Posted on

User Guide: Personal Information Manager

Personal Information Manager

This program is a true “Personal Information Manager” (PIM), and has been designed to help you in as many ways as possible. It will: store all your contacts, both people and companies; allow you to search for them in a myriad of ways, including by categories and business; dial the telephone for you, saving you from misdialling; address emails; address letters; remind you of things to do; manage Christmas lists; keep track of your finances; and even print out your cheques!

The program is supplied with a comprehensive Help file, but we hope that this document will serve as a starting point for learning about all this software has to offer.

Address Book

The “Address Book” is the heart of the system. It holds all the information you may wish to store both for people and for businesses. Up to five people can be associated with each business, and each person can have an unlimited number of addresses. Each person or company can be assigned to both a “category” and a “business” which allows for easy categorisation. This allows you to easily filter a large contact database quickly. This categorisation is also available on the “Main Menu” as a fast way of jumping to the contacts you want.

From this screen you can dial any of a contact’s numbers simply by double-clicking on it. Providing you have a suitable modem installed[1], you should never encounter the problem of misdialling a telephone number ever again. Similarly, email addresses can be simply copied to your email application with a double-click. No need to worry about your handwriting, as letters and envelopes can be simply pre-addressed using the buttons at the bottom of the screen.

If your contact has a website, then a double-click will open your web browser, and take you straight to the site. You can add your contacts to a multitude of lists. A Christmas list can be created for each year to keep track of presents, invites and almost anything else you can think of.

Finally, you can store: attachments; notes and even pictures of your contact.

[1] The modem must also be configured in the “Settings” screen within this program.

Easy Data Entry

If you already have your contacts data in some alternative system, you will want a way of importing that data into PIM. We offer two ways of achieving this. On our website, our “Easy Data Entry Program” allows you to import up to two linked CSV (Comma Separated Values) files into any of our programs. This is ideal for importing both “Contacts” and their associated “Addresses” for example.

If you merely want to key in your contact details quickly, and be able to see several contacts at once, then the “Easy Data Entry” form within the program will help you. As you can see, you can quickly enter, review and compare lots of contact data all on one screen.

Address Book Report

This report allows you to print out/review all of your contact details. Just choose whether you want to see the people, or the companies, and PIM will take care of the rest.

Search Addresses

Locating contacts using parts of their address is a breeze using this form. You can search by: town; county; or even parts of the postcode.

Asset Management

In keeping with our theme of storing all of your personal information, the “Asset Management” screen is a very useful feature for tracking your possessions. You can record any of your assets, the room that it’s located in, and even the property that that room is in. In the event of a burglary, you can make your insurance claim, and even assist the police, by easily recalling serial numbers and even pictures of your stolen items.

Lists with Dates

This list is used for anything that is time dependent, such birthdays and Christmas cards. This list allows you to track to and from whom cards were exchanged. Once completed, you can easily make a copy of a list, allowing you to use it year on year.

List with Items

This list is used for keeping track of items sent and received from your various contacts. It is ideal for keeping track of presents exchanged for birthdays and Christmas. You can even hide the item details should anyone walk up behind you, so as not to ruin the surprise!

Lists for Emails

This list is ideal for sending out emails to a targeted subset of your contacts. You create the list and then PIM will preaddress an email for you in Outlook (or an alternative email system) and will keep a record that the email was sent and to whom.

Things to Do

Forget having just one to-do list, PIM allows you to create an unlimited number of them. You can separate your personal tasks from your business ones, and as you would expect, PIM reminds you of upcoming deadlines so that you know what to complete and when.

Opening Programs

Like a dedicated personal assistant, upon opening PIM, it reminds you of your upcoming to-do list items, as well as birthdays, emails and telephone calls.


PIM includes a diary, allowing you to plan your day. Schedule appointments and then print out your events for the day. It even includes a “7 Day Planner” so that you can see a high-level view of your entire week.

Saving Websites

PIM includes a handy list to keep track of your favourite websites. This screen is used to add and remove entries from this list.

Visiting Websites

Any websites you have saved will appear in this convenient drop-down list. Simply choose one, and PIM will load it into your browser for you.

Bank Details

PIM includes a comprehensive accounts system to allow you to stay on top of your finances. Setting this up begins with creating entries for each of your bank accounts, which you do here. In addition to the account details, you can also record your bank contact, as well as any miscellaneous notes.

