Best Free PIM


Everybody seems to have their own concept of what a PIM is. It might help to define the scope of "Best Free PIM" at the outset to avoid confusion. I will try to stick with that scope when selecting products to include here. laugh

Best Free PIM | scope: PIMs in this category aggregate a few or all of the following functions: diary, notebook, appointments, events, tasks, address book, contact information, itinerary and messaging. These products have names like personal organizer, day planner, personal planner. Their purpose is to help you get things done. PIMs that fall outside that scope will not be discussed.

See other sorts of PIMs in "Related PIM Categories" below. If what you are looking for isn't here in "Best Free PIM" you'll likely find it in one of the other categories.

In a Hurry?

Go to details...  Go straight to the Quick Selection Guide


PIMs for tablets and smartphones are displacing PIMs for PCs. Web-apps are also replacing conventional PIM programs. There are still a few free ones left though.

What I want in a PIM: The option to schedule repeating tasks -- strangely missing from many PIMs -- is a key function for me. Sync between PCs (and mobile devices -- if I had any) is also important. If I was still in the work force, I'd want tight coupling between contacts, tasks, events, and reminders. I'm getting what I want from a few single purpose products. I no longer use an all-in-one myself. wink

Screenshot of PimeroPimero (Free Edition) is a relatively new entry in the full-featured, free PIMs category. It is a modestly crippled version of an actively-maintained commercial application. Pimero offers a full range of PIM functions: appointments, events, reminders, tasks, contacts, email -- even a feed reader, and chat. It has an attractive, well-organized user interface.

My brief testing indicates that Pimero is an efficient program to use. Other reviewers report that it is an outstanding Outlook alternative. It will import all your messages, but not your folders and folder-structure. You'd need to rebuild that yourself. The commercial version offers very nice data export, but there is no way to export your data from the free version. You cannot create repeating tasks with the free version either, if that's important to you. [Comment on Pimero | Free Edition]

Function menuEssentialPIM is another full-featured PIM based on a commercial product. It also does many of the same things as Outlook, including importing data. You can import CSV or vCard contacts as well. The integral email client can handle POP3/SMTP or IMAP4. A portable version of EssentialPIM is available.

There is no way to schedule repeating To-Do entries with free Essential PIM, but by creating all day repeating events you can effectively create a repeating tasks. They show up at the top of the calendar day grid. [EssentialPIM compared with Outlook]

menu for new objectsWinPIM  is a product from China, also based on a commercial procuct. You'd never guess it's from China from the English used in the product or website. The best thing in my view is that WinPIM has the essential function I'd look for in a free PIM -- the provision to set repeating tasks. It also provides sub-tasks as well as top-level tasks.

WinPim is a complete, attractive program. It is intuitive and well-organized too. It provides the options to attach notes, photos, files and other documents to almost every function.

A little caution is called for in downloading WinPIM. You won't find the link for the free version on the Download page. At the present time it is on the Home page. There are several links there that will take you to the pro version. Look for the download link Download All Editions in One File in text. That file installs a special version of the program that opens the first time with a choice of versions. Select the free version.

Related Products and Links

PIM Xtreme would be a good choice if you want to tinker with the program interface, and the way that tasks, events, and contacts are organized and interconnected. It also has a calendar, notes, and a "Today Panel" that gives you a nice overview. PIM Xtreme has a build-it-yourself user interface. Tasks, events, contacts, notes, etc., have their own window pane, and you size and arrange them to fit your needs.

What I use as a PIM: My needs are simple these days. I use Evernote (self synced), and ToDoList, synced via the incomparible Tresorit. to capture information and manage tasks. I use Gmail, and good old Windows Contacts synced via Skydirve for my contact information. Your mileage may vary. smiley

Scheduled for Evaluation

  1. Agenda At Once
  2. Chaos Free

Related Web-app PIMs

  • CloudPIM is a new online PIM with a social network dimension (which you can use or not). CloudPIM is currently in beta, and you'll probably want to wait until it has matured before fully committing to it. A good sign is that they have acquired a certificate for their secure connection (https://).
Related PIM Categories
Quick Selection Guide

Pimero Free Edition
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Well organized user interface. Full range of well-integrated PIM functions. Data encryption, automatic backup, and iPhone synchronization. Easy to use.
You cannot export your data from the free edition, and sync and backup disabled. Provides recurring appointments, but not repeating tasks. Imports messages from Outlook, but not the folder structure, which you need to re-create. Cannot export data.
27 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Free for private use only
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows XP / Vista / 7; Installs Firebird, and .Net 3.5 if required
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Another full-featured PIM. Does many of the same things as Outlook and can import your Outlook data and/or Outlook Express contacts as well. Small file size. A portable version is available.
Supports repeating tasks (events), but not repeating to-dos. May have trouble with multiple email accounts.
13.4 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Vista, Windows XP
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Full featured, attractive, intuitive and well organized. Has repeating to-dos, and allows sub-tasks. Provides the options to attach notes, photos, files and other documents to almost every function.
No provision for syncing between PC or mobile devices
7.5 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Free for private use only
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Vista, Windows XP; Requires Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0.


