I need a simple, free, ready to use database for MAC


Does anyone know of a simple, free, ready to use database for MAC?
I need to keep track of about 40 people and their membership in some groups, gather some contact details and have the facility for the database (app) to remind me when their membership is expiring.
Does NOT need to handle membership fees.
Would be OK with a one-off small purchase price.
Please send links

Many thanks

Me: For ~40 people using a “database” (SQLLite, even a spreadsheet) seems way over-kill. I’d use a Contacts app, say BusyContacts. Busy Contacts allows you to have custom data fields, include date fields. I don’t think it does reminders, but Apple Reminders, Things does that.

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LibreOffice Base is not a bad GUI-driven database for when you want to organise some data in a structured way, but don’t want to learn SQL. It is of course free, and comes with the full office suite install. Plus, if you already use LibreOffice it is nice to have an integrated solution.


Thanks so much @rms
I am using a spreadsheet but its getting out of hand, finding out which groups they are in and which membership are still current and which are running out soon.
I think a database would be an alternative.

Yea, you know what you are working with. Me … I know a lot about databases (big and small) used for decades. I just thought a “database” would be wat too complex for such a small list of people. I don’t know anything about LibreOffice Base … I’m guessing it might sort of like Microsoft Access which I used extensively–mainly connected to database servers. I’d probably go with SQLite and experiment with one of the many SQLite browsers that are out there. Whatever you pick , there will be a learning curve, but it could be a lot of fun. Enjoy.

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I’ve recently adopted Libre Office Suite over MS Office. I don’t have a lot of experience with It yet- but one key thing I did note, is that it is capable of integrating their Calc spreadsheets with their database, AND it’s Writer (word processor) so it can also integrate your database fields into form letters (or other docs) too. :wink:

Fwiw, I found the interface fairly familiar, however I’m a windows user. LIBRE is compatible with Mac too.


Only 40 records.

I’d use Excel or Pages.

Numbers has one advantage over Excel for databases in that it has a checkbox format (You can achieve the same by using Developer mode in Excel but it’s not as good.)

I managed teams of advisors at AppleCare and made forms in Pages with contact details, forms to monitor their task completion, call reviews, 1x1 meetings completed and tasks still to complete.

Numbers can use multiple independent tables on a sheet, link data between them, link data between sheets.

In a prior life I used multiple Excel sheets (over 30) all referencing a data calculation and lookup sheet.

For 40 records, it’s a doddle. Conditional formatting will achieve a date reminder for your renewals.

Edited to correct - Numbers, not pages. The post was written in the middle of the night while trying to cough my lungs out with flu. Duh!


Look here

search for “database” and filter for “free”. 151 hits :slightly_smiling_face:

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Just wondering … have you really exploited the features of your spreadsheet? When you mention these needs, I can see how it would not be complicated in Excel or Numbers to use things like filters, pivot tables, etc. Especially pivot tables. Spreadsheet would be much simpler than moving to a database. I’m a big fan of databases as a way to structure and report on data, but for your needs … exploit all the sophisticated features of spreadsheets before going to yet more sophisticated databases, would be my recommendation.

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Hi everyone
Thank you all for your helpful suggestions. I’ve just found a little workaround. If I filter on one piece of information, it then hides everything I don’t need to see and so I am now using it in a different way and actually being a lot less frustrated, so the answer is actually all there to begin with. I just didn’t see it.
Thank you, Stephen


Excel (Windows) recently introduced checkboxes in their Beta channel. Part of the standard menu structure.

Long overdue, but not in the public version yet. Been on Numbers since way back.

Incredibly useful.

Looks as though you have to have 365 for that program.

I manage the electoral roll data for a local political party with SQLite3 (the CLI version). Copes with the full roll of some 80,000 people with their addresses plus supplemented with data that my fellow canvassors collect when out and about asking for support. If you have an iPhone collecting data with Apple’s Health app after a while the SQLite3 database behind it generates 200Mb XML files with most of the saved data. A requirement of records for 40 people record would be dealt with adequately by SQLite3.

IMHO users who’re looking for a “simple database” (and SQLite is also free and ready to use on top of that, especially with a frontend like this one) – are actually looking for the opposite: A nice bloated interface on top of whatever. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Not everybody wants to learn SQL. Even if it’s great fun.

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I agree that for your needs, a well designed spreadsheet will be much friendlier and easier to use /maintain than a database. Happy to knock something together for you to show you if you like.

Can people be in more than one group?

So does the “club” have, say, 5 sub groups people can be members of (the bridge club, the chess club, etc) where people can be in several, or indeed none?
Or do you mean groups more like a membership classification where everyone will be in one group, but only one (standard member, premium member, partially-named-after-an-animal discount member, etc)?

And what Spreadsheet software are you using? MS Excel? Google Sheets? Apple Numbers? Lotus 1-2-3?!!!?!


I’d recommend getting a free Airtable account. You can learn how to use it pretty fast, and create the database you want. I’m not a database guy, but during the lockdown, I made a relational database in Airtable that tracked the availability of grocery staples from online sources when the supply chain broke down. Worked great, and it’s easy to make custom queries and reports.

By filtering on somebody’s name, I can find out all the groups they’re in very simply. I completely forgot about the basic filtering that spreadsheets can do.
Thanks for your suggestions!