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Organizing your life

Jennifer McPhee
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (July 28/03) - In today's world of multi-taskers and home decor enthusiasts, being disorganized is increasingly something to be ashamed of.

NNSL Photo

Kevin Laframboise uses his Palm M505 Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) to organize everything from his free time to grocery lists. - Merle Robillard/NNSL photo

Thus the emergence of portable little gadgets that promise to help manage your crazy life.

Sadly, nobody has created a Palm Pilot that walks your dog or argues with your spouse.

But they will, among other things, replace your paper daytimer, store telephone numbers and addresses and remind you of upcoming appointments. Just like an alarm clock, you can hit "snooze" and the alarm will bug you again in a few minutes.

Another feature shows your day in graph form, allowing you to see where your free time is, says Kevin Laframboise of CasCom, showing off the mid-grade Clie Sony.

You can create prioritized "to do" lists or scribble your grocery lists and then call it up again while you are shopping.

There's also a calculator, games, and a global search feature -- a simple way of searching all the information in your palm pilot. You can keep digital photos of your kids in it too, says Lamframboise. "Almost like a wallet."

Perhaps the most useful thing -- you can hook it up to your computer.

So, while waiting for a late friend at a coffee shop, you can compose email and mark items to be deleted from your inbox. When you get back to the office and hook it up to your computer, it will delete or send the email.

"I find I have less wasted time," said Laframboise, "because I can do things I do on my computer on my Palm Pilot."

Laframboise has downloaded the entire Bible onto his.

He can type the word "love" and every verse in the Bible that mentions love pops up. You can also install programs such as microsoft word and excel spread sheets.

The higher end "Pocket PC" does everything a palm pilot can do and more, said Laframboise. It stores more information, plays music and lets you watch movies.

The memory of mid-range pilots is 8 or 12 megabits, he said, but the pocket PC stores 64 megabits.

The entire Bible takes up just one megabite, he said.