Bento 4 Project Manager for Mac OS X
Bento is an entry level database creation program for Mac OS X. Bento is owned by FileMaker – which is subsequently owned by Apple Inc. itself.
Bento is a great application with so many uses it is pretty remarkable. Bento is supposed to be a dumbed down version of FileMaker’s aptly named FileMaker Pro program. But, for the average user Bento can do everything I need it to do and more.
Bento is laid out a lot like it’s brothers from Apple, but with some differences that are very un-Apple like if it was coming right from Steve Jobs desk. Bento has a very easy to use layout with libraries (which are different databases) in the upper right hand corner. Some of the editing toolbars are along the bottom and moving and layout views are on the top of the application. I am not sure I am 100% sold on this layout, however the usefulness of the program overshadow some of the quirks of the layout.
Bento comes with a ton of different themes and layouts that are able to be implemented with practically one click for anything. You can drag and drop features into new forms, as well as “click” to add them and it will just put them below the current bottom item. This sounds confusing, but it is really easy to use and the learning curve was about 20 minutes for me.
Some of the default templates that Bento comes with (with many more available for free or pay online) are projects – projects with due dates, etc., inventory – for tracking business product inventory, exercise log – to keep track of workout schedule, time billing – to track your time as a freelancer, classes – to manage your homework, and many more (about 30 total with more online).
You can also use Bento to create your own customized forms for practically anything. I use it to manage all of my clients online, as well as my business expenses. It has tight integration with Address Book and iCal events.