Essential PIM is not primarily a note taking program, it is an E-mail program with a calendar and note taking facilities. It stores its data in a database and it can only have one database open at once. There was no significant slowing of the response times when using a file with over one thousand notes.
This is not a note taking program but it does make an excellent addition to a note taking program. The program supports universal links both incoming and outgoing, so when used in conjunction with a note taking program that supports universal links (Connected Text, WhizFolders and to a lesser extent Memo Master) you can link your notes to E-mails, tasks from the to do list, contacts and events and appointments from the calendar. This is more useful than it might seem, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
The note taking part of the program is actually not very good, just a simple hierarchical tree with no tagging, but that is forgivable as the primary focus of this program is on E-mail.
This program is available from http://www.essentialpim.com/ and costs $39.95 (at 9th May 2013), there is a 30 day free trial version, there used to be a cut down free version but that has been discontinued.
Overall score = 46 out of 60
Verdict Very useful, worth the money.
1. Connectivity = 9
This program has good support for universal links both outgoing and incoming. These links are used internally as well so you can link anything to anything else. An appointment in the calendar could be linked to a contact or an e-mail. All the e-mails concerning a particular project could be linked to the appropriate notes in your note taking program. They can also contain links to websites and files.
In Essential PIM the notes, appointments, contacts, passwords and tasks can all have file attachments.
2. Classification = 3
Ways of classifying things in Essential PIM are limited, there are a small number of categories which any object may be tagged with. These categories are editable and you could increase the number of categories but I could imagine that it would become cumbersome with more than about fifty categories.
3. Text layout and formatting = 8
There are the usual formatting options, the editor is nice and simple to use but it is not quite up to the standards of a word processor. The editing of tables is quite good, you can drag the boundaries around with the mouse. Pictures can be inserted. Overall this is a good editor and is better than many of the editors in the programs reviewed here.
4. A sense of time = 10
As you might imagine one of the primary purposes of this program is managing appointments and tasks therefore its sense of time is very good. Although e-mails and notes cannot be directly linked to a date they can be linked to an appointment or task with a date.
Appointments and tasks can be made to repeat and this is very flexible, so you could for example set an appointment or task to happen on the last Thursday of every second month. It is not as flexible as the calendar in Mozilla Thunderbird but then Mozilla Thunderbird is not as open to connection as Essential PIM.
5. Ease of use = 8
Essential PIM is easy to use and most things are pretty obvious. It is not the most configurable of programs but the choices which have been made for the user interface are quite well thought out
6. Visual Appeal = 8
Essential PIM is a good looking program. The screen is divided up into several sections for the display of different information, if you don’t like the proportions then you can just drag the borders about with the mouse. There is very little unnecessary clutter.