Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top


I have been looking for a good personal information management (PIM) program with good online synchronisation support for a long time. Does anyone know of one that meets my needs?


The following are essential for an acceptable solution.

  • Windows 8 64-bit support
  • Calendars and task lists
    • Multiple calendars/task lists
    • Repeating events/tasks
  • Bidirectional online synchronisation with a free service or services
    • This can be one service provider (such as Google) or multiple (such as Google for calendar and something else for tasks).
  • Multiple accounts
  • Stability (crashes and glitches should be occasional or less frequent)
  • Reliable (no data loss)
  • Reminders

Optional Preferences

The following are desired, but optional. They may be subjective and are not required for an accepted solution. However, a solution that meets the requirements and has these is preferred.

  • Free or cheap
  • E-mail capabilities
  • Contact (people) capabilities
  • Reasonable licence agreement (not unrealistically strict)
  • Convenient to use (no frequent user frustration)
  • Intuitive (not difficult to use, no obvious or significant design flaws)
  • Responsive to open and use
  • Native Windows UI (not using Java Swing, for example)
  • No Windows 8-style UI
  • Active development (not abandoned, discontinued or orphaned)
  • Tasks can be split into subtasks
  • Instant-messaging capabilities
  • Single application (rather than multiple separate applications)

Excluded Software

I have already tried or investigated the following applications and found them to be lacking in some of the above areas:

Mozilla Thunderbird 17 + Lightning 1.9

  • No support for multiple calendar accounts from the same provider
  • No task synchronisation
  • Development limited to bug-fixes and other minor maintenance work

Mozilla Thunderbird 17 + Lightning 1.9 + Provider for Google Calendar 0.18

  • Calendar synchronisation glitches
  • Lost calendar appointments
  • No task synchronisation

Microsoft Outlook 2007 + Google Calendar Sync

  • Google Calendar Sync appears to be discontinued
  • No support for multiple accounts (from memory)
  • Google Calendar Sync is a separate program

Microsoft Outlook 2007 + Hotmail Connector

  • No task synchronisation support

Windows Live Mail

  • No task support

Windows 8 Calendar

  • No task support
  • Reminders only show once
  • Reminders only show momentarily (user might not even be looking at the screen)
  • Low-productivity Windows 8-style UI

eM Client 5

  • Frequent crashes and errors
  • Disappearing events and tasks (data loss)
  • Data corruption
  • Poor repeating tasks support (reminders not working, occurrences not being created, basically a hack)
  • Unrealistic licence agreement



  • No active development
  • Unreliable reminders
  • Poor performance
  • Poor UI


Zimbra Desktop

  • No repeating tasks
  • Non-native UI
  • Slow UI


  • Extremely poor UI performance
  • UI contrast issues


  • Requires the use of a server to synchronise with online services.
  • Appears to be intended for businesses and workgroups.
share|improve this question

closed as off topic by bwDraco, Nifle, Brad Patton, Tog, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 May 12 '13 at 15:01

Questions on Super User are expected to relate to computer software or computer hardware within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Why was this closed, specifically? Is it considered asking for a shopping or product recommendation? – Sam May 31 '13 at 23:34
For anyone who's interested, I ended up settling with and Windows Live Mail. Windows Live Mail doesn't provide task support, but I personally felt that it was the best compromise for me. As an added bonus, supports ActiveSync, so I can sync the contacts, mail, tasks and calendars with my phone. Using the new Microsoft Outlook 2013 with should work fine for all of the requirements, but I felt that it was very expensive. – Sam Aug 18 '13 at 7:18
Just an update to the above comment: it looks like Windows 8 Mail is gradually making Windows Live Mail obsolete. It's usable at this stage, but still prerelease quality. – Sam Nov 7 '13 at 7:57

Have a look at EssentialPIM. I've stumbled over this some time ago when looking for something else. I haven't tried it but it seems to live up to your requirements. It's up to you to decide if USD 40 is too expensive.

share|improve this answer
Thanks; it does appear to meet all of the requirements. I intend to use the trial version for a while to see how reliable it is and determine if it has any flaws that could get in my way. – Sam Jan 8 '13 at 22:47
I've found the following flaws with it already. -Can't control which calendars are subscribed to (within a single online service account). -Doesn't display all contacts' details from online service. -No "Agenda" view. -Doesn't seem to subscribe to 'push' IMAP functionality. -Unintelligent mail account set-up wizard. Of course, I'll still consider it. Hopefully there's something better out there. – Sam Jan 9 '13 at 2:02

The Absolute BEST of all time was Ecco PRO. No sync though. I want a PIM that can sync with Google tasks....I am using GTO in a SG2. I need something better than the standard Google Windows front....

share|improve this answer
Have you run across a PIM that has synchronization support or meets some of the other needs identified in the question? – chuff Jan 18 '13 at 2:07
@chuff, keep in mind that as a new user, Gino isn't allowed to post comments, so this is one of the only ways to contribute to the site. The answer doesn't address the criteria, but I see this as a symptom of a design flaw in the StackExchange network. – Sam Jan 18 '13 at 7:18
Good point, @Sam. As a fairly new user to the site myself, I appreciate helpful suggestions. – chuff Jan 18 '13 at 7:29
Gino, what are "GTO" and "SG2"? Also, you can mark this question as a "Favourite" to keep track of its answers. – Sam Jan 18 '13 at 8:10

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .