I've been working with a Compaq IPAQ for two years now. I don'thave any need for Bluetooth or WiFi wireless connectivity, and am comfortable with having a seperate cell phone.
I chose the platform because of its large memory (RAM & ROM) and because it was PocketPC, not PalmOS, because of the tight integration with MS Office and Outlook. The field notes added to Tasks and to appointments in the Calendar has been very helpful. The device is a ready "tape recorder" for conversations or verbal notes.
Setting it to keep the last 30 days of email has helped with the details listed by the most current communication with some customers.
Part of what makes these really valuable is the regular use of the record handling ability of a formal contact manager like Outlook. It takes time to set up, but with regular use, the contact information collects in the electronic form on the desktop or laptop computer and is handily mirrored in the PDA. That has been gold for me. I no longer carry a day planner or paper printout of my contacts.
I haven't found any electrical software that has fit the PDA format yet, though, at least that I want to spend money on.
I use mine as aday planner and to record the times on a job. I also installed Quickoffice that lets me work on MS Word or Excel files. You can go to wwww.handango.com to look for various apps to help you. Also try www.palmelectrician.com
Timedog will allow you to record your time on the PDA and upload to Quickbooks.
[This message has been edited by Jim M (edited 12-23-2003).]
[This message has been edited by Jim M (edited 12-29-2003).]
I got my Palm m500 almost a year ago as a birthday present. I didn't think I would use it, now I would be lost without it. The electrical software is nice, but the biggest thing for me is appointments, lists and phone numbers. It holds all the phone numbers you will ever need and they're easy to pull up. You can schedule jobs and other stuff and put the specifics right in with the appointments or link it to a memo with your list. You can do a search, instantly pulling up the exact information about a job you did last year, including the phone number and address. You can keep your lists of stuff you need from all the places you buy stuff. All in all it has helped me to become tremendously organized, which means a lot le$$ wa$ted time, if you know what I mean. Just be sure to sync with your desktop every day in case you lose one or the other.
It's kinda scary to think that the free PDA style 'organizer' given away last year as a promotion by a mall store had more computing power than the (16k) computer my dad used to run a municipal bond underwriting house in the 1970's... more computing ability than the first space missions had on board.
Anyway, back on topic - my phone has a great capacity for #'s and e-mail addy's, as well as a decent calendar function. I think that the combo of the project tracking and the EC software is what I will be using most.
Thought about an all-in-one PDA-phone combo, but I follow the KISS principle too much. Besides, that way I can look stuff up while yakkin' to someone.