software for biographies


I am just curious what kinf of system/software people here use to deal with biographical information? I am a historian and need to deal with a lot of biographical information. Right now I have information in an Excel sheet but I see several other ways of doing it as well:

  • using Filemaker to create a database
  • use Devonthink Pro (for example the sheet function; if DTPO 2 will feature links this might become interesting)
  • using genealogy software (some programs, though not made for this specifically, seem suitable)

Would be grateful for any suggestions!


Historical fiction contains much biographical data, whether the characters are imaginary or based on fact. I have used DevonThink Pro for my main database and Reunion 9 for genealogy. Reunion is very good for exploring generational descent: you can make all kinds of charts and lists that depict people and their timelines.

For database, I prefer either DTP or Panorama, which is fast, easy to set up and to edit. Another possibility is EndNote, for storing notes from books or articles and generating a list of sources.


Thanks druid for the suggestions. I tested Reunion but it is not really suited for my needs although it looks very solid.


Hi Gerben.

This link to history writing has a lot of related stuff that might be helpful - oh, and try typing history into the search function at the top of this page - it reveals even more interesting stuff you might be able to adapt to your needs. … =biography


Just seeing this after a small break, thanks! I am going to check it out,