FileMaker’s Bento 2 Holiday Pack makes getting organized for the holidays fast, fun and free

Personal database that organizes your busy lifeFileMaker, Inc. today announced the Bento 2 Holiday Pack, a fast and easy way to get organized for the holidays that’s completely free. The Bento 2 Holiday Pack works exclusively with Bento 2, the latest version of the personal database that’s as easy to use as your Mac, and includes: a free 30-day trial of Bento 2, plus festive themes and templates that help you organize contacts, cards, gifts, and donations — all in one place.

Do you agonize over whether you’re going to miss returning a holiday card to someone who sent you a card last year? Are you frustrated because your spouse has holiday card contacts stored on email at the office, and you’ve got some in your computer’s address book at home? People who love the time-honored tradition of sending holiday cards via snail mail can now use easy-to-use database software technology to get organized. With the new Contacts & Cards template in the Bento 2 Holiday Pack, you can easily check off who sent you what and when, track card recipients’ names, addresses, family members, pertinent notes, and even add images of the actual photos and cards you’ve received. The best part is that you will no longer find yourself speeding off to make that frenzied, last minute “holy cow I forgot about these people” mailing.

Now that you’ve got your cards and contacts organized, how about your budget? Chances are, you’ve started thinking about holiday shopping, donations to make and how much to spend. And given the current economic environment, you may be thinking about keeping to a strict holiday budget. The Bento 2 Holiday Pack helps you track all of the information on your gifts, such as cost per recipient and a description of the gift. You can even add a photo of the gift. You can also make notations on tax-deductible items, so you have a record when tax time rolls around. Best of all, you can automatically tally your purchases and donations, so you can stick to your holiday budget with ease.

Now comes the really fun part: the Bento 2 Holiday Pack goes one step further by letting you apply holiday themes to your templates. You can choose from either a cheerful red and green motif or a beautiful blue theme with snowflakes, adding flair and style to the art of getting organized.

“The holidays can be a hectic time, with cards, parties, gifts and other details to organize and track,” said Ryan Rosenberg, vice president marketing and services with FileMaker, in the press release. “With the free Bento 2 Holiday Pack, we’re offering a no-stress way to get all the details organized so you can breeze through the holidays — not to mention making them more festive and stylish.”

Bento 2 helps Mac users organize their work and personal lives. Designed specifically for Mac OS X Leopard, Bento 2 is an exceptionally easy way to organize contacts, calendars, projects, events and more, faster and easier than ever before.

To download the free Bento Holiday Pack, visit and complete a simple form. The Bento 2 Holiday Pack works only on Macs running Mac OS X 10.5.4 or later. Customers have the option of using the free 30-day trial version or they may purchase the complete version of Bento 2, available for US$49.

FileMaker, Inc. develops award-winning database software. Its products include the legendary FileMaker Pro product line for Windows, Mac and the Web, and the new Bento personal database for Mac. FileMaker Pro won 49 awards, more than its next eight competitors combined, from 2003-2008 in the U.S., and a total of 130 awards worldwide during this time. Millions of customers, from individuals to large organizations, rely on FileMaker, Inc. software to manage, analyze and share information. FileMaker, Inc. is a subsidiary of Apple Inc.

Source: FileMaker, Inc.


  1. Bento is an excellent program and it is incredibly easy to use. On the user interface and ease of use side, it blows OOo Base out of the water. The database cannot be linked to by multiple user’s, however, so if you are planning a multi-user deployment, stick with Base. Bento is designed more as a personal/consumer product. Base is more general purpose and can be scaled to use different databases.

  2. Bento is easy to use. It is pretty. It is easy to use. It does all that it claims and maybe a little bit more. Did I mention that it’s easy to use?
    What it ISN’T, is a full-fledged database. You want a report? Sux to be you. Want to analyze your data? Well, sux to be you. Want to store your data? GREAT! You found your app!
    This is a great product for a rev 1, maybe even good enough for a rev 2, but it isn’t quite ready for Prime Time. Not for $49 a seat or $99 for five seats. It needs reports, at a minimum.

  3. Bento may not have all the high-end features of FileMaker, but what it does do, it does great. And with that, it runs circles around FileMaker. To do the same things in FileMaker would require hours of training, learning curve, scripting. Not to mention, doing something with flair in FileMaker means knowing all kinds of inside-developer-knowledge workarounds to make your database look even remotely like it is running in OS X rather than OS 8.

    Bento is what I’ve been looking for all along, and Bento 2 is a solid upgrade. It doesn’t have everything on my wish list, like scripting, but as I try to adapt my solutions to Bento, I see that a lot of scripting I would have to do in FileMaker is not necessary in Bento. I see FileMaker’s future one day dropping all its legacy code and becoming Bento Pro, and if Mac share keeps skyrocketing, it can do that when it can drop Windows compatibility, too. That’s the main reason why Bento can shine so much; it’s a Leopard-only application and is better technology-wise for it.

    DLMeyer: As far as not being worth $49, I heartily disagree with you. The ease with which I can set up a database with basic functionality in Bento is well worth that amount. All of those hours saved from re-inventing the wheel with every database I create in FileMaker makes the cost of Bento a steal. My time is worth a lot more than that. And not to mention the cost of all the templates, plug-ins, and pre-designed solutions I have to buy for FileMaker just to get it to do some of the basic functionality of Bento without me otherwise spending weeks of my time and lots of frustration.

    I have many, many years invested in FileMaker. But I do not want to spend my time learning to be a professional database designer and programmer, I want an intuitive database program that is powerful but makes it easy to lay out numerous databases for my needs that are also attractive solutions that don’t require a lot of fuss.

    FileMaker is a powerful database for the professional programmer who must design extremely complex solutions and who has the resource of a multitude of hours at his disposal. Bento is the database for the rest of us.

  4. I did not mention the “scripting” problem. Could have. Maybe should have. Scripting is not something most folks like me – or even less technically adept – are comfortable with. OK … I’ve done a little. And hated it. Bento takes away the need for quite a lot of the scripting that goes into creating a database. Those pretty forms and the like, the basic links between fields in your Address Book and those your Database, for example. This is important. This is an excellent start. But, once you get your information IN there, how do you get a selected portion of it back OUT?
    I’m expecting something more within the year. I’m hoping it will include something regarding the “out” process. Likely something you can be as happy with as you are with the “in” part already provided. It would be SWEET if it were rolled into the iWork package … maybe for an additional $35/$50 for single/family.
    I’m retired. I can’t afford $49/$99 pricing for something I can try to teach my wife to use so she can simplify her life a bit.

  5. I still prefer Panorama by ProVUE. Both powerful and fast – used it for all the avocado research data collected over 17+ years. Haven’t tried Bento but it might be useful to someone like my mother who simply wants to keep track of Christmas lists and such.

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