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Bento 2 [OLD VERSION]

Platform : Mac OS X
3.5 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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  • Bento 2 organizes contacts, calendars, emails, events, files and photos--all in one place
  • Super-easy to learn and use; comes with more than 20 ready-to-use templates and themes
  • Links directly to Mac OS X Address Book, iCal, and Apple Mail
  • Works with iPhone, iPod Touch and Mobile Me through Address Book and iCal
  • Works seamlessly with Excel and Numbers
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Product Description

Product Description

Meet Bento® 2, the new version of the wildly popular personal database from FileMaker® that's as easy to use as your Mac. Now you can organize everything - from contacts and calendars, to emails and events, to files and photos ¿ all in one place. For Mac OS X Leopard only. Highlights ¿ Organizes contacts, calendars, emails, events, files and photos - all in one place ¿ Super-easy to learn and use ¿ Links directly to Mac OS X Address Book, iCal, and Apple Mail ¿ Works with iPhone, iPod Touch and Mobile Me through Address Book and iCal ¿ Works seamlessly with Excel and Numbers ¿ Comes with more than 20 ready-to-use templates and themes Bring together Address Book, iCal, Apple Mail, and more! From contacts and calendars, to emails and events, to files and photos, you can organize just about every type of information you have ¿ all in one place. The perfect complement to Excel and Numbers. If you¿re managing lists in Microsoft Excel or iWork Numbers, you can easily bring them into Bento to view your information in beautiful Bento forms, get easy iTunes-style searching, instant sorting, quick summary stats, and much more! Get organized with style. Even if you're brand new to the Mac community or to databases, it's never been easier to get organized thanks to ready-to-use templates and elegant themes designed by Mac artists.

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Meet Bento 2, the new version of the wildly popular personal database from FileMaker that's as easy to use as your Mac. Now you can organize everything--from contacts and calendars, to emails and events, to files and photos--all in one place. For Mac OS X Leopard only.

Now you can organize everything--from contacts and calendars, to emails and events, to files and photos--all in one place. Click to enlarge.

It's never been easier to get organized thanks to ready-touse templates and elegant themes designed by Mac artists. Click to enlarge.

Easily bring lists from Microsoft Excel or iWork Numbers into Bento Click to enlarge.

Use Bento to organize all the details of your busy life. Click to enlarge.

Organize it all with Bento! Click to enlarge.

Bring together Address Book, iCal, Apple Mail, and more!
From contacts and calendars, to emails and events, to files and photos, you can organize just about every type of information you have--all in one place.

The perfect complement to Excel and Numbers.
If you're managing lists in Microsoft Excel or iWork Numbers, you can easily bring them into Bento to view your information in beautiful Bento forms, get easy iTunes-style searching, instant sorting, quick summary stats, and much more!

Get organized with style.
Even if you're brand new to the Mac community or to databases, it's never been easier to get organized thanks to ready-to-use templates and elegant themes designed by Mac artists.

What's New in Bento 2

Meet Bento 2, the new version of the wildly popular personal database from FileMaker that's as easy to use as your Mac. Bento brings your important information together in one place to help you get organized. Here's what's new in Bento 2.

Apple Mail Integration--Get instant access to related mail messages

  • Link Apple Mail email messages, notes, and RSS articles directly to information stored in Bento with a simple drag and drop.
  • View messages instantly from within Bento using Quick Look.
  • Open selected messages in Apple Mail with a single click to easily reply or forward.

More Spreadsheet-like Behavior--Includes familiar spreadsheet features

  • Use the new fill down feature or copy and paste to enter information faster and easier than ever before.
  • Click, type, and tab to enter data just like you do in Microsoft Excel or iWork Numbers.
  • Add new fields and change field types right from the Table View.

Direct Numbers and Excel Support--Work with Numbers and Excel seamlessly

  • Directly import iWork Numbers or Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. You no longer need to save spreadsheets as CSV files first.
  • Directly export Bento libraries to iWork Numbers or Microsoft Excel format. You no longer need to export libraries as CSV files first.
  • Copy and paste selected blocks of spreadsheet data into Bento to view information in beautiful Bento forms, get easy iTunes-style searching, quick sorting and instant summary stats.
  • Copy and paste Bento data back into your spreadsheet for further analysis and charting.

Import and Export Tab-Delimited Files--Great news for AppleWorks users

  • Bring your AppleWorks databases and spreadsheets into Bento with a few clicks.
  • Export your AppleWorks data to a text file and then import into Bento.
  • Export data from Bento just as easily to send it back to AppleWorks or any program that supports tab-delimited files.

Template Import and Export--Exchange Bento templates with ease

  • Exchange your favorite Bento library templates with other Bento users by simply exporting individual templates.
  • Get templates from other Bento users by importing them with a simple drag and drop.

Split View--See summaries and details together

  • The new hybrid Split View shows summaries and details together on one screen to make viewing and editing information easier than ever.
  • See a list of information in Table View on top and details in Form View below--all on the same screen.

Use Bento to organize all the details of your busy life!

  • Manage unlimited contact details
  • Link important emails to people, projects and events
  • Coordinate events, parties and fundraisers
  • Track projects, assignments, and deadlines
  • Prioritize to-do lists and action items
  • Catalog inventory, donations and items for sales
  • Record hours worked and payments due
  • Assign ratings to service providers and sellers
  • Create libraries for music, movies, and media
  • Organize files and photos with related contacts, projects and events

Faster Form Customization--Say "goodbye" to customize mode

  • Change a form layout instantly without having to enter Customize Mode.
  • Click on a field's label to select it--then move it, resize it, change the font size, shading and more.
  • Click inside the field to edit data.

