Bento - a good organization application?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Makube, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. Makube macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    #1
    So I have yet not upgraded to leopard, but now I wonder if maybe I should after all. If I am to collect a whole bunch of ideas, characters, and such for a novel (just an example), would bento help me to organize my ideas and so on? Or have you got another program that will fill my needs better?
     
  2. Morod macrumors 68000

    Morod

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Location:
    On The Nickel, over there....
    #2
    Bento is a very user-friendly database, set up much like other Apple apps. If you can navigate iTunes, for example, you would have no trouble with Bento. It comes with 24 database templates covering lots of ground. I believe you can download a free trial version on their web site to see if it fits your needs. I got my copy from Amazon for $45 ($5 off retail) and use it mostly for home inventory, collections and vehicle maintenance. It's very nice to have a simple to use app for keeping track of stuff! Hope this helps.
    Morod
     
  3. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Holocene Epoch
    #3
    Bento is just a good looking, very functional, flexible, basic flatfile-type database (a "lists" database). Nothing relational about it. What it does it seems to do very well, including hooks into Address Book and iCal (one of its nicest features, IMO).

    I can't see it doing what you are looking to do, though. Not that you couldn't make it work. Just that there are software packages designed specifically for writers working on books, novels, etc. which seem to me like they would suit your needs far better. Google StoryMill or Scrivener, they are designed to do exactly what you need (StoryMill does character databases, timelines, etc.)

    Along similar lines I'm trying the demo of OmniOutliner as a way of organizing flexible information that doesn't fit neatly in a relational database, but the demo licensing terms are a little screwy.
     
  4. stockcerts macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #4
    I just downloaded Bento a few days ago and I'm using it to track expenses and other info for my rental properties. I'll use it for a few weeks before I decide to shell out the cash.

    If I do buy it, I hope Bento will have a well supported product lifecycle with regular enhancements.
     
  5. peterdevries macrumors 68040

    peterdevries

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2008
    Location:
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    #5
    You could also try a mind-mapping software, such as Mindmanager. It helps brainstorming and also structuring your ideas and all other elements.

    I guess mindmapping is the better solution for structuring your ideas and coming up with them, whereas Bento would be good to catalogue your established ideas etc which are not subject to a lot of change..
     
  6. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #6
    Stockcerts..

    I see that you are using it for your rentals. I was looking to do the same thing. If you don't mind me asking, how do you like it? I am currently using a spreadsheet to track all my expenses for my rentals.
     
  7. Pittsax macrumors 6502

    Pittsax

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #7
    I don't think Bento would be best at what you want. If you're looking for organizing for writing, I'd check out any of these:

    Scrivener
    StoryMill (formerly Avenir)
    CopyWrite

    I've tried them all and they're pretty similar. But each does some things better than the others.
     
  8. stockcerts macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #8
    I could accomplish the same thing with a spreadsheet, but it's a bit more elegant in Bento. On my main form I have a picture of the property in a media field. Some contact info for my property management firm, along with current lease expiration date. I link my main library to another one that has the income and expense info. By keep it organized throughout the year I'm hoping it will make things easier at tax time.

    I believe the plan is to grown and improve the product. Right now I'm on my free 30 day trial, but I probably will buy the license.

    So, to answer your question...Bento is OK for tracking certain info, but like I stated above...you could probably accomplish the same thing in a spreadsheet.
     
  9. stockcerts macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #9
    One other comment I'd like to make about Bento. They offer excellent user support on their forums. I had a few questions while I was creating my rental database. The forum moderator actually built a rental database so he could show me screen shots and examples to make his point. Between the excellent support and the fact that this product will fit my needs, I'm quite certain I'll buy the license before my trial expires.
     
  10. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #10
    Thanks for the input.. I just sent off for the trial license.
     
  11. carrotsandsmart macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    #11
    You might also want to look at

    you might also want to look at Omnioutliner - (www.omnigroup.com) This is great ideas,notes, etc. probably the best 50 bucks I've spent on software.
     
  12. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    #12
  13. Island Dog macrumors 6502a

    Island Dog

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    St. Cloud, FL.
    #13
    I just finished the trial, and I will most likely purchase a license soon. It's real good for home inventory, and tracking projects. :)
     
  14. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Holocene Epoch
    #14
    I keep hoping they will release version 2 of Delicious Library for home library inventory.

    Still, Bento's exclusive integration into iCal and Contacts and their focus on home inventory (for insurance purposes) makes it a strong contender. I'll probably wind up with both. :)
     
  15. Windsor Smith macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Location:
    Hayward, California, U.S.A.
    #15
    More than flat file

    I agree with John.B and others that Bento probably isn't well-suited for Makube's needs. But it's more than just a flat file database and does, in fact, have some relational capabilites (though probably not as sophisticated and customizable as FileMaker Pro's). I've tested them myself, and you can see http://www.filemaker.com/products/bento/tutorial_popup_related.html for a brief demo.

    Personally, I'm amazed that Bento's developers were able to gracefully pack so many features into it, and at such a low price.
     
  16. Island Dog macrumors 6502a

    Island Dog

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    St. Cloud, FL.
    #16
    Agreed. I think it's a decent bargain for what it offers.
     

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