Palm Pilot users.......

Maura63March 22, 2005

Please share how you "organize" your functions (Contacts, Tasks (aka To Do), Memos).

What categories do you use in each?

We can learn from each other: i.e.too many categories/subcategories OR not enough? Even though this is an individual preference, we may gain some insight knowing what others do.

Here's mine ~


FAMILY, FRIENDS, BUSINESS (as in local businesses in my case, like a yellow pages). Directions to each, if needed.

I also have the following:

 Team Rosters (3, each with Team Name)  it is very helpful to have instant access to names of parents or siblings or other information about a particular family. I also include an entry for Schedules where I view the entire schedule at once. (These also get entered on the Calendar, but as individual games.) If a teammate plays on two teams I just change the category from one to the other when the season ends (since the seasons donÂt usually overlap.) Sometimes I also add directions to various fields, gyms, as needed.

 Healthcare  all MDs, orthodontist/dentists, etc. I also include my health insurance info. in this category, and attach any pertinent info. for each.

 Schools  in addition to the kids schools, I have their piano studio and karate studio. Also under this heading is PTA info. and Weather Closing Info. In the "note" section for each kid, I entered their school schedule, locker #/combo., "special" schedule, etc. Also put church into this category, along with Mass schedules for local parishes.

**Tasks** (aka "To Do")

Here is where I can especially use some new ideas. Usually if itÂs a "To Do" list for a specific day I enter it in the calendar section, or use paper (even better).




 Mind Clutter List

 DH (to do)


 This Month (subdivided into 12 months in the Description field, sort of like a tickler file).


In this section I try to keeps "lists", unlike the To Do section which requires action.

 Books/Media: subdivided into Books-kids, Books-me, DVD/Videos (to rent), playlist-me (for songs I want to download), playlist-kids, reference books.

 Dinner Menus

 Gift Ideas: subdivided into family members

 Master Lists: subdivided for Costco, Walmart, etc.

 Home Measurements: subdivided into various rooms of the house

 Personal: subdivided into various membership information, meds my parents use


 Recipes to Try which get deleted or moved to

 Recipes to Keep

Both of the above categories are very handy if the mood to try something new strikes while in the grocery store.

 Reference: subdivided into lots of sectionsÂ..which are frequently deleted as no longer neededÂ.included here might be inventory of decorative flags that I use (so as not to buy another for the same season), the special size of the replacement bulb I need for the desk light, Goodwill location/hours, restaurants to try, Sonicare toothbrushes IÂm interestd in checking out, kids handheld game inventory (so as not to buy a repeat at gift time), different items I may have researched on the internet but want to compare at a store, etc.

 Every once in a while I may copy and paste a thread to read while I am on the road.

So there you have it. I donÂt use/need the "Expense" function; I never use "Notepad" (kids use it to pass the time, writing notes to each other, while waiting for a meal while dining out. No handheld games allowed.)

So whatÂs on your Palm?

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My Contacts are divided into Business, Personal, and a very few Unfiled (the few services which don't neatly fall into either category, like Palm's tech-support contact info). I just haven't felt the need to subdivide more than that (nor, for that matter, have I felt the need to aggregate doctors or family or such).

As for Memos, they're all over the map. Generally the rule is "stuff I want with me when I'm not near my computer." So, to that end, I have lists of books I want; videos I might like to rent sometime; albums I have (and their condition, so I can buy a better one if I see it at the used-record store); restaurants I want to try (with addresses and perhaps recommended dishes); etc. I have quotes; a note on what keys to press to switch on the lights at work; encrypted lists of accounts and IDs for places where I don't have 'em memorized yet (I use a separate software package for encryption). There also are a few bits of info I've encountered which I'll remove as soon as I sync to my computer and put them in a more appropriate place. Categories here are Business and Personal; just haven't needed to organize differently.

Tasks is where I make the biggest differentiation. My categories there are Business, LTPM (my particular group at work), Personal, and a category for tasks for my food co-op (at which I am on a Board) and one for another social organization in which I'm an Officer.

Tasks receive priorities based on when they need to be done. Priority 1 has to be done today or maybe tomorrow. Priority 2: do them soon. Priority 3: whenever. Priority 4: maybe someday, but some time element is associated with them (seasonal activity, etc.). Of course, priorities can change with time. "Buy snow shovel" can be a 3 until about October, when it needs to become a 2.

While Tasks can have due dates, many times I will want to mark some time in my schedule to work on that task (calls, shopping, taxes, etc.), so I will put a Priority 1 or 2 Task on my calendar instead. I won't duplicate the entry.

There are third-party programs you can buy for your Palm that work off the internal Calendar/Tasks/Contacts list but present the information differently and offer attractive features. For example, a program called Datebk5 offers a floating to-do that automatically assigns itself to the next day if you don't check it off today. Other programs are better at connecting Contacts with events or presenting your Calendar in more flexible formats.

I use a program called Month.Planner, which I've liked very much. I'm currently trying a program called TMP to see if I like it better. There is quite a selection out there, at prices that range from free to around $60. Let me know if you'd like additional help in identifying worthwhile programs to try.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 2:43PM
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I have a few more divisions in my palm than you seem to-
contacts I have them split up into local businesses that have directions and numbers *just like you do. I also have Husband's family, my family, medical people, and a section for passwords etc. (Not top secret ones but like for webpages where you sign in or