Built-In Links to Maps and Chat--Get maps and start chats from Bento

  • Click the new button near an address to automatically display maps or driving directions from the Web.
  • Start a chat session with your IM buddies right from within Bento. (Requires an Internet connection and instant messaging account.)

More Printing Options--Print forms and lists easier

  • In Form View, you can now print more than one record per page.
  • In Table View, you can use the new "Fit to Width" option to make your columns automatically fit the width of the page.

Ten More Themes--Make your forms look even better

  • Dress your data in designer style, bring excitement to your day with new colors, or add a refreshing splash to your forms with the new swimming pool and sandy beach themes.
  • Preview themes before applying them to quickly find just the look you want.

Product Details

  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to select countries outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B001K6PA1C
  • Item model number: TS971LL/A
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: October 28, 2008
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,386 in Software (See Top 100 in Software)
  • Manufacturer’s warranty can be requested from customer service. Click here to make a request to customer service.

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

IMprovement over v1, but still has some bugs and issues. Many were present in v1. Filemaker has said they do not fix such bugs, only data loss. v1 has proven this to be correct as it has many bugs, some which prevent its use.

Other issues are you can only use Bento on one machine. Ever. If you move the database file to a new computer your address book and iCal data in Bento is lost. Any custom fields or smart collections are gone. NO syncing between multiple macs either. These were well documented flaws and yet Filemaker chose not to fix them.
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Earlier this year I reviewed the new Bento personal database software from FileMaker. Though it has limitations and lacks many desirable features of a database system, I found it to be impressive as a way to store personal information and a low-cost solution for easily tracking your data and keeping organized.

FileMaker recently released an updated version, Bento 2, which adds several improvements and makes the program even easier to use. In this review I will basically concentrate on the new features, particularly those I found most valuable. .

Upon installing Bento 2 I immediately received an update message and proceeded to download Bento 2.0v3, which mainly fixed several bugs in the program. If you are updating from the original version, Bento 2 will update each of your existing libraries. During this process a backup version of all your database information in the original Bento format will be created which will allow you to downgrade to the original Bento if ever needed.

If you are familiar with the Mac programs iTunes and Address Book you will readily understand Bento 2's cataloguing system. Each individual database that you create is called a Library. You can make subdivisions of that library into categories that are called Collections. Each Library is designed for a specific task, i.e. inventory, expenses, contacts, sales and event planning. There are 23 ready-to-use Library templates included in the program which can be easily modified to meet your individual needs. You can create your own custom template from scratch and now download templates that have been created by other users.

Bento 2 offers two views of the data stored in your Libraries, table view and form view.
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I've been using Bento 2.0 every day for the past month. I started using it after 2.0 came out, so I have none of the bitterness from upgrade users having to pay the full price for relatively minor improvement. (However, I also use Filemaker 10 Pro myself, and I have another kind of bitterness with this product.)

In short, Bento 2 is very useful for personal users, for purposes it is advertised, but I would not expect much more from Bento. It is no Filemaker. It is very useful when you want to extend or add function to Addressbook, Todo list, calendar, etc., or make your own task manager. In other words, Bento can serve very well as a highly customizable personal information management (PIM) or digital organizer system based on simple databases. Its main weakness are limited relational functions, limited to one table per "library" (databse), and lack of embedded browser interface. Also, "media" field and URL list field of Bento databases are not exportable or importable through CSV files. They are retained within local Bento database files, and they can't be exchanged with other apps in any standard way (unless you are familiar with SQLite database engine, used by Bento. You could access these files directly, if so desired.).

Since I mentioned above that Bento is very useful as a customizable PIM, I might add that Bento currently does not sync with any portable device. They say it works with iPod Touch, but that is only for Addressbook and iCal. This area needs improvement for better usability.

There are many annoying inconvenience in terms of features and user interfaces. I'm actively filing suggestions though their website, so I am strongly hoping that they will release version 2.1 soon to fix these problems.
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I've been working with Bento for a couple of days now. I've used it for some databases for personal use. The integration with Address Book, iCal and Mail are just amazing, and turns out to be essential for my use. I was prepared to spend hours or even days to create these databases in some other database or spreadsheet, but was able to do so in just a few hours and get the exact functionality I wanted.

Granted, there are some limitations, but understand this product is a low cost, 'consumer' database tool. For me, there is huge value being able to tie into my address book and calendar.

Try the 30 day trial. Very easy to use, and you can read the entire user's manual in a few minutes.

Highly recommended.
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Great idea AWFUL software.

For something that is supposed to simplify one's life, this software is so unstable, the only thing I have gotten from it headaches.

My experience with Bento 1:
Immediately after installing, on my first use of the software, every action generates the dreaded 'the spinning wheel'.
Then the whole software hangs and it crashes my entire system. I don't recall all of the minutia of how this happened, but what I do recall is that I lost a whole lot of data (Time Machine for some reason doesn't back up Entoruage) and when I got my system back up and running had to re-install a bunch of software....The biggest headache of which was Entourage. I think the crash somehow corrupted Entourage because iCal was pulling data from Entourage. Make sure you don't have your system set up to do this because due to the 'user' issue re-installing Entourage was not a simple task and took days of touble-shooting.

So, because the concept of this software is great, and because Apple promotes this software and I figured surely these people would have ironed out all the bugs of version one before putting out version 2, and because I now don't have iCal pulling data from Entourage - Turned that off, I decide to give it another go.
UGGGHH. Once again, very action generates the dreaded wheel. Then, and this happens after every action, the software hangs up and I get an error message. Not only that, I can't 'force quit' because it has again made my whole system unstable and everything generates the wheel...Not just this program.

Over the 3 years I have had my Mac, it has been proved to be an incredibly stable system. The only crash I have ever had was when I put Bento 1 on.o.
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