I was considering a palm pilot to help with organization. Pretty much all I can think to do with the thing is, appointments, phone numbers, notes, estimate notes (if writing notes is easy with this thing.)
Check and send email, internet stuff if I'm in a WiFi hotspot which I think I rarely am in one.
The palm I was considering is the Palm TX.
My question is do you guys own a palm pilot, what do you use it for, how do you like it, and any other info you want to share. I'm not sure if this will be usefull enough.
My wife carried one for years building houses at Centex. If your applications are compatible with Palm software it is a valuable tool. You have the power of your PC in your hand all day. If you don't have a computerized system and a will to use, it switching to a personal terminal can be a mountain to climb tho. I went through it with IBM in the 80's when we switched everyone over to the Motorola PT, a palm like device with RF capability, the size of a thin paver connected to just about everything. Once it caught on you couldn't pry one of these out of a guy's hands. The same is true of the Palm if you have good applications. Basically, everything you can do at your desk in front of your PC could be done on an RF connected Palm and most could be done offline if you just want to depend on hot sync.
I've use the PalmOne Tungsten E2. I don't do email but it is great for scheduling, making lists, daily tasks, etc. I've seen guys with endless paper notes at lists trying to keep up with them. It is certaintly worth it if for only these few things.
P.S. I also bought the aluminum case which makes it contractor friendly.
I live and swear by my PDA! I started using a Palm Vx about 8 years ago and was instantly hooked. Upgraded to a Treo 600, and I've just about worn out my Treo 700p. It is just sooo incredibly handy. The search button alone is worth the price- how many hours wasted looking through old notebooks and day planners for that one scribble? Also, it's excellent for tracking contacts- I put key words for people in the notes section so that when I forget their name, but remember their employer, or a project I worked with them on, etc, I can search for that and pick them out of a short list.
I'd highly recommend getting a PDA phone as opposed to a standalone; a PDA isn't something you use "some of the time;" a PDA is useless unless it it *always* with you. And having it converged with your phone is doubly convenient. Since they're all also cameras/camcorders, you'll have that with you all the time, too. And wireless email/internet just kicks ass
PDAs pretty much all support Word and Excel these days, too. A lot will view powerpoint and pdf, too. I even have a CAD package for my old Treo, though it wasn't very practical. I'd also recommend one with an SD slot; you can pick up a cheap SD card reader and use it like a thumb drive to transfer files to/from your PDA and laptops.
As for cases- anything you can imagine, there's a case for it. I had a solid aluminum hardshell for my old Treo (had a nice leather case, too), but I broke too many belt clips, so I just slip it in my pocket now, "naked". I have a little friction sticky on the back (free swag from an Eaton junk mailer, actually) so I can just set it down in my car and it doesn't slip while I'm driving.
A PDA isn't for everyone, but if you use a day planner and you're a gadget guy... it's WELL worth it! Also look at Pocket PCs and Blackberrys. IMHO, PalmOS is by far the best at being a PDA, but PocketPCs are better at being a toy. Blackberrys are cheap for the back-end support so businesses love them, but I'd never buy one for myslf, get a Palm or PocketPC instead. In the end, though, they all do pretty much the same thing, it's just what you prefer. There's tons of 3rd party software for all of them. The IR beaming is mostly compatible between them, too, for sharing files. (Anything in a Palm can be beamed to another Palm)
You all seem to be missing the ability to interface with your office PC applications. If you have a PC based inventory system, that can also be mirrored on your palm. The same is true of time card systems, project tracking and vehicle maintenance logs. I guess it really depends on how much the PC figures in your operation.
I use a HP Jornada. Its 4 or 5 yrs old. Interfaces with outlook and runs a program called mini word. I tried using the it for tasks and proposals but alas I find it is good for scheduling and client info. I have been thinking of going to a blackberry when my phone is either dead or Obsaleet(LOL) At this point going back to a paper book would be very hard:)
I have a Compaq iPaq, about 6 years old and run Windows Mobile 2003. I have it set up so that it syncs with my email, address book, and Google Calendar--so when I enter an appointment online, on my home computer or on the PDA they all sync up without (many) problems. It has an SD card slot, so expanding the memory is real simple, and it also has Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player (plays music and movies) and Adobe Pocket Reader. Pretty handy little device, though mine came out before wireless Internet was big so I have to use a little backpack (which fortunately has an extra battery in it) and a PC card to get WiFi or bluetooth capability. Or, it can use my home computer's internet when it's hooked up to the charge/sync cradle.
I have also previously used a Palm Zire 21 and Handpsring Visor Deluxe. Although I haven't taken a look at Palm lately, when I got the iPaq Windows Mobile really had the advantage in terms of available software, networking capability and expansion. Now, you also have the option of the iPhone/iPod Touch or Linux-based PDAs. Unfortunately, that probably won't help you narrow it down any.
I am on my second Palm Tungsten E2. Quite handy for the contacts if nothing else. Interface with your PC on a regular basis is a must if you're going to get all the good out of it. Using Documents to Go allows you to use Word, Excel applications. My sales rep at the supply house also uses Palm so I can make a materials list and walk in the supply house and beam it to him. I always know what I have at the shop in inventory no matter what job I'm on. Plus I have the panel directories of every job I've done since 2001 in my pocket all of the time. Saves me tons of paper and time. I know there is a lot more I could do with it if I would just stop and make myself take the time to set it up.
I use a Palm Centro. I picked it up for $60 then I got a body glove and a car charger for it comes to $110. I use it for my outlook which now backs up my contacts. I can view excel word, powerpoint. It's a pretty good device. I had it 2 months now. No problems.
Everything I had to say has been covered in the previous posts. Just wanted to chime in and say without a PDA I would still be in obsolute chaos and up to my ears in paperwork, etc. It has really helped me get more organized. It has become one of the most useful tools I own. Having maps, internet access, calender, and email in the palm of my hand has been a life saver many times.