Imagine a beep going off to let you know you have a meeting in an hour… That’s not the future- that’s now! (A desktop calendar with the same meeting, but is not visible because it is covered with work, certainly can’t do that!)
For the tech savvy, the days of paper organizers are nearly over. Instead, they trade in their paper and pen for a stylus and electronic organizer- often called a PDA or palm pilot. As technology advances, the gadgets get smaller. And, it seems the smaller they are, the more that can be done with them. But no matter how small or sophisticated, they are helping millions stay organized.
Finding the right PDA for you starts with assessing your needs. Do you need a PDA to keep your schedule up to date, or do you also need it to use as a communication tool and to give you directions on how to get to that meeting you are trying to locate? PDA’s can do it all. Aside from assessing your needs, you will also have to think about your budget for this personal organizer. Quality brands we know and trust, such as Sony, Dell, Sharp, HP, Handspring, PalmOne, Audiovox and others, offer simple PDAs starting at $10 to $50 on up to impressive advanced models that can do anything, from the low hundreds up to over $800. You are sure to find one that not only will do what you need, but will be in your price range. Another important thing to consider when purchasing your PDA is memory. This is why you must really look into the ‘bargain’ prices. PDAs can start at 2MB and hold up to 128MB. If you are going to be downloading files to be saved, you may want to think about something that has more memory; otherwise, you may become frustrated down the line.
Your basic palm pilot will give you the ability to store contacts, keep a calendar, view your appointments, etc. by day, week or month, get notifications and reminders, use a calculator and other things typical of an organizer. The stylus and pad also allow for entering the information, and writing memos and notes for yourself, or to send to another palm. (There is a special way you will learn have to write your characters, but it is simple.) As the PDAs progress up the price line, they can offer features such as internet access, e-mail capability, music player, video player, camera, GPS, cellular phone capability, games, word processing programs and more. There are a lot of software programs made exclusively for palms that you can purchase later. PDAs can come in a variety of sizes, colors and screens. Some are your standard gray-like screen with normal font, while others have a color screen and look more like a computer.
If you are someone who likes to have a back-up schedule, or still likes to use paper sometimes, you are in luck. Most palms come with a cradle that can be hooked up to your computer, where information can be uploaded and stored, or printed. For instance, if you are the boss or head of an account team, you may want to print out your schedule for others to have. Or, perhaps you want to print out your contact list for your assistant. Also, some palms come with a synchronization program, which information currently on your computer can be downloaded to your organizer. This can save time from entering in addresses and phone numbers that you may already have on file. In addition, if you started writing a memo on the commute to work, but want to add to it and print it out, you can do that too.
These gadgets are very nifty items that are keeping millions and millions of people in tune with their daily regimens. Imagine being on the train on the way to work, and deciding to plan an impromptu meeting with your staff. You can schedule the meeting, and shoot out the e-mail to everyone in your department. Or, you can trade in your cell phone and date book for a PDA that can do both, having the phone number and phone in one spot. And best of all, these organizers are neat- no shuffling through pages or loosing items- and are small enough to fit in your pocket, purse or bag.
There are many consumer websites available which can match a PDA with your needs, as well as sites that will compare brands of these organizers. They would be a good place to start your quest toward being a tech-savvy scheduler, as well as a visit to your local electronic retailer.