giving up on the pda?

I’ve been using some version of a Palm for about 4 or 5 years now, and I’m just about ready to quit and go back to paper and pen. Why? The immediate reason is that my Sony Clie PEG S360 just crapped out on me again: the battery goes dead with frightening frequency. And this time, I think I’ve lost a good chunk of data as a result.

But more generally, I’m just tired of the cramped space on the little screen and the low-contrast black-on-green text and images. By contrast, a simple pad of paper has much more room to write and sketch, features a high-contrast black-(or blue-)on-white surface, and the information you store there doesn’t disappear when the juice runs out.

However, I would miss the searchability, the small size, and the syncing with the laptop. And I have had my eye on the Palm Zire 71 since it first came out. A camera and an MP3 player along with the usual PDA functions? Mmmmm.

What about you? How do you keep track of contacts, appointments, interesting citations, to-do lists?

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7 thoughts on “giving up on the pda?

  1. I used a Palm VII (the first model with wireless) up until about six months ago when it expired from a cracked screen (my fault I guess, but it was a replacement model for the original that had died for no particular reason–overall I’m not impressed with the durability of the Palm line). Since then I’ve been casually in the market for a new PDA but like you, George, I’ve managed to live quite comfortably with pen, paper, and calendar book. Still, I’ll probably buy something after the holidaze. In the meantime I’m enjoying my parents’ gift, ridicuously overpriced but they _do_ sound great and seemed worth every penny I didn’t have to spend when they muffled the loud kids at the next table in Starbucks this morning:

  2. I’m old school, all the way. I use pen and paper for almost everything and generally it seems to work pretty well. I experimented with other people’s PDAs but they never felt very comfortable.

  3. Count me in for old school.
    Contacts: Real-world ones in a little phone book; email ones in my email program
    Appointments: Try to in a pocket paper date book, but I’m guilty of keeping others on business appointment cards that I lose and then have to call the salon/dentist/doctor to find out when my appointment really is. I could use the calendar on my Sidekick, but somehow I can’t keep up with that.
    Citations and to-do lists: Little pieces of paper all over the place!

  4. Sticky notes. Lots and lots of sticky notes. I do have an appt. book, but that’s just to add weight to my bag. At work, I use Outlook a little, but that’s what the govt. gives me.
    And Matt – did that set of headphones come with a whole new set of ears? Or does it toast bread? Make coffee?

  5. I have a Palm IIIxe, but don’t use it much anymore. I used to use it, for appointment tracking and also to take notes in libraries using the nifty full-size attachable keyboard I sprang for. Now that’s gathering dust, too — since I’ve gotten the PowerBook.
    Now, I use the PowerBook for most things. I don’t much like iCal, since it doesn’t pop up little reminder windows unless it’s running, and I don’t like having it running. For appointments and quick notes, still use the paper day planner. But everything else – to-do lists; grocery lists; storage of all kinds – my computer is my friend. Best major purchase I’ve ever made. (But don’t tell my car that. With all the miles I’ve put on him, Elliott might just get upset.)
    Oh, and for contacts, e-mail/chat software and my cell phone are just fine.

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