Friday, October 20, 2006

What's on my Palm?

Palm TreoI've been a big user of PDAs for almost 10 years now, moving from Psions to Windows CE to what is now my third Palm, a Treo 650. I really became a heavy Palm user with my Zire 71.

So what's on my Treo? So much stuff I won't even list it.

In any given week, here is what I might do with my Treo.

Make phone calls. It's at least as good of a cell phone as my last two, getting good coverage and reasonable battery life. The contact management is pretty good and for once I didn't have to spend hours updating my new cell phone with my contact list from my Palm. I'm still not using a Bluetooth headset, mostly because I just don't make that many calls.

Listen to MP3s. I've had a small set of MP3 music on my Palm for a few years now, mostly to use to drown out background noise while I read, work, or study. Now I've expanded that set (thanks to today's huge SD cards) to include more music just for listening or while walking. I've also started loading up podcasts. I mostly listen to them in the car with an FM transmitter, but now I can fire up my Treo and listen to a podcast anywhere. With PocketTunes I can even set a 15 minute sleep timer and fall asleep to some boring NPR show.

Manage my todo list. As I try to follow Getting Things Done, I've been tweaking my Palm's todo list to fit how I work. Now I have several lists for different contexts (Home, Work, Errands and Store plus Waiting For and a general Next Action). By trying really hard to dump random thoughts into there, I'm really getting less surprises and spending less time trying to remember some random thought. If I need dish soap, it goes in the Treo and I forget all about it until I'm at the store.

Calendar. I have a really weak calendar system because it's spread over three systems. I have an Outlook/Exchange system at work which mostly has work stuff and Google Calendar for all my personal stuff plus the rest of my family and other events like football games and Brownies. Since I really don't sync my Treo at all, I don't keep it in synch with either of those calendars, so all that's on my Treo are the important reminders and GTD actions that have a date trigger. Unfortunately, that just isn't working too well. I need to get it synched with at least my Google calendar.

Offline websites. I've got a decent collection of websites that I've packaged using Plucker and Sunrise Desktop. It's great to have MousePlanet on my Palm when we're trying to decide on the fly if a Disney restaurant is worth trying or if at check-in time, it's worth upgrading to a different resort. I also carry Bruce Eckel's Thinking In ... series to constantly keep relearning patterns, Java, C#, C++ etc.

Alarms. I have 2-3 different wakeup alarms and can set it up to let me sleep in on the weekend. I have alarms set to remind me when it's time to wrap up classes so we end on time.

Bible. I use MyBible to carry several different bible translations on my Palm. They now have NIV Study Bible notes and the Life Application Study Bible notes as well as almost every current translation. It's great to be able to flip back and forth between translations and compare. The software also supports hilighting and taking notes but I don't make use of that.

Photo courtesy aditza121

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