Best Free PIM


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

Scope: PIMs reviewed here will include several or all of the following functions: Diary | notebook | appointments | events | tasks | address book | contact information | itinerary | 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 included.

See other sorts of PIMs: If what you are looking for isn't here in this "Best Free PIM" category, something in one of the Related PIM Categories below may fit your needs.

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 for PCs. There are a few good PC PIMS left though.

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.

CAUTION: Significant bugs in EssentialPIM, aka EPIM have been reported by a long-term user. It may not be suitable for your use.

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 that is based on a commercial product. 

CAUTION: VirusTotal is currently (Sep 2016) reporting probable Trojan behavior for the WinPim download. [results]

The best thing in my view is that WinPIM has one of the essential functions I 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. It provides the options to attach notes, photos, files and other documents to almost every function. A portable version can be derived from the installed program.

The download links are on the home page. Look for the download link Download All Editions in One File. That file installs a special version of the program that opens the first time with a choice of versions. Select the free version. There are many more options for the paid versions.

Related Products and Information

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.

Chaos Free Update: This is a fine product... It does not fit the scope of this product category though. The paid version, Time and Chaos would fit (it adds projects to the mix), and I have used it for some time in the distant past. [comparison]

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 is also important. If I was still in the work force, I'd want one product that provides contacts, tasks, events, and reminders. I no longer need that tight coupling, so I use Evernote (notes) and ToDoList (task manager). I use the incomparable Tresorit (encrypted cloud storage) to sync ToDoList. smiley

Related Web-app PIMs

  • InfiTrac (wasCloudPIM) is a relatively new online PIM with Web, iOS and Android apps. It also provides  a social (sharing) dimension (which you can use or not). InfiTrac has become a polished Web-app. From the web site:

"InfiTrac is a complete personal information manager which lets you safely manage your agenda, contacts, calendar, lists, notes, ideas, chores, 'to-do' items, passwords, and much more. It is available on the web and as a phone/tablet app..."

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.
Caution: Multiple bugs have been reported by a long-term user. 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. A portable version can be derived from the installed program.
CAUTION: VirusTotal is currently (Sept 2016) reporting probable Trojan behavior for the WinPim download (see report link in the discussion above). Proceed at your own risk. Syncing via the cloud requires an additional (not-free) program.
7.5 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Free for private use only
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.

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WHAT technical support are you referring to? EPIM merely offers a forum, as many companies do these days, as their way of saying, "We could not care less about our customers and their complaints, but perhaps someone on our forum does, so feel free to post here..."

In fact, after a few weeks or months after posting, a guy named Max usually responds with "Your observations have been noted," but, months later, when the new (minor) release comes out, the same bug persists, so you know that your observation was relatively insignificant to them.

It is as if all of their customers were merely testing a beta version of their program, all expected to report in their errors, little by little, so that the programmers could come up with a stable release someday.

In fact, even if you do make a positive observation, to the point that they make an improvement to the program, when your one-year license expires, you are not allowed to download the improved version, if it was in the premium version. Consequently, there are no rewards for your positive contributions.

Be prepared to pay US$40 for the buggy premium version, good for one year of minor updates. After one year, all the improvements that you suggested, if implemented, are off limits to you, unless you pay for another upgrade, sometimes discounted, but at least $30, and again, only good for another year of minor updates.

The premium version allows you to divide your "to do list" into sections (tabs), and allows you to arrange your tasks into hierarchical arrangement for outline-style viewing, which is useful, if not essential.

Synchronization with an Android is also a bit probloematic. I paid for the android upgrade version of EPIM, but it is still relatively simple and I see no improvements over the version of two years ago, in spite of what has been reported (must have been minor updates). What is worse, on the PC version you can hide your low-priority tasks, but on the android version you can only hide the categories (not the priorities). In other words, you still get 540 tasks in your face, each marked by priority, but no way to filter/hide them from view in the Android version, as you could in the PC version. In fact, the subject headings are no longer called "subjects" but "titles", to add to the confusion. If Max and the staff would only listen to advice, and to customer feedback, and would give an incentive to their customers for pointing out the bugs, that would solve half of their problems and lead to a bigger customer base. Not everyone has that wisdom, however.

