View Full Version : First day at school Ö
05-11-2004, 08:24 AM
I have been running GTD on Filofax for a while now. As some others have reported, there is an occasional need to rewrite items when a page starts to get untidy and unattractive looking with many items crossed out.
It is the need for squared off tidiness that is making me think of switching to PDA.
I am an utter, blank, total novice with regard to PDAs. I do not know anyone who uses one, no have I ever been shown how they work or what they do. I donít know if the format is closer to Word or to Excel.
My requirements are very basic: I would like to list about three hundred projects under current or someday, plus three hundred NAs to go with them, under about 15 contexts.
If there is more capacity, I would probably add lists of wines, books, CDs, places to go.
If there is some Word-like facility for storing passages of text, I would store some quotations/affirmations, and maybe some pages with project bullet points.
Another question, what are the basic requirements for synchronising a PDA with a PC? Does the PDA have to be synched with Outlook, or can data be transferred from Word and/or Excel into the PDA? (I run two different releases of Outlook at home and in work).
Can I update my full lists of projects and NAs on PC in their appropriate lists, and then transfer the updated lists straight to PDA?
Can I basically link my PDA to my PC when I get to the office, and keep it on screen all day and update it as I go along? (Is it that cool?)
If I purchase the GTD Outlook add-in, can I install it at home and in woodwork, or do I need to buy two copies?
I would have no foreseeable requirements for graphic or sound features.
Which PDA would cover these basic requirements?
(I Hope someone has the time to answer all these!).
05-11-2004, 10:14 AM
The basic answer is "yes" to all of the above. (you can synch any type of file, though not all will run on the pocket machine).
But remember, many people find it quite slow and painful entering data directly in a PDA (OK if you are synching to a PC most of the time). Some of us use a built in voice recorder for capturing ideas while we walk the dog (or whatever) and type them up when we're back at the PC.
And you only have 2" x 3" of screen space to look at. I get about 15 lines of tasks on a screen after allowing for toolbars and so on.
Don't forget Project Gutenberg, either (free texts of out of copyright books, typed in by bands of dedicated volunteers).
I know very little about the addin.
I use an hp iPaq 1940. Small, cheap-ish with the functions I need. And two extra pieces of software: Pocket informant (cosmetic improvements to the standard calendar/tasks/contacts functions - but on a screen this small, cosmetics are important!) and Listpro for outlining, brainstorming and general checklists.
Oh and eWallet, which appears to give less functionality than listpro, is strangely helpful. Again, cosmetics.
Hope this helps.
05-11-2004, 01:29 PM
Rossw covered most of your questions nicely.
As far as the add-in is concerned, I couldn't find anything specific in the license either way regarding a two machine installation. There's nothing in the software itself to prevent you form installing it on both your work and home PCs. You might try pinging NetCentrics for a clear answer. Do it by e-mail though. They readily admit that they don't read their own forum very often.
More generally, you need to make sure that, regardless of the platform (Palm or PPC) that you choose, that your software has a good desktop app you're comfortable using. I agree with Rossw that the small screen is great for review and occasional datat entry but the desktop app is where most of my stuff gets entered.
05-11-2004, 09:06 PM
What's the best difference between PDA and paper?
In my opinion the best and the simplest answer is:
Paper is fast-input/slow-output device.
PDA is slow-input/fast-output device.
Usually you capture a given idea once and retrieve it many times - so the PDA is a clear winner.
By speed of input I mean how fast you can capture your ideas (paper and pen is the fastest way; the voice recorder is fast but you have to write your notes down later).
By speed of output I mean how fast you can retrieve the information. System-wide lookup function in Palm PDA allows you to find any information ever entered in any application. Of course you can browse the contents and sort it in database view.
05-12-2004, 12:54 AM
Thanks very much for the responses. Just to take it one stage further, which particular models would satisfy the requirement level I outlined?
05-12-2004, 03:57 AM
It's OK, I spotted this thread...
05-12-2004, 06:13 AM
Having read reviews on Amazon and Epinions regarding the Zire, Palm IIIx, and Tungsten E, I am totally and utterly confused.
I really only want what is effectively an electronic Filofax with list capabilities, and some Word-like facility for some general notes Ė no sound/phone/moving picture/smell-a-vision required.
Will all of the above units synch with my home and my office PCs, even though my home PC runs an earlier version of Windows? Will Palm IIIx (apparently five years old) work with 2003/2004 windows releases? Am I starting to sound like the guy who thought Windows 98 would stop working on January 1 1999?
Sorry for sounding like a Neanderthal on this, but PDA prices in Ireland are more than double the UK and US equivalents, and I donít want to be kicking myself ..
