Mac users have unique software available from FileMaker called Bento. Now, there is Bento for iPad (in addition to iPhone), and it just makes so much sense, and for only $4.99, it’s a real no-brainer.

Bento is the personal organization program from FileMaker, provider for Windows and Mac users of the best relational database program there is.  As a FileMaker user from version 1.0, I can tell you it’s a must for all computer users who want to use a database, whether for contacts, for projects for records keeping and retrieval of all sorts.  If you are unfamiliar with FileMaker, please start here to learn.  What many users lean on Excel to do and should not, FileMaker is designed to do.

Excel from Microsoft is a fine spreadsheet program that many users lean on to make and keep lists of things.  FileMaker is NOT a spreadsheet, but it IS the right product to use for all your data organizational needs.  Entire large companies, small offices, my own included, rely on FileMaker to manage our Website’s data as well as to manage the flow of information in and out.  And remember, FileMaker is for Macs as well as Windows PCs, and it is the best at what it does, hands down.

Fast forward to Bento, the personal organization program from FileMaker, exclusively for Mac users, first reviewed and recommended here. That was version 1. Now in version 3, Bento has continued to improve and innovate, fixing bugs, expanding capabilities asked for by we Bento users.  They listen!  They really do!  This impresses me to no end.

Even more important and of value is the community of Bento users who provide help and templates.  FileMaker, the company, too, keeps adding free content, which brings me to NOW.  Now, go back to the linked page above (here), and click links there to take you to included templates, templates created by others and be sure to have a look at tutorials.  I promise they will blow you away. No joke.  You’ve just never seen anything like Bento!

Bento for Mac is just $49 and worth every penny.  iPad users, users who also have Macs, can sync between the two.  PC users without Bento (sorry ‘bout that) but who have iPads should part with the $4.99 to download Bento for iPad, but first read, look and drool here.  If you’ve done as suggested here, you know how Bento for iPad can benefit you, whether you’re a dad, grad on the way to college, college grad and mom.

What does Bento for iPad look like on the iPad screen, that crisp, wonderful screen?

About like this . . . only better . . .

 

Graphically rich, infinitely customizable to your taste, your style and your desire. Bento for iPad lets you, the user, the creator do your thing.  Now, just imagine all you can do with Bento for iPad, and remember, it’s only $4.99.  Select from and use any of the initial, built-in, more than 25 templates, or create your own, modify one of the 25, download more from the template exchange.  There is so much from which to choose, to create or to modify, making it your own.

Watch the excellent Bento for iPad in Two Minutes video as another great way to begin.

Bento for iPad comes with these templates so you can organize, with photos, videos, links, text and documents, making your own fields, large text, small text, fonts you like and way more.

Students will find of interest the FREE Bento 3 Student Survival Kit with “five pre-designed, ready-to-use templates to organize your lecture notes, group projects, special events, classes, and job searching.”  And with the lecture notes template, using iPad’s simple-to-use on-screen keyboard, students can take lecture notes directly in Bento for iPad, that is, directly into the template.  Amazing, really.  And remember, iPad is large enough to be a useful school tool with all-day battery performance, but that’s for another time.  If you are pre-disposed to want iPad, Bento for iPad will make it useful and, frankly, more fun for anyone who wants to be productive with his or her iPad.

What else?  Have a look at the Bento 3 Family Organizer, with five pre-designed templates:  Bills to track your bills due dates, and more; Chore Chart to create and print a list of each person’s chores for easy viewing; Meal Planner to store meal ideas, ingredients needed, menus and so much more; Shopping List to keep track of what you need and where to buy it (take along iPad when doing all the shopping!); and Weekly Routine to create and see each person’s weekly routine all on one screen!

As a Bento user, there is nothing I can say, nothing I can do more than encourage you to try it yourselves.  If you’ve an iPad, for $4.99, you will thank me many times over for steering you to it.  As Mac users, you, too, will thank me for cajoling you into getting this singularly remarkable application.

I like the ability to structure contents of my library the way I like, the way I choose.  For example, just as can be seen on the screen shot above, users may select the background color and theme as desired. The fields may be place and sized randomly, with contents of each field set as text, media, whatever.  Telling you how I use Bento may be of little interest to you. We are all individuals, each different one from another, and that is the beauty of Bento, as it can be personalized as each user may wish.  It is what you, and you, and you can do that makes it important as an application, important in your life and meaningful to your needs.

So, how I use Bento for iPad and for my Mac is immaterial. If you’ve watched the videos, read through the links above and browsed about all the built-in and available templates and all the uses you just never would have thought about on your own, then you must come away as enthusiastic as I am, even before you buy.

Let me caution you on just one thing – Bento can become addictive in its ability to help organize life.  Isn’t this the kind of addiction you want?

If you are a medical professional, there are several ways Bento for iPad can help. If you’re a stamp or coin collector, Bento for iPad will delight you.  The truth is, no matter what it is you do or want to do, Bento for iPad can help you in ways you just cannot know before using it, using it as I do.

Just FYI, however, I use my Bento to keep track of vehicle maintenance, for home inventory with videos, to integrate with contacts on my Mac, for events, keeping track of who, what, when and where, and who has and has not responded to the invitations, my to-do lists, grocery shopping associated with meal planning (I love to cook), organizing my digital media (SOOOOO much of that), tracking my time on work projects and much, much more.  And I sync it all with my Mac, automatically, with the press of the Sync link on iPad any time I am within range on my Gadget Central wireless network.  How can you not love this????

Thank you for reading and for paying close attention to my recommendations.  You’ll really love Bento for iPad.

More information is at www.filemaker.com or call 1-800-325-2747.

If you’ve ever thought about getting a Mac, using Bento and synchronizing Bento between your Mac and iPad (and iPhone, for that matter), here is yet another great reason to go with Mac.  However, to reiterate, regardless of your desktop choice of a Windows machine or Mac, Bento for iPad is a winner if ONLY on iPad.  It’s even better, more fun and more useful if you also have Bento for your Mac.

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