Raspberry Pi 4 - Personal Information Managers

Raspberry Pi 4: Chronicling the Desktop Experience – Personal Information Managers – Week 33

Last Updated on June 27, 2020

This is a weekly blog about the Raspberry Pi 4 (“RPI4”), the latest product in the popular Raspberry Pi range of computers.

In previous weeks, I’ve explored software that improves productivity. For this week’s blog, I extend the scope to cover personal information managers (commonly known as PIMs) on the RPI4. What’s a personal information manager? It’s software that keeps all your personal information in electronic form. All your appointments, reminders, tasks, to do lists, notes, contacts and email messages in an easy accessible form.

There’s too many PIMs available for Linux to provide a comprehensive summary. Instead, I’ve focused on three of the best known open source programs. Let’s kick off with Evolution.


Raspberry Pi 4 - Evolution
Click for full size image

Evolution is a popular PIM application which integrates mail, calendar, address book, to-do list and memo tools. Additional features include integration with Exchange servers, newsgroup client, LDAP support and web calendars.

There’s a package available in Raspberry Pi OS. You get version 3.30.5-1.1. That version was released in February 2019. Evolution is under active development, so we’re missing out on a fair chunk of development.

Evolution takes a few seconds to start up. It’s quite a CPU intensive program, but the RPI4’s four cores coped admirably with a variety of activities. Memory usage is light; any of the RPI4’s models have sufficient RAM for you to leave Evolution permanently open in the background.


Kontact is the integrated Personal Information Manager of KDE, but can be used with other desktop environments. Kontact consists of the Kontact PIM back end and the graphical applications connecting to the back end: Akregator, KAddressBook, KMail, KNotes, KOrganizer, Summary, and KJots.

Raspberry Pi 4 - KDE PIM
Click for full size image

There’s no package for Kontact in the Raspberry Pi OS’s repositories. But the kdepim package installs various programs of the suite.

The image to the right shows the packages installed with the command:

$ sudo apt install kdepim

You’ll need a fair chunk of hard disk space to install. As the image shows, I needed 143MB of hard disk space.

Raspberry Pi 4 - KOrganizer
Click for full size image

The image shows KOrganizer in action on my RPI4. It’s the calendar and scheduling component of Kontact. It provides management of events and tasks, alarm notification, web export, network transparent handling of data, group scheduling, import and export of calendar files and more.

KOrganizer works admirably on the RPI4. And like Evolution, memory usage is very low; approximately 34MB of RAM.


Raspberry Pi 4 - Lightning
Click for full size image

Lightning is a calendar extension for Thunderbird. It can handle events, event invitations and tasks in multiple calendars. It supports local calendars, CalDAV and plain ics files on CardDAV and WebDAV.

I covered Thunderbird in Week 5. I haven’t used Thunderbird as my preferred email client preferring Chromium (and more recently Firefox) to access my mail.

There’s a number of alternative PIMs available if the above three don’t meet your specific requirements. If you’re looking for a console based PIM, you might like Org (a mode for Emacs). I covered Org in last week’s blog.

Read all my blog posts about the RPI4.

Raspberry Pi 4 Blog
Week 36Manage your personal collections on the RPI4
Week 35Survey of terminal emulators
Week 34Search the desktop with the latest version of Recoll
Week 33Personal Information Managers on the RPI4
Week 32Keep a diary with the RPI4
Week 31Process complex mathematical functions, plot 2D and 3D graphs with calculators
Week 30Internet radio on this tiny computer. A detailed survey of open source software
Week 29Professionally manage your photo collection with digiKam
Week 28Typeset beautifully with LyX
Week 27Software that teaches young people how to learn basic computing skills and beyond
Week 26Firefox revisited - Raspbian now offers a real alternative to Chromium
Week 25Turn the Raspberry Pi 4 into a low power writing machine
Week 24Keep the kids learning and having fun
Week 23Lots of choices to view images
Week 22Listening to podcasts on the RPI4
Week 21File management on the RPI4
Week 20Open Broadcaster Software (OBS Studio) on the RPI4
Week 19Keep up-to-date with these news aggregators
Week 18Web Browsers Again: Firefox
Week 17Retro gaming on the RPI4
Week 16Screen capturing with the RPI4
Week 15Emulate the Amiga, ZX Spectrum, and the Atari ST on the RPI4
Week 14Choose the right model of the RPI4 for your desktop needs
Week 13Using the RPI4 as a screencaster
Week 12Have fun reading comics on the RPI4 with YACReader, MComix, and more
Week 11Turn the RPI4 into a complete home theater
Week 10Watching locally stored video with VLC, OMXPlayer, and others
Week 9PDF viewing on the RPI4
Week 8Access the RPI4 remotely running GUI apps
Week 7e-book tools are put under the microscope
Week 6The office suite is the archetypal business software. LibreOffice is tested
Week 5Managing your email box with the RPI4
Week 4Web surfing on the RPI4 looking at Chromium, Vivaldi, Firefox, and Midori
Week 3Video streaming with Chromium & omxplayerGUI as well as streamlink
Week 2A survey of open source music players on the RPI4 including Tauon Music Box
Week 1An introduction to the world of the RPI4 looking at musikcube and PiPackages

This blog is written on the RPI4.

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Neil Sampson
Neil Sampson
3 years ago

Luke, thanks for your great series on the RPI4 as a desktop replacement. Is there any chance you’ll extend the series to cover servers?