To Palm or not to Palm? : LUSENET : Medley Discussion : One Thread

So, do you own/use a Palm pilot (or equivalent)? Is it worth it? Do you recommend it? Why or why not?

-- Medley (, August 29, 2000


I've got a cell phone and have had one for about a year now. The original reason I went wireless was because I was doing a x-country road trip and wanted to have one in case of emergencies. Then I discovered i just liked always having a phone accessible. After I moved, I went about a week w/o it as I cancelled one service and was signing up with another. Now I'm connected again and feel much better. ;-)

I carry my cell phone almost always (the one I just got is small and light and kinda' cool looking and I put '' as the banner default -- it's the little things that amuse me..). Anyway, I keep it in my purse and if my purse goes with me to a meeting then it goes with me. I do try to remember to turn the ringer off when I'm at meetings. This one came with caller-id as part of the plan, so even if I miss a call I'll be able to see who it was.

I don't use it a whole lot, but it is nice to be able to phone home from the subway to let TheGuy know what time I'm expecting to get in. I was just in Boston this past weekend and found it handy to touch base from the road with people I was meeting.

All in all, I think they're very useful and feel much safer having one with me. So, I'd recommend it. I waver about who to give the number to (close friends, family, for sure), but I see more and more people give out their cell phone numbers as contact info, and just did so myself to the weblogs-social-dc group, so I guess I'm ok with it. The caller-id helps with that issue too.

-- Medley (, September 06, 2000.

I got a palm pilot about 6 months ago, and I rarely use it. The problem is that I don't have a good way to carry it with me - I don't normally carry a purse or a backpack, and it doesn't really work in a pocket. If I really want it, I can carry it in a fanny pack, but I rarely bother. So it's an expensive address book and holder of shopping lists that is no more convenient than the equivalant paper versions would be.

So think carefully about how you'll carry it. If you don't have a good way, I say don't bother.

-- Dawn Chamberlain (, August 29, 2000.

I recently received a handspring Visor. It is more important to have a Palm OS than to have an actual PalmPilot. Coincidently, handspring was formed as a side venture of Pilot founders (I think). I like it very much, but you know how it goes with lists of things to do. If you are taking time to write lists of things to do, you should be spending that time doing the things you're writing down. What I like most is the ability to link to a laptop. This is a very good thing.

-- Mike Cosh (, August 30, 2000.

I have a Palm Pilot IIIx and I love it. I haven't been that good about keeping my schedule on it, but I do have a lot of phone numbers on it. I also use it for playing games on car trips or in lines and making quick notes on stuff I want to blog. When I went to Disneyworld a few months ago, I kept a trip diary on it, and prepared for the trip by hunting up useful information online and transferring it to the Palm Pilot. It's a nice way to carry around a lot of information. I do carry a big purse, so it's always in there (in its own leather zippered case), but there's other ways to carry them. Hit and type "palm pilot case" and you'll see plenty of listings. I splurged and bought my case from Coach with the money I got from working overtime on my birthday last year. :)

-- Jen Kitchen (, August 30, 2000.

Handspring is the company founded by the Palm inventors, after they sold Palm to 3Com. They license the PalmOS, but they're doing two things differently. First, a lower price point, to be more of a consumer device; and second, the Springboard expansion slot, which should be more flexible than the Palm equivalent in the long run. (So far, though, vendors have been slow to bring compatible products to market.)

I got a Handspring Visor 8 months ago, after never having a PDA before, and I've found it indispensable. I use it a LOT more than I ever used my paper organizer. It's got names and addresses of most everyone at my company and its clients; to-do lists, that I've categorized pretty finely; some memo pads for quick lookups of useful OS or TCP/IP information; and lots of games (but I mostly play just Bubblet). I also have an Eyemodule, a cheapie Springboard digital camera.

The two indispensable applications I have are Cesium (the best timer/stopwatch/alarm combo I've found), and Handyshop, which lets you categorize things you need to buy by store, and do other planning. Mostly I just use it to create store-specific shopping lists, so the next time I'm at Target, I don't drive home and go "D'OH!" There's also an app called Manana that's a to-do-list for the far future, e.g. sort of a tickler file.

Having seen my share of PalmPilots smashed to pieces, I knew I needed to get a leather case for it. You CAN carry it in a pocket uncased, but I don't find the convenience worth the risk. (I once turned a corner at college too quickly and watched my expensive HP calculator fly out of my pocket, under a bench, through a balustrade, and then fall 1.5 stories down a stairwell.)

That said, there are PDA people and no-PDA people. I was skeptical, myself, but I'm definitely in the first camp.

-- Dan Hartung (, August 30, 2000.

I was lucky enough to be able to borrow someone else's old PalmPilot in order to ascertain whether I would use it or not if I bought one. I mostly used it as a shopping list. I got a free shopping list app and kept track of food I needed to buy, clothes and other items I wanted to buy, and baubles I wished other people would buy for me. I also kept track of movies/videos I wanted to see, and had a huge list of books people had recommended to me. When I started keeping a weblog, I used a scratchpad app to write down things I wanted to remember to log. I used the contacts and calendar too, but not as much as on my computer, and all my phone numbers are in my cell phone anyway. I had trouble deciding whether to keep it synched with my work computer or home computer. I finally decided to sync at home and use Yahoo's TrueSync feature to help keep everything in line. The one time I carried it outside the case, the screen cracked. AUGH. So now I am without a PDA, getting along OK, but soon I too will crack and get a Palm V. (Additional note: I also own a Windows CE Velo and a pc-card size Rex. The Velo was too big. The Rex was too small (no pen or touchscreen). I used the Palm the most.)

