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#32354 - 12/20/03 09:26 PM PDA questions  
DougW  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
North Chicago, IL
I've been thinking about buying one (used) off of Ebay or some such, as I've seen a bunch of estimating software advertised (and I've seen the thread about NEC for PDA here).

Anybody use one? What (electrical) programs do you use. How do you like it? Problems / praises?

I'm not using any estimating software currently, but obviously, I'm willing to change. Manual take offs bite!

Thanks in advance.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#32355 - 12/21/03 09:23 AM Re: PDA questions  
spkjpr  Offline
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 218
Sedalia,MO, USA
I use a Zire. I don't have the need for a takeoff program being a 1 man shop. But I di use the notepad to draw out the smaller remodel stuff I do, also use it as a planner.

#32356 - 12/21/03 05:29 PM Re: PDA questions  
ElectricAL  Offline
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 597
Minneapolis, MN USA
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.

Al Hildenbrand

#32357 - 12/22/03 02:47 PM Re: PDA questions  
DougW  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
North Chicago, IL
Thanks for the feedback, guys. As a one-man shop myself, I'm not looking to spend a ton of $$ - just trying to keep better track of projects, as well as supply lists and costs.

As a side note, I mentioned that I was looking at one of these to the wife - she got the "dead husband" look, and said "stop looking - there might be one under the tree this year".

One of the many reasons I love her!

Thanks again,


#32358 - 12/22/03 07:29 PM Re: PDA questions  
Jim M  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 457
Chestertown, MD, USA

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 to look for various apps to help you. Also try

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).]

#32359 - 12/26/03 02:11 PM Re: PDA questions  
Jim M  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 457
Chestertown, MD, USA
So was Doug a good boy this year? Did you get your PDA for Christmas?

#32360 - 01/04/04 06:59 PM Re: PDA questions  
DougW  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
North Chicago, IL
Doug was a good boy, but Santa was broke... have to wait for the "tax return fairy"! [Linked Image]

#32361 - 01/04/04 09:21 PM Re: PDA questions  

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.

#32362 - 01/04/04 09:33 PM Re: PDA questions  
DougW  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
North Chicago, IL
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.

Thanks for the feedback.

#32363 - 01/05/04 05:24 AM Re: PDA questions  
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,217
SI,New Zealand
Hey fella's,
Have you seen this thread?.
Hope someone can help.

{message edited to correct problems, that's all I'm sayin'!!}

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 01-05-2004).]

Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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