This category is maintained by volunteer editor philip. Registered members can contact the editor with comments or suggestions by clicking here.
You can visit philip's Google+ profile page here.


PIM personal organizer planner database tasks to-do todo calendar contacts

Back to the top of the article.



Share this
Average: 3.3 (53 votes)
Your rating: None


by Anonymous on 23. December 2009 - 3:28  (39187)

be VERY CAREFUL with Palm 6.2.2, Toshiba Windows 7, and trying to hotsync. You will get yourself into a frustrating loop of disappointment. I am ot sure it can be done on any kind of regular basis.

by patjackman on 11. January 2010 - 15:27  (40842)

Would you consider OctopusCity?

The non-standard layout isn't wonderful and there is no way to stop the rather garish opening screen. However it does offer contact management with custom fields (my own must-have requirement), calendar, an email/chat client and you can sync your info and files on-line and share them with other users. It can also handle recurring dates, which I know is something you require.

This whole area is quite poor Freeware-wise I reckon, and OctopusCity is the best of a bad lot really. In fact, the non-standard interface is my main problem with it, and I would love to see some way of doing mailing labels being included.

by philip on 12. January 2010 - 15:26  (40889)

OctopusCity appears to be an advertising supported (not that there's anything wrong with that) site, designed for current and potential job seekers. It's concept is building a network-centered presence on the internet.


by MidnightCowboy on 12. January 2010 - 17:53  (40897)

This from their website:

"OctopusCity is the network that busy young professionals use to manage and advance their career."

Softpedia though lists it as Freeware and not ad supported and they are usually pretty hot on tags. Maybe I'm missing something here?

by Anonymous on 12. January 2010 - 17:55  (40898)

Forgot to give the download link.

I dunno, it's serving my purposes for the moment, but this area is crying out for a decent PIM I reckon...

by Anonymous on 12. January 2010 - 17:57  (40899)

The program itself features a flash screen with the website logo, and there is a section in the programme that links to their job seeking network, which I never look at. Apart from, no ads and it doesn't seem crippled in any way...

by patjackman on 12. January 2010 - 17:59  (40900)

Sorry, that was me posting those anonymous comments! Apologies...

by MidnightCowboy on 12. January 2010 - 18:07  (40902)

No problem - thanks anyway for coming back with some more information.

by Anonymous on 12. January 2010 - 20:11  (40904)

I posted a comment earlier today on my experience with EfficientPIM but it was deleted. I thought someone may like it. What's going on???

by Anupam on 12. January 2010 - 20:14  (40905)

You should understand, this is a freeware site. Commercial softwares won't be discussed here, nor allowed. Thats why the comment was deleted.
And as said by you, I could not find a freeware version of the software on its site.

by MidnightCowboy on 12. January 2010 - 22:15  (40913)

I'm new to this because in a past life I always had support staff to do it for me :)

Now for various reasons I need to organise myself but only wanted something fairly simple which would give me a tree type list on one side and corresponding data records on the other. I've got OpenOffice and other stuff but it's way too complicated for my needs so in hunting around I found this.

I really can't fault it. Spell check requires a third party install but this was just a minor inconvenience.

by Anonymous on 13. January 2010 - 12:51  (40944)

In my first post, I mentioned the freeware version that I used b4 I upgraded to the paid version.

Moderator's Comment : Please do not post links with bad WOT rating. Link has been removed.

by Anupam on 13. January 2010 - 13:19  (40946)

The Efficient PIM site does not list the free version.
The link you posted has bad WOT rating. We won't allow this.. sorry.
Any further mention of the particular software will be removed from the site.

by Anonymous on 22. January 2010 - 5:19  (41727)

I have the legacy version of Time & Chaos working well in 64 bit Windows 7

by Anonymous on 9. February 2010 - 20:19  (43202)

Not sure if it qualifies as a complete PIM, but I really like this program and feel it has great potential. It's free.

It's called EsyPlanner

by philip on 9. February 2010 - 22:02  (43213)

Thanks for the tip -- looks interesting, particularly if they get calendars (iCal standard) like Google Calendar integrated. I'll take a look at it soon.


by Anonymous on 26. February 2010 - 16:23  (44557)

Calgoo is not freeware!!.. (or could I be wrong?) A shame, it sounded like the thing I was looking for. :(

by philip on 26. February 2010 - 23:31  (44580)

Darn. :-) I suspected that their business model was going to have to change when I was reviewing their calendar program. Their model has morphed completely. Evidently the calendar survives as a free legacy program, but they don't list Windows 7 as supported. Probably not worth installing Calgoo now, as there will be no further development.

