minutia press.
Advice on PDA / calendar manager

Hey out there. I was looking at 2005 paper appointment books and think it's finally time I went electronic with this.

Any suggestions? I won't be playing games or using it for anything other than calendar management. I'd like it to back itself up on my PC or Mac (OS X), and if it can interact with any of their calendar managers so much the better.

Thanks for any advice!


If you're just going to be doing basic calendar stuff, I'd say go for a Palm something or other. (I don't keep up on the various models by the various manufacturers. Find something you think is pretty.) It is simple, and you won't have any syncing problems with Windows or Macs.

Posted by: Nathan at October 3, 2004 8:38 PM

With all the things that I'm doing this year (read: job hunt), I decided to pull out my old Handspring Visor. I haven't used this thing seriously since sophmore year. I definetly agree, stick with the palm platform. It doesn't have all the features of pocketpc, but the things it does..it does well.

Posted by: Ro at October 3, 2004 10:51 PM

Tobbe went on a buying odyssey for such a device last spring...I'm sure he'd be full of good advice....

Posted by: James at October 4, 2004 9:28 AM

About a year ago I picked up a Palm Tungsten t3 and I've been pretty happy with it. However, I use it primarily at work as I've found that I don't like carrying a bunch of gadgets around with me when I'm not at work. So, with that in mind, I I'd recommend that you investigate some of the phone/pda combo devices. And even the simplest phones have some kind of calendaring system so the value you'll get really depends on how you plan on entering things into the device. If you plan on entering most things in via your pc or mac and only want to use the pda for reminders and things like that, I'd look for a decent phone with bluetooth so I could sync things up without having to deal with a bunch of wires. If you expect to do a lot of data entry into your device (and as a rule of thumb you'll probably do a lot less than you'd think) than I'd probably look closer at a pda or pda/phone combo device. But, I really think minimizing the number of devices that you'll have to carry around is the key to getting a device that you'll use for more than a week or two after you get it.

Posted by: david at October 4, 2004 10:24 PM

i got a sony clie. it uses palm OS. I particularly liked the fact that after about 2 weeks, I would
write on the chalkboard with the Palm Alphabet
(including, for example, uncrossed 'A's that look
more like capital lambda, and F's without the middle flag.

Posted by: robert at October 5, 2004 11:20 AM

I own a Palm m505 and use a Dell Axim X30 for research. To be honest, Windows CE/Pocket PC/Windows Mobile/Windows Whatever-They're-Calling-it-This-Minute has a lot of neat toys, but it's got some interface problems that wouldn't want me to ever use it as a calendar.

The whole Start Menu thing just doesn't work on a quarter-VGA screen, and it has an asinine "feature" that you can't close programs without going through Control Panel. (No, I'm not kidding.) It's got four input methods (I Can't Believe It's Not Grafitti, I Can't Believe It's Not Grafitti Remix, on-screen keyboard, and handwriting recognition), but all but the first are practically unusuable. And to make matters worse, even if you change the default input method, it'll reset to using the on-screen keyboard if you look at it wrong.

The Palm on the other hand is a terrific organizer. I had to shell out $25 for a new calendar app, because the built-in one didn't quite cut it for me. Otherwise it's done exactly what I need it to do. It comes with its own desktop software, which is actually pretty decent, or it can sync with Outlook on Windows. There's undoubtedly third-party software to sync it (or Windows Mobile) with other apps, but I've never really looked.

Posted by: Greg at October 6, 2004 11:14 PM

Thanks! Sounds like Palm (or at least its OS) is the way to go. I'll give it a try.

Posted by: rkc at October 9, 2004 2:45 PM

Sometimes you can get these devices free through promotions with companies. I have a Tungsten T3 which I got for opening an Ameritrade brokerage account.

As for the device, I think it does a good job but it is certainly not worth $400 to me. I use it for calendaring and occasionally connecting to the Internet through my cell phone over bluetooth.

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