-- Lilly Tao (, August 31, 2000.

I have a Palm V, and I like it a lot. I got it (or, rther, my sweetie got it for me) because I was tired of the ever-growing paper organizer: adding more data, or more apps, to the Palm doesn't add weight. I like the repeating-appointment feature: I can put something in once, and have it pop up on the third Thursday of every month. I also use the phonebook a lot, and was delighted the first time a friend beamed me a name and number from his Handspring. I like the shopping list app I'm using now, HandyShop--before that, I tried and deleted two others. And I'm hooked on this odd little game called Bubblet. As for convenience, I am an unabashed geek, and my Palm lives in a belt pouch. (If anyone here at work ever questions that, I will remind them that we were told that two people had Palms stolen from their desks, and I'm not prepared to risk that.)

-- Vicki Rosenzweig (, August 31, 2000.

I've had a Palm Pilot for about 2 years now. Two things incented me to buy one: 1) my Franklin Planner was too bulky and heavy to drag around and 2) I got tired of re-writing to do lists and erasing address book entries. It tends to be more of an electronic address book and to do list more than an appointment book for me. I chose not to sync with my work computer, and it's too ridiculous to constantly be copying work appointments over to the Palm, so I really only keep personal appointments in it. My favorite feature is the PC desktop - I use that daily. It's also nice to just throw the Pilot in your bag when traveling or out for the day - if you need a phone number or bit of info, you've got it handy. And games, etc - Hearts is pretty fun. Recent favorite app is one called windigo (I think) - it's city specific (they have an app for D.C.). You enter your location (cross streets), and have at your fingertips information on restaurants (nicely categorized by cuisine type), shopping, and entertainment close to your location. I think they have about 8 cities now, and the app is free.

-- Amy Kuehl (, September 06, 2000.

"Lilly's comments about jotting down notes of things to blog were particularly persuasive. ;-) "

Well, yeah. I've already chimed in via email, but I not only keep a blog list on my Visor, while honeymooning in Spain I kept a daily journal of stuff we saw (and a log of pix I took, which turned into the Ten Days in Spain site...)

I carry mine in my front pocket. My wife carries hers in her purse or briefcase, depending. I'm rarely without mine nowadays,a nd I couldn't really stay organizaed - or even APPROACH organized - without it.

-- Mike Wasylik (, September 06, 2000.

I should be upfront and say that I don't own a Palm Pilot or related device. However, I have a good friend who has one and doesn't really use it any more. I asked him why and his answers were:

1) he never really caught on to the special Palm alphabet 2) it was a bother to carry around 3) things got messy if he forgot to sync things up 4) his girlfriend made faces at him when he used it in public because it made him look like a pretentious dork

Okay - that last item is a little silly - but think about whether you'll be comfortable using it, or will feel self conscious about it.

With the transportation issue, he pointed out that getting it too and from work is fine (purse, briefcase, etc.) but do you take a large enough purse or briefcase to meetings? Shopping errands? Sightseeing? Think about all of the places you might want to use it, particularly places you tend to get weblogging ideas, since that use appeals to you.

His suggestion - get a cheap Palm-sized memo pad, carry it around for a week writing down everything you'd put in your Palm Pilot, and at the end of the week see whether having it in electronic form would be that much more useful. I tried it out and discovered that I kept wanting to tear the shopping list page out of the notebook and carry it to the store in my jeans pocket, and stuck phone messages my apartmentmates took for me inside it. I still really like the _idea_ of a Palm Pilot, but I think my money would be better spent on a different toy.

-- Amanda Holland-Minkley (, September 06, 2000.

Okay - here's a related question: should I get a cell phone? I'm not the easiest person to reach by phone (if I'm in, I often tie up the phone with the modem; my office doesn't have voice mail). I only travel a little, but I will probably start doing job interviews and the associated travel over the next year. And I really like being in phone contact with the world.

Major questions: Do you carry yours always, usually, or occasionally (e.g., if you go to a meeting, do you take it or leave it in your office)? Who do you give the number to? Do you really use it? If you carry it always, how hard is it to remember to turn the ringer off and back on?

-- Amanda Holland-Minkley (, September 06, 2000.

I've noticed that "not wanting to look like a pretentious dork" really does affect when and how I use my palm pilot. My wife pulls the face on occasion, but not when I tell her what I'm doing.

-- mark crane (, January 15, 2001.

I am still trying to decide whether I want a Handspring Visor Deluxe or a Palm Pilot lllxe. I am leaning towards the Visor because I like the idea of being able to add more memory in the future. I don't think the Pilot offers that. As for the cell phone issue. I have never regretted getting one. Just a few of the ways I have used it are my son's school calling to let me know he was sick and had to come home (I was at a store), calling to get directions on the way to an appointment, calling for AAA when the timing belt on our car broke, etc. I don't keep it on while I am in class, but I can check the messages in between class and work. I think you need to be aware of what is an appropriate time to use a cell phone, but it sure is wonderful to have when you really need it. I also only gave the number to one friend as I am one of the people her daughter's school has on their emergency contact list, my son's school, and my husband. I definately think you need to keep the list of people who knows your number down to a bare minimum.

-- Kimberly (, January 24, 2001.

internet pilot

-- christos bikiaropoulos (CHRISCHRIS 525@HOTMAIL.COM), February 11, 2003.

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