PDA, organize my life?

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7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 11, 2003
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I'm looking to buying a PDA. I would like to have (true) wireless internet acess with it. Does anyone have an sugestions? Also, is it really worth it? Does it really help? Is it really better than pen and paper?


Trust me, it's still fun.
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 11, 2001
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PDA's are great... one thing to watch out for, however, is that you don't become overly dependent on it. I love my handy ectopic brain and probably rely on it too much. I actually began noticing that after I got my PDA I started losing my short term memory, b/c I would write everything in my To-Do list. When I forgot my palmpilot, it was almost like I had been lobotomized.

I have a Zire71 I got about 6 months ago. It comes with an MP3 player, which is nice (although I have a standalone mp3 player) and a cheap digital camera (although I have a powershot A40).

I'd suggest possibly waiting for the pda/cellphone combos to get a little cheaper, and get one of those.


15+ Year Member
Oct 23, 2003
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I swear by my Toshiba e755 pocket pc. I've been hooked on PDAs since I was a grad student - they're great for maximizing time usage. First, its got all of your deadlines and dates in it. I haven't missed anyone's birthday in 3 years. Second, you can keep a list of important to-dos,which is easily updated. Third, you can quickly take notes on just about anything. Fourth (and maybe most important) you can get some decent games to keep you entertained whenever there is random downtime. (Also great for looking productive but really zoning out during a meeting.) Fifth, Pocket PCs (with a CF card) are decent MP3 players - great for a quick stress-relieving sing-along when you get a moment. Finally, PDAs can access the internet across campus or at many WiFi spots. The high-end (aka $300+) come with built-in WiFi. Otherwise, you can score a WiFi SD or CF card for something like $90. Mine has hooked up to the 'net just about everywhere I have asked it to. (Honestly, this is probably more fun that useful, unless you are a traveling businessperson.)
If you are into technology, they are a sweet way to get yourself organized. Before the advent of the PDA, I tried several times to use a dayrunner or other pen-and-paper organizer...its just not as cool to use. Are they worth the cash? Depends on how much cash you have. If you've got it, and your decent with computers, go for one of the big gun pocket PCs - Toshiba e755 or e805, HP 5555, Dell Axim, or whatever the new iPaq is. (All are good - just check around for the best deal.)
For less cash, the Palm Pilots (and Sony Clies) are also useful. Too simple for my personal preference, but very useful. More free software than the Pocket PCs, but less power. The palm Tungstens are good choices, or so I hear. The Palm Zire is very cheap (less than $100) if that is more to your budget.
A great site to look at to find either type as cheap as possible is www.xpbargains.com - they list the best deals from the internet (places like office max, dell, office depot, bestbuy, etc....) and will hook you up with a deal on just about any piece of equipment requiring a flow of electricity.
One last thing - don't think buying one now will last you through 4 years of med school. A top-of-the-line unit seems to give about 2-2.5 years of solid functionality and compatibility with software. Also, plan on dropping about $30 on a hard-shell case if you plan on carrying it in your pocket. (or really anywhere aside from a briefcase).
Oh, and if you suffer from a lack of morals, much of the software for both Pocket PC and Palm is available "free-of-charge" via sources on the internet, if you have some tech savy. Or so I am told. I know nothing of this firsthand.
PM me if you have any questions.