Living Life with Your Pocket PC

For years now I have had a career in management and have been searching for ways to keep organized. By nature I am an organized person, but also very forgetful, and if something is not tattooed on my forehead I tend to forget it. Since I am a self-proclaimed geek, and very proud of it, I don't enjoy using paper to stay organized. That's so 80's. You know, like mullets, slap bracelets, and Members Only... but I digress. Searching for a way to better organize my life and satisfy the geek in me, I purchased an HP iPaq 1945. I never realized how much I would really use it and integrate it into my life. I would like to share with you the top ten ways I have been able to successfully integrate my Pocket PC into my daily life (in no particular order of importance, by the way).

  1. Make absolutely sure you buy a case for it, and if you are comfortable with the idea, buy a belt clip case.

    • I have found that when I have the ability to carry my Pocket PC on my belt like a cellphone, I always have it at hand if I want to whip it out and add an address or check my schedule. If I didn't have it at my fingertips all the time, it would be difficult to be consistent in using it.

    • Remember that these devices are about as water resistant as a paper towel, and do not like to be dropped either. A little slip could transform your Pocket PC into a really, really expensive clay pigeon.

  2. Whenever you have an upcoming date, appointment, meeting, or any schedule item, put it immediately into your Pocket PC, and make sure you have an alarm reminder attached to it.

    • When you do this, your device will beep at you when you have an upcoming schedule item. It's nice when you absolutely cannot forget to do something. Once you get in the habit of this, you can always use the schedule app to check a whole month's worth of appointments, and you will always know what is coming.

  3. If you need to take down a phone number, write down an address quickly, or just a quick note, whip out your PPC and use the Notes function.

    • This is one of the best features of your Pocket PC. I use it constantly to write down phone numbers, quick notes, and philosophical inspirations... right. But seriously, I use the Notes app many times each day. It's great if you are in a position where you really can't grab a notepad and write something down. Never again will you say "Do you have a pen?"

  4. Put some addictive little games on it.

    • Now, if you are ever stuck bored, you can play games to your heart's content. There are tons and tons of games out there for the Pocket PC, many of which are free, and many of which are commercial games that are just as good, if not better than, other mobile gaming alternatives.

  5. Use it to read!

    • With mobile eBook applications, or Adobe Acrobat Reader (which can be downloaded for free) you can read full books on your Pocket PC! You could have a whole library attached to your belt.

  6. Make absolutely sure you buy a memory card.

    • If you don't, you won't have very much space at all to install games, applications, utilities, music files, books, images, or anything. You will never realize your device's full potential without a storage card.

  7. One way or another, find a way to connect to the Internet with your device. You can use your GPRS enabled cellphone and a Bluetooth connection (see related article), purchase a Pocket PC with WiFi support built in (802.11b), or purchase a wireless card to add WiFi support.

    • This is, by far, the best feature overall of the Pocket PC. You can use the built in Internet Explorer or purchase an alternative browser, and browse the internet on your Pocket PC. With WiFi, you can go anywhere there is a connection, and if you use your cell, you can access the internet anywhere you have cell signal.

  8. Buy a screen protector. Now.

    • In fact, the best thing to do is purchase screen protectors with your Pocket PC, and put it on the second you remove it from the box. There is nothing more heartwrenching then putting it away on your first day of ownership and seeing a long, thin scratch across the screen THAT WON'T RUB OFF, NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY. That scratch will stare you in the face and laugh at you for years until you lose your mind. So buy a screen protector with due haste.

  9. Use the AvantGo service!

    • AvantGo rules. It is a free service that allows you to download content to your device, and it is usually updated daily. Every morning, when you sync your PPC, you could have stock quotes, news headlines, and even a Chrysler showroom, downloaded to your device. Did I mention it's free? And you don't have to sign up for anything, or else I'd ask them to take a long walk off a short pier. Use it, and love it.

  10. Take it everywhere with you.

    • If you followed steps one and eight, you should not be afraid to do this. Cart the little wonder everywhere you go. If you have a briefcase, put it in your briefcase. If you have a purse, stick it in your purse. Or carry it on your belt. They're common enough now that you won't look like that much of a nerd. It could even make you look more important. Pocket PC's transform pizza delivery guys into CEO's almost daily. One way or another, you won't really use it unless you take it with you everywhere. Don't let it sit on top of your dresser and collect dust.

Well, there are countless ways you can integrate your PPC into your daily life. I didn't mention they can be used to watch videos, listen to music, write Word documents, create Excel spreadsheets... but I focused on what I feel have influenced me the most in using it in my daily life. Don't ever think you are done learning about your new toy, because it will actually surprise you with what it can do, and the wealth of software out there you can acquire to expand the possibilities. If you are not enjoying your Pocket PC, re-read this article and try my tips. You will eventually get addicted!


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