05-12-2004, 09:23 PM
Current Palm models are:
Zire 31 (color) / Zire 21 (B&W) - BASIC PERSONAL;
Zire 72 (color with camera) / Zire 71 - ADVANCED PERSONAL(MULTIMEDIA);
Tungsten E - BASIC BUSINESS;
Tungsten T3 (320x480 screen) / Tungsten C (keyboard) - ADVANCED BUSINESS;
Treo 600 - BUSINESS PDA/CELL PHONE
Any other models are obsolete and I expect problems with service soon.
Palm has "Product Selection Wizard" at http://www.palmone.com/us/products/compare/selector/.
Tungsten E is the best choice in my opinion for basic calendar/contact/todo/memo tasks but every model can do it as well.
Current Palm software allows you to synchronize PDA data with
PC Running Windows XP (Home or Professional)/98/2000 Pro/ME or NT 4.0 Workstation, SP6 or higher
05-13-2004, 12:44 AM
Thanks Testeq, thatís just what I needed to know.:D
I run Windows 98 at home and XP in the office.
The Zire 31 retails at 199 euro in a shop near my office. I read a nice review of it at:
I will check local prices on the Tungsten E also.
05-13-2004, 05:07 AM
Here - in Poland - we have the following Palm PDA prices (SRP including 22% VAT):
Tungsten C - 429.54 EUR
Tungsten T3 - 406.67 EUR
Tungsten E - 224.18 EUR
Zire 72 - 363.46 EUR
Zire 71 - 228.50 EUR
Very expensive if you take into account the average salary in our country.
Tungsten E has plastic case just as Zire line of PDAs but much more stylish. Tunsten T3 and Tungsten C have metal cases as far as I know.
I also suggest you to buy leather case to protect your PDA. In my opinion leather case is much better than hard case.
05-13-2004, 05:24 AM
I called into the supplier near my office at lunch-time. They showed me the features on the Zire 71, the Tungsten E, and the basic Zire.
They explained to me that the higher charge for the Tungsten E and the Zire 71 was because of additional features which I donít think I really need. (They both cost about 300 EUR).
They showed me the Zire 31, and it seems to have everything I need. I do not need to take any documents or data files out of the office with me in software format. If I am going to a meeting, I take the paper file. If I am working out on site, I take a lap-top. So, I am now the proud owner of a Zire 31.
Thanks again TesTeq,
05-14-2004, 09:12 AM
Let us know of your experience with your new PDA. It's really interesting to read of your specific needs and yet your unfamiliarity with PDA functions. In fact, I was thinking your original list of issues at the beginning of this thread could have been written by a PDA manufacturer's marketing person writing down all the things a PDA is great for.
But now that you have a PDA, will it really pan out?
05-14-2004, 01:15 PM
Iím determined to make it work for me. I was finding the paper based Filofax approach to be very labor intensive. I had earlier tried using excel to manage my lists, and I missed the cleanness of producing clean new lists whenever I wanted. I hope the Palm will do the same for me.
However, news from the frontline. Iím swearing my way through the set up phase: at the moment none of the icons are responding to the pointer. When I press the calendar button, the calendar comes on the screen. When I press the contacts button, the contacts screen appears. There is no response from the four icons. :evil:
If I can't get any response from it by tonight, Iím going back to the shop tomorrow.
Wish me luck (and patience!)
05-14-2004, 02:19 PM
Sounds like your PDA (personal digital aggravator) is working just the way that it should! You know that we all use PDAs because they make life easier by *consuming* time so there is less to *manage*.
05-14-2004, 02:24 PM
I do not understand what you are saying "There is no response from the four icons"
What you called the four icons?
05-14-2004, 02:47 PM
The icons I mean are Home, Menu, Hotsync and Find.
I am going to bed now, it is midnight in Ireland. Feel free to leave messages of support or sympathy overnight.
05-14-2004, 02:58 PM
Thats is extrange, I will do a digitizer, if that do not fix the issue take it back, maybe you got a defective one.
I am sorry...
But do not abandon your idea, the palm is the best thing happen to my GTD...
05-14-2004, 06:59 PM
You might try a soft reset of the device if you haven't already. There's a small hole somewhere on the back of your Palm that says "reset". Using the small pin (usually under the tip or cap end of the stylus) push the recessed reset button and your Palm will restart. Sometimes that will do the trick.
If not, take previous post's advice and exchange it for another unit.
05-15-2004, 02:50 PM
As far as I can judge, only the upper half of the screen repsonds to the pointer. Oh well, back to the shop on Monday ...
05-17-2004, 05:03 AM
Went back to the shop - yes, it turned out to be the digitizer routine. My instruction book didn't draw my attention to the importance of this. (I didn't know what it meant when the guy in the shop said it).
05-17-2004, 09:07 PM
First of all I think the guy in the shop should show you the digitizer routine.