Thanks for your comment/question.


by philip on 26. February 2010 - 23:48  (44583)

I see that they are working on, but have not implemented iCal import/export yet.


by Anonymous on 27. February 2010 - 13:18  (44639)

Thanks for fixing the download page :)

Got it now :)

Cheers on the quick response, u guys are amazing :)

by Anonymous on 27. February 2010 - 14:18  (44646)

:( Just tried to install it.... Need an account to get to use:(

and the accountsite is down. Ok, guess it is back to Chandler..

A shame really...

by Anonymous on 10. March 2010 - 20:20  (45330)


Download Free Address Book! Simple, portable, ....

by Anonymous on 11. March 2010 - 1:10  (45343)

EssentialPIM Free 3.23 is a great software to use. Simplier than Outlook more beautiful and gets the job done quickly. Look no far than this!


[Moderator's Note: Remainder of P.S. deleted due to "shouting" using all caps and tone directed to the editor of this page.]

by Anonymous on 22. March 2010 - 12:46  (46001)

The palm desktop software is strictly forbidden from use except with Palm Products, unfortunately. From the EULA "The Software is licensed for use on any Palm product and/or personal computer, provided that the Software is used only in connection with Palm products."
But here is the download link anyway.
EULA link after you click download

by philip on 22. March 2010 - 16:46  (46011)

Update 2:

Now that HP has acquired Palm, I expect there will eventually be changes in the status of Palm Desktop. Probably within two years.


Thanks for the heads up Anon, but I think you may have drawn the wrong conclusion from the sentence you quoted from their EULA. The sentence is quite poorly written in my opinion. They probably knew what they meant, and must have thought they expressed it clearly. They failed though. It is nearly, but not totally ambiguous. After careful reflection, I parsed it differently than you did.

The decision to use or not to use Palm Desktop is entirely your own. I am not a lawyer. My opinion is that the EULA permits stand-alone use. Do not take that as legal advice. If you want legal advice, seek it from an attorney of your own choosing. ;-)

Here's the sentence from the EULA:

"The Software is licensed for use on any Palm product and/or personal computer, provided that the Software is used only in connection with Palm products."


The first phrase clearly permits use on a PC. It seems more natural to take the second phrase as a specific prohibition, not as a contingent requirement though: Something along the lines of, "You must not use Palm Desktop to sync your PC with competitive PDAs or smartphones."

You need convoluted parsing to conclude that the second phrase literally requires you to sync with a Palm product. Their phrase certainly does not state that directly. It states, " used only in connection with..."

If they intended to state a requirement it would have been more natural to write "...must be used in connection with..." But to get there from their original wording you'd need to change "is" to "must be", and drop the "only". That seems clearly contorted to me. In particular, why would they have used "only" if "must be" is what they wanted to convey?

There's little to be gained by asking Palm about the EULA directly. The person(s) who wrote the EULA is most likely no longer associated with it, or even around. It's unlikely that the response would reflect the original intent except by accident anyway.


The most reasonable reading of the EULA is that you are allowed to use Palm Desktop as a stand-alone program on a PC, but you are prohibited from using it to sync with something other than a Palm product.

Of course Palm could always change the EULA if that's not what they meant, but the EULA has been the same on that point for several years.

by Anonymous on 31. March 2010 - 16:47  (46600)

I had a Palm and reinstalled the latest version of Palm desktop. I loved it with few addresses but with my large cumbersome list it is as slow as a dog. Reminds me of Outlook. I am not sure if I can install another clean one ... may try.

I like Gmail contacts but there is not a desktop version. I want something that I can import and export contacts from various sources.

Outlook 2007 I own but it is overkill and slow.

Some of the other free ones do not allow importing-exporting, a major drawback.

So if anyone has any comments or suggestions, great!

by Anonymous on 17. April 2010 - 4:00  (47833)

Ii looks nice. However, the export function is not available on current version.

by Anonymous on 1. May 2010 - 21:02  (48928)

Does anyone have a Sidekick that will work with Vista and Win7. Its the best PIM I have ever used. Why it hasn't been kept up to date I can't figure out.

by Olav on 18. May 2010 - 12:13  (49883)

Which solution would be best for cleaning up existing contacts in Windows/ gMail, and syncing them back.

I am thinking of deleting duplicates, merging contacts etc.
Perhaps also deleting them while keeping a local backup.



by Anonymous on 9. June 2010 - 2:42  (51684)

I have the complete opposition opinion of EssentialPIM, First it is not free. I tried the free version and like it at first so i bought the PRO figuring that it would have more features, I suppose it does but the limitations are great. It only has two way sync with google, secondly it adds categories that i do not want in google. it has made a mess of my google calendar. It font selection must have been designed by Henry Ford, one size fits all. I would not even put EssentialPIM on this list of PIM let alone move it up higher.

Gizmo's Freeware is Recruiting!

Gizmos Needs YouShare your knowledge of free software with millions of Gizmo's readers by joining our editing team.  Details here.