Tuesday, May 23, 2006

HappyCindy needs a PDA

CrankyCindy has sniffed at PDA's and silently scoffed at those who use them, clinging desperately to the struggle to structure a life as she always did, out of her head and a paper calendar when it wasn't lost. Unfortunately, CrankyCindy isn't all that well organized, and HappyCindy has to clean up after her all too often. I had to add an online calendar, and now I've got to start writing to-do lists.

Like other things I've scoffed at over the years (chemical/perfume sensitivity, coloring my hair) I've had to humble myself and acknowledge that I was wrong.

My memory no longer carries everything around in it like it used to, and I need a PDA.

Any recommendations from those of you who use one (and who just found out that crankycindy scoffed at you for knowing better than I what the future would hold and how to manage it?)


boyinthebands said...

Electronic PDAs were momentary plaything, then a zealous possession, then a silicon shackle. Blessedly, I lost one and the other was stolen. I've not gone back. I don't advise anyone to start.

Have you considered a more complex paper planner, and a system to use it? This is what works for me. Sometimes. (But no worse than the gadget.)

diyplanner.org is a good place to start. So is 43folders.com

Michelle Murrain said...

I'm kinda with Scott on this one. I tossed my Palm pilot for a paper calendar. I keep my phone numbers in my phone (I do sync it with my computer, though, which does require a higher tech phone and computer,) and my dates in my datebook. It's so satisfying to scribble and pencil and cross things out, and not squint (my eyes are getting older.) Do you really *need* a PDA?

There are a number of good on-line to do lists and organizers, there is google calendar, there are all sorts of options. I'd not jump into the pda thing unless you are absolutely sure. But if you are ...

Try a Palm Zire (http://www.palm.com/us/products/handhelds/z22/) It's got good features, and is pretty inexpensive. The challenge for you, though, is that in order to get the most out of it, (and, of course, to not lose everything if it loses battery charge, or gets lost) is to make sure your computer is up to date enough to be able to syncronize with the palm.

Steve Caldwell said...


If you're using Outlook or some other "PIM" (personal information manager) program on your computer throughout the day at work, a PDA can be a useful tool when you're away from your computer and your office. I've found it to be a very useful "snapshot" of my computer's PIM info in my backpack.

I've used two different Palm OS PDAs over the years. I purchased a PalmPilot Professional in 1997 and used it at work for a few years.

The Air Force changed their computer policies in response to folks bringing their personally purchased PDAs to work. Our computer folks said that I could not use my personal PDA but the Air Force would buy me one to use at work (Palm IIIxe).

This work-supplied PDA that replaced my personal PDA had 8 times the memory for storage and I have used it for years. Along with holding a copy of my work, personal, and church appointments, contacts, to-do list items, I use it for note-taking at meetings with an accordion-folding keyboard. When I get back to work, all I have to do is sync the PDA with my desktop computer, paste the meeting notes into an email, and send the notes to everyone else on the committee.

I've had my current work-supplied Palm IIIxe since 2000. I don't pamper it and it usually travels in my backpack to and from work, church, or home. It's got a crack in the case and I'm asking my work computer folks to see if I can get it replaced soon.

Along with my appointments, phone contacts, to-do list items, etc, I also keep some family photographs on my PDA. I also have a copy of the YRUU "Deep Fun" games resource on my PDA as well.

For work-related purposes, I've got a multi time zone clock so I can know where it is day or night in the world and what's the current day and time in Guam (useful when one is a flight scheduler for an airplane with world-wide reach).

Happy Cindy said...

Until I can afford what Steve's talking about, which is what I want, I'm taking the very good recommendation of creating a paper based planner. I've had the thought that if I actually USED it, carried it everywhere as if it were a PDA, it might help. diyplanner.com is a great resource for this, and I'm wasting time today printing myself a new system.

Since I don't have a cell, I do need to still remember or be able to look up numbers. What I really want to do is what Steve's talking about and have it be like a moveable teeny tiny computer. There's something about typing that makes my left/right brain function better than just hand writing things and the roll out keyboard might be just the ticket.

Thanks for the recommendations!!