You shouldn't expect any more problems with Palm PDA. If you want to use it simply for GTD and organization of your life do not install any add-on software. Just use the built-in applications and Palm Desktop for backup and synchronization. This is the setup that David Allen uses - see http://david.davidco.com/DavidCo/davidallen.nsf/
05-18-2004, 02:45 AM
The guy in the shop gave me a demonstration of the digitizer routine. I hadn't realised that this type of recalibration was a constant requirement.
The Palm seems to be working fine now, and I took a short tour around it last night, and practised a few of the hieroglyphic squiggles and succeeded in getting the right letters to appear.
I will wait until the weekend to do a full set up, and transfer all my paper based lists.
Can I ask one thing Ė which menu option do I go through to get to the place where I can set up lists?
05-18-2004, 06:06 AM
1. Palm digitizer must be calibrated after each hardware reset (which is rather rare).
2. Buy a screen protector to protect your screen from scratches and potential damage. Scratches in the Grafitti area cause unreliable letter recognition.
3. Lists can be entered as ToDo items or Memo items. The obvious choice for Next Actions should be ToDo but this application is not able to sort items alphabetically. So many users use Memo instead. Of course you can load outlining application with richer functionality.
4. Here is a description how David Allen uses his Palm http://www.davidco.com/tips_tools/tip43.html.
05-18-2004, 07:04 AM
Thanks again Testeq.
05-18-2004, 10:00 AM
On a more complex thing Dave, if you already use list, try ListPro, you can get a free trial, for me is been a great solution, since I can have my list as they where in paper, and if you have a PC they are 100% compatible with Palm desktop.
There is a post in here talking about the software
good luck with the new palm and your new system.
05-19-2004, 12:28 AM
Even though I have not yet started to set up my Palm, I can imagine how any application that enhances list management will be very attractive. I like the look of the screen shots on their web page. Great price too. Does it function as a new program, or does it enhance Memo and Task functions? If I have set up GTD using the Memo function, is it easy to transfer data into Listpro?
If I start off by using the memo function to do my lists, will I be able to create a separate memo for each context? Or will I be restricted to creating just one long memo, starting each entry with @office, @hardware, and then sorting alphabetically?
05-19-2004, 07:43 AM
This function as a different program.
I do not use tasks, and Memos I use for diferent things than GTD.
But for me is a key tool
check it for free and play before you set up your palm, therefore you only setup once.
05-19-2004, 08:41 AM
Thanks Apinaud, I will test it on the weekend.
05-25-2004, 12:58 AM
I love my Zire Önow that I understand how the set up works. I hadnít realised that there is specific Palm software that you load onto your PC so that it can link with the Palm Ė I was under the impression that the Palmís own software was somehow able to ďtalkĒ with Word/Excel/Outlook. :roll: Itís all much simpler than I anticipated. But then again, Iím good at imagining problems. As Mark Twain said: "I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened."
Just one question: when hot-synching, how does the process know which version is the one to go with? Naturally I will be very disciplined and use a father-son approach Ė I will only update the PC or the Palm, and do a hot-synch before I start updating the ďfatherĒ device. But just say if the ďfatherĒ device was updated while the son device was being updated, and a hot-synch was performed, which set of data would appear on both devices?
05-25-2004, 03:15 AM
Dave, go into Palm Desktop and click on HotSync. Under Custom, you can set up whether you want to synchronize PC and PDA, or have one overwrite the other. If you're using Chapura, you can also choose Settings there and make the same choices. I synchronize Outlook. If I am using the Desktop application to enter and change some data, I set that to overwrite before I HotSync. Usually, I just synchronize.
One biggie here -- consider buying BackupBuddy if you have add-on software. If you ever have a crash or battery failure, you will be glad to have the backup to re-install everything!
05-25-2004, 03:33 AM
Thanks Carolyn, I can see those options now. :)
I have to say, the neatness factor alone has already justified the expense. All my partly crossed off lists were really starting to repel me. So far, Iím resisting add-on software, but you never can tell Ö
06-08-2004, 06:49 AM
When I hot synch in the office, all my data gets stored on my hard drive. This of course includes tons of personal stuff. Is there a way of deleting all data before I go home in the evening?
06-08-2004, 07:54 AM
There is 2 ways, one is that you mark all your personal records as private and ask your work machine to do not sync private records.
The other is get the files in a floppy everyday and deleted from the computer.
I use to do the other option, now what I do is ask for password to acess my palm. Go to TOOLS/OPTIONS/SECURITY and mark require password.
That do not make it really secure, but avoid some level users to be out.
06-08-2004, 07:55 AM
If you're just using the standard palm databases, Chapura's Pocketmirror (I think the Pro version) will allow you to not sync private items. I use it to keep private or personal things off my work computer. It will also allow you to not have those private items backed up when you sync. It's not quite the answer to your question (sync it to the computer and then zap it), but if you're not referring to your work computer for reminders of tasks that you want to keep private, it'll work.
06-08-2004, 08:08 AM
Apinaud, Brian, thanks very much. Iíll try out those options this evening.