The Contacts List has no means for search-and-replace, or for inserting text into multiple contact fields at once. Consequently, if the area code changes for a certain city, and I want to modify 125 contacts accordingingly, I must do so manually. If I just want to insert a "001" dialing code to the beginning of each cell-phone number, I must do it manually--no "find/replace/insert".

Instead of posting to the EPIM forum, where all the flaws are out of the public view, I will start posting here, so that others can know what they are getting.

My first exposure to EPIM was her on this forum, so I am happy to report my negative findings here, to prevent other people from making the same mistakes.

I have been using EPIM extensively for three years now. At first sight it looked wonderful, and as everyone was recommending it, I started using it daily. I even paid $40 for the full version. While during the first few days of use it seems like a great program, with extensive daily use one discovers that it is full of bugs. I would go so far as to say it has more bugs than a standard freeware program. For example, whenever you add a task to your list of things to do, if organized using a hierarchical tree structure with nodes and sub-nodes, the nodes suddenly open, and the screen jumps and takes you somewhere down the tree, so that you have to scroll back up just to find your place. This happens every single time that you create a new task, so you can imagine how frustrating that is, as you constantly have to close nodes that were already closed, just because you added a new task somewhere outside that node. EPIM is full of bugs like that, erratic behavior, hidden completed tasks re-appearing sporadically simply because you drag a set of tasks from one tab to another. To make matters worse, I have posted over thrity such bug reports on the EPIM forum, but, judging from his comments, the programmer seems indifferent to them all, which is surprising, as they were not mere suggestions for improvement, but bug reports. As a result, when the next minor update came out the same bugs continued to appear. I tried also using the "contacts" module within the program, importing CSV and VCF files, and EPIM retained the contacts but deleted some of the phone numbers within them (i.e., if John Doe had three phone numbers on record, EPIM imported only one of them, and made me believe that the entire database was intact; it even has the nerve to present the message "973 contacts successfully imported," which turned out to be a lie, as these files looked good on the surface but were corrupt inside.). Who needs a contact manager that deletes your data on the first try? Yes, of course,I tested and re-tested the program (and subsequent updates) on several computers during several weeks, before I finally gave up completely on the "contacts" module within EPIM. If you have not had these problems yourself, it is probably because you have only used the main features of the program without going in to check whether your imported contacts truly retained all the original phone numbers. The calendar module also has bugs, but is more stable than the other modules, so that and the task list, are all that I use the program for anymore. I am not about to trust EPIM with a set of passwords, notes, and others sensitive information, if I see that it cannot handle something as simple as importing telephone numbers. Not to mention that any information recorded in your "notes" module or "contacts"module cannot be dragged over to your task list, nor vice versa. Get this: you cannot even COPY and PASTE any such information nodes from the hierarchical tree, to or from your task list, or to or from your contacts list. You have to go in and highlight and copy the text from the fields themselves, and take them over via the clipboard to a field within the other module. In conclusion, EPIM is decent as a calendar, and allows you to write and organize your tasks, but is very buggy and not to be trusted with contacts.

Thanks for the detailed report ErikJon. I have added a comment reflecting your experience to this product category

can't recomment Agenda At Once - it downloads software while installing, it then offers PUPs - wajam, wisemana, system healer, goodgame empire - though you can decline, and finally connects to with offers for driver check. Didn't trip antivirus/trojan sw but advise to avoid.

Thanks bassogigas. This is another example of the resurgence of trickery for monetary gain. I'm removing Agenda At Once from further consideration.

I'm looking for a PIM software that notices a free time space in my schedule and suggests a task that can be completed or worked on in that period of time, based on the tasks and projects I have entered. It will also allow me to assign tasks that need to be done before other tasks.
Any ideas, please.