Enter Credit Cards

In addition to bank accounts, PIM allows you to monitor your credit card spending too. Using this screen, you can store the details of each card, ready for you to begin entering your transactions.

Credit Card Payments

Here is where you actually record your individual credit card purchases and payments. After selecting the relevant card, and ensuring that the “Balance Owing” is set to zero, you can enter each transaction, recording the date, description, code (spending category for summaries) and amount.

When the time comes to pay off the credit card, you use the bottom form to record that payment from the appropriate bank account. Using the “Show” setting allows you to hide transactions you no longer wish to see.

Enter Bank Name Codes

In order to provide summaries of your spending, you categorise each expenditure using Payees and Codes. This screen allows you to manage these categories – deleting ones that are no longer required, and adding new ones in advance.

Enter Standing Orders

Standing Orders & Direct Debits can be created here. These transactions will automatically appear in the relevant account, at the frequency you specify, saving you having to enter these frequently.

Bank Transactions

This is where you enter your individual bank transactions. Your standing orders and direct debits will appear automatically. You can also see which transactions have been cleared by your bank, so you will always know what your cleared versus your actual balance is.

Cheque Writing

Writing cheques by hand can be a pain. PIM makes life easier by allowing you to use your printer to print them for you. You must ensure that you accurately set up the dimensions of your cheques using the “Cheque Design” screen. The Help file details this process. Once set, you merely place a cheque into your printer’s “Manual Feed” slot, and PIM will print the details of the currently selected transaction for you. It will also record this transaction into the relevant bank account.


If you run a small business, PIM can help you with your invoicing. Using details from your “Address Book”, invoices for the items you sell can be recorded and printed. PIM can handle both VAT registered and non-VAT registered businesses by altering a setting in the “Settings” screen. Once created, the invoice can be either printed, or automatically emailed to the recipient.

Invoices Paid

PIM keeps track of your outstanding invoices, and allows you to record any payments received against them here. These receipts are then entered into the relevant bank account.

Bank Reconciliation

When you receive your bank statement, you can use this screen to update which transactions are cleared versus those that have not yet been recorded by your bank. After choosing the correct bank account, you continue from your last statement by entering the balance from your new statement.

You then mark off the transactions “To Be Cleared” that appear on your statement. Ideally, after checking off all the new transactions, the difference between your “Statement Balance” and your “Cleared Balance” should reduce to zero. You can then “Update” the account. If the balance does not reach zero, you can return to the “Bank Transactions” screen to enter/update the missing transactions before resuming reconciliation.

Bank Report Menu

Filing your tax return will be a breeze from now on. Using the various reports on this screen will enable you to accurately enter your relevant income and expenditure for the tax man.

Further details can be found using the following two reports:

Search by Code – Select Code

If you require more detail as to which transactions have been filed under a particular transaction code, this screen makes that process simple.

Search Transaction – Select Name

You can also produce a report of all the transactions involving a particular contact.

Change Bank Code

This screen allows you to change a transaction code from one type into another. As these codes are used for producing your reports, consolidating outdated codes into newer ones is completed in a flash.

Back Up Your Database

Having a good backup strategy is vital. PIM makes this easy by providing a method to make copies of your data from within the program.

Bank Transfers & Exports

This screen provides a simple way for you to transfer funds between two of your bank accounts.

Export Data

As well as importing, PIM allows you to export your data in a variety of formats, including Word, Excel, CSV, etc.


In order to keep PIM running fast and smoothly, you should periodically archive transactions that are no longer current. After setting an archive date, PIM will move all bank and credit card transactions from before that date to an archive area. These transactions no longer appear in your current accounts, but are available for review at any time using this screen.

Program Settings

All aspects of how the program functions can be tweaked using this screen.

You can: set ownership of the program; choose where backups are stored; select which “Quick Access Lists” appear on the “Main Menu”; set or change your password; record your VAT number; and even specify when various reminders should pop up upon opening the program.

International Settings

PIM is used around the World. The settings on this screen allow you to change aspects of the program that are region specific, including “Sales Tax” in the USA, versus “VAT” in the UK.

Change the Colours

You can even change the entire colour scheme used by the program!

If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

We hope you enjoy the Program – George Shaw