPIM 5.03

    Pros

    Friendly add & edit features

    Cons

    Cannot alphabetize entries.

    Summary



    Updated on Oct 3, 2012

    helpful, easy program

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Very convenient, helpful"

    August 11, 2012  |   By tagoo

    Version: EssentialPIM 5.02

    Pros

    Easy access to password

    Cons

    Would be better to be able to sort/organize entries

    Summary

    Enjoy the new capability

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Easy to setup and use. I use it every day."

    February 19, 2012  |   By geneb82

    Version: EssentialPIM 4.54

    Pros

    Many useful features ALL IN ONE PLACE. The password feature is one that I use most.
    I like that can open epim with windows and see what appointments I have today and for several days in advance.

    Cons

    No alphabetizer for passwords. Would simplify finding password needed.
    Must disable epim to use stand alone numeric keypad with all other programs.

    Summary

    Like and use it.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Love this Program! Very handy!"

    January 4, 2012  |   By kl4893

    Version: EssentialPIM 4.52

    Pros

    I was up and running on this program within 15 minutes. The layout is similar to Outlook and very clean. You can easily fine what you are looking for without all the added programs This is great for the home or office

    Cons

    The email program could be better but for a free program it isn't bad. I would say some knowledge of mail program set-up is helpful especially if the program itself gets the configuration wrong.
    I wish there were some control of the viewing area were available but it's hardly a problem. For a Free program this is small in comparison to other mail programs out there.

    Summary

    looking for away to get organized at home or work this is a handy little program and you can't beat the price. If not for the email program side of it I would say it's 5 stars but what it lacks in the email program it more than makes up for it with the rest of its features.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Very good for a freebee."

    December 19, 2011  |   By AllRoundGuy

    Version: EssentialPIM 4.51

    Pros

    Imports Outlook files. Interface is very intuitive, easy to use, and looks very good.

    Cons

    Output to printer for contacts needs a lot of work. I want something easy to read that looks like a phone book, not an Excel spreadsheet which is basically what you get.

    Summary

    I didn't have high expectations for this program, but it fooled me. For the most part, it is very professionally done and works well both on my workstation at the office and my laptop. Even with the price of upgrading to the Pro version puts it well under Outlooks' cost, and this will do everything I need it to with the exception of the contact output.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Works well, no problems at all."

    November 20, 2011  |   By brh0626

    Version: EssentialPIM 4.24

    Pros

    Keeps to-do list and calendar with easy access. Also keeps up with passwords if you choose to use that feature. Has contacts. Basically as good as Outlook.

    Cons

    I have no problems as of yet.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "great so far"

    September 19, 2011  |   By duchess1946

    Version: EssentialPIM 4.24

    Pros

    Does everything that I need it to do. It is a handy little program with the exception of not being able to flash on the browser when email opens.

    Cons

    It is a handy little program with the exception of not being able to flash on the browser when email opens.

    Summary

    Good program for free.

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Results 1-10 of 109

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