I'm getting a virus warning when trying to download WinPim. Kaspersky is preventing download.

Thank you very much for the report Texas: I have used VirusTotal to scan the WinPim file at the source and multiple scanners report Trojan-like behavior [results]. I will post a notice here on this webpage.

I am a little frustrated that Agenda At Once is always Scheduled for Evaluation but it never happens. I have used it for years. YES it does have repeating reminders. I do not offer to evaluate as I suffer Bipolar, some days it hard enough to motivate to do anything let alone do a review. However click the link under Scheduled for Evaluation and see for your self how good it is. To my mind is is better than the top recommendations. It is not a cut down version of a paid version, it is the full version. Perhaps some one would be kind enough to give it a run for its money and do a full review. Thanks Guys.

Thanks for the recommendation Andy. Sometimes I need a little motivation myself to take another look at a product that didn't look ready or promising at first glance. Time for me to take another look and include it in this product category.

Regarding Pimero Free Edition
Sync and backup not functional (need to pay to play). If yo have this software running on more than one device it will be a big problem so, keep that in mind. Manually coping data folders will not work and then again, Why would you!... Pimero is inherently slow fetching emails from multiple accounts and forget multi-tasking while that is going on in the background. As a replacement for MS Outlook this is a poor candidate in my opinion and I am no MS Outlook fan.
Now the post mentions upcoming reviews on Chaos Free and Agenda at Once. I have used them both and they are great simple to use PIM's. Chaos Free should definitely be top choice for anyone looking for simple to use scheduling, tasks and contact management.
I have used Chaos Free for over a year now on my desktop and laptop with no hitch or hick-ups.
Looking forward to your insightful review on this product.

Thanks for your useful comments om2mo. Your experiences with Chaos Free and Agenda at Once encourage me to proceed with reviews.

Be very careful of losing your data with Essential PIM.I settled upon this software some years back as after extensive research and trialling it seemed the best overall option. I mainly used it for the calendar.

Just recently 4 months worth of data entries for the calendar, including for next year, suddenly disappeared and not one of the backup files would restore the data.

On contacting their technical support with specifics about the problem, including screenprints, I was amazed to find a lethargic, superior and non-helpful approach. I was informed that "Data can't just disappear" and they kept telling me to try importing from different backup files which I had already told them I had tried to no avail.

After exchanging half a dozen emails and getting increasingly frustrated with the blasé approach I was told: "Such problems as yours may appear either because of incorrect file or some synchronization problems...". Oh, so that's alright then?

I have no trust in the product any more - a fundamental necessity I think you will agree - and the technical support stinks so am back to looking for alternatives which is why I'm here again...

I installed Pimero. It looked good, till I tried to import my emails from Outlook. It will import all your messages but NOT the folders and folder structure! So if, like me, you have many folders and sub-folders you have to manually recreate them in Pimero, then manually select each folder or sub-folder for import. Rinse and repeat ad tedium till you're done.
I didn't have the half a day plus this would take so removed this time wasting program!

Thanks, that's good to know Redschuart. Thanks for your comment. Noted in the Cons.

Thanks for the great article. Am using the awesomeness that is Rainlender Lite for my To-Dos and Reminders for now, and will check out your two top picks.

There are some collaboration platforms online that are free for 1 user. They sometimes provide PIM functions.

For my private needs, I use combo of Essential PIM, ToDoList and Efficient Diary.

I have been using Pimero Free Edition for about a year now. It's a great PIM and pretty good email client. Very intuitive to use, and with most of the functionality anyone would need. If you haven't tried it yet, you're missing out.

Since this is the free version and I've been using it for personal use, I can't comment on the the paid versions or how they stack up in the business environment.

Biggest critique so far: there isn't a portable version available.

I tried most of these tools. Comparatively,MemPad is an excellent one. Free; Portable;Lower RAM usage even than Winpad;Structured index,good for simple GTD and diary.Here is the link for the offical description and download.

This program fits the Best Free Notes Organizer category best.