When I decided to abandon my Palm PDA , I was concerned about the information it contained. How would I be able to access information without it? Some of the information was critical; some just nice to have. And I was carrying around a lot of applications on the Palm I wasn’t using at all. I needed to replace software, but only the stuff that was actually used. I didn’t want to junk up my new device with a lot of clutter.
Making the Software List
I approached this by making a list of the software I was using on the Palm and deciding if it was critical usage, nice to have, or unused.
|Palm Tasks||To do list||critical|
|Agendus||PIM||Unused||Used to make Palm desktop prettier; never used advanced features|
|Bonsai||Outliner/Project list||Nice to have||Used mainly from PC and USB stick; haven’t accessed on PDA for a year|
|Calculator||calculator||nice to have|
|Notestudio||Wiki/notes||unused||I haven’t used this on my PDA in ages. I use it from PC and USB stick.|
|PDoan||Timer||Nice to have||This timer is good for (10+2)*5, but I haven’t used it on the PDA in long time|
|SmartList To Go||Database||nice to have||I keep many databases, but most of these could be done in lists or on the desktop.|
|WWCalc||Food diary||nice to have||I do better with losing weight when I track.|
|YAPS||Passwords||critical||I need to have my passwords with me.|
|Adobe Palm PDF Reader||PDF reader||nice to have||I would like to be able to read on the go|
|Handyshopper||checklist/shopping list||nice to have||I will need some sort of shopping/to do list software|
|BDicty||Dictionary||unused||I haven’t used this in a while; I either get the physical dictionary or look it up online|
|PDA Cookbook||recipes||nice to have||I like having my recipes with me to do meal planning and pick up ingredients last minute|
|Plucker||Ebook reader||nice to have||I love having books with me|
|QuizWiz||Education||unused||A program that does flashcards|
|OmniRemote||Remote control||unused||I use this to turn the television off from upstairs or when we have misplaced other remotes|
|Woman||Cycle tracker||nice to have||Always good to have this information handy for the doctor|
|Solitaire||Game||nice to have||I like Astraware’s solitaire suite|
|Bejeweled||Game||nice to have|
|Cribbage||Game||nice to have|
|Scrabble||Game||nice to have|
|Sudoku||Game||nice to have||Although I prefer pencil and paper|
|WordWiggle||Game||nice to have||Like Boggle|
|Keygen||Password generator||nice to have|
|Moonphase||Utility||nice to have||We live in a tidal area, and it’s always good to know|
|Tide Tracker||Utility||nice to have||Ditto|
|Yahtzee||Game||nice to have|
|LookAtMe||Utility||unused||launches applications at certain times|
|Planner||Utility||unused||Tracks days off and holidays|
|Redo||Utility||critical||Prevents all occurrences of a repeating task from showing at once|
|BigClock||Utility||nice to have||An alarm/timer/stopwatch is used often.|
|Euchre||Game||nice to have|
|Hearts||Game||nice to have|
|Metronome||Music||nice to have||Used during on-the-go rehearsals|
|Music||Music||nice to have||Gives out pitches during on-the-go rehearsals|
Obviously, if something isn’t being used, I’m not going to replace it.
For those things that are being used, I will need to find acceptable replacements. My criteria for replacements is backups in case of catastrophic device failure, access to the data through other means, and ease of use.
Backups. Devices fail. And when they fail, I don’t want to be floundering without my calendar or to-do list. (Learned that lesson about 10 years ago). So having some sort of backup of the information is critical.
Access through other means. I spend a lot of time at a keyboard, and it would be nice if I can access the data through my regular PC. This would only apply to those items where a lot of data entry is necessary, like the PIM, notebooks and database applications.
Ease of Use. I am through with software that has poorly designed interfaces or cryptic instructions. I never want to have to tap 12 times to get to the place where I can enter a piece of information. I also don’t want software loaded down with features I will never use.
There is the list. More coming on how I did with this…
Photo by Stéfan