Smart phone, Planner and Pocket PDA Update / CC BY 2.0

Earlier I posted on my decision to buy a smart phone to replace my three year old razr. As often happens this change cascaded into others (or at least the consideration of others). I discovered the Pocket PDA and was intrigued by its simplicity and flexibility. Then while I was struggling with learning how to use my new phone, I lost my planner. For a brief moment I decided that fate had made a decision for me. (Yes, I confess that I don’t always rely on logic.). Life is not so simple. Within an hour, a kind lady called (after talking to my entire family) and I was able to pick up the planner. So now, nearly three months later, what is going on? Have I abandoned the planner? Is my life now simple?

Let me tell you first that I still carry everything – although not everything at the same time. The Smart phone turns out to be a tremendous resource but I probably could have survived with a dumber one. So far surfing the web on the tiny screen is just not worth the trouble. There are other features that I probably would use but haven’t found the time to install. Possibly I would enjoy music or other audio input but that will wait for an investment in earphones that I am reluctant to make without feeling that I will use them. As far as I know I have enough memory to store music, if I install the software and then download. There are also GPS options available. Both free and for charge. I haven’t had the time to explore and download either version, mostly because I haven’t gone anywhere that I need directions for. I am confident that when I do, I will be too hassled to get it working then. Why don’t they sell IT support with the phone for those of us not raised with electronics. You can teach an old dog new tricks but it does take a while.

The other thing with the phone is I often get hung up because the phone wants to do something and I can’t seem to persuade it to do something else. I am sure that the software works logically and is organized well (It is Microsoft after all) but very often that logic escapes me. It does seem to be getting better. Either the phone is adapting to me or it’s the other way around. I guess it doesn’t much matter which.

What I do love is that I can get all my email on the phone and it keeps all my contacts and calendar both from work (my day job) and my future (the business I am building). It is wonderful to keep it accessible and constantly updated without having to transcribe it to the planner. It was an important criteria that the new phone have a full keyboard, something that is not as important as I thought.

“Aahh”, you ask. “What about the planner?”

The answer is that I think it is on the way to obsolete thanks to the Pocket PDA. Its main function these days is as a repository of business cards, both mine and others, and other business adjuncts like tickets, receipts and notes. I am looking, although not actively, for some kind of small folder to hold these things. Maybe even like the very smaller planner format. I used to think that one that would fit in a suit jacket was ideal but anymore I hardly ever wear suit jackets or even shirts with pockets. I don’t know what the best size would be or how would be most convenient to carry it. For note taking, the Pocket PDA works wonderfully. There are many ways to code and organize the information and it is easy to carry. So the answer right now is that the jury is still out but it is getting closer to a verdict. Making the decision will probably come with some pressure to move to a higher level of performance that causes me to make some investments and try some new ideas. Or it might happen with some advice from readers who are ahead of me on the path. I am way past the thinking that I need to be original. I am looking for best practices and clear thinking where mine gets cloudy. If you can help me out with some suggestions, observations and personal experiences, bring them on, please. Is there software that I need to get or programs that will improve my life? Share your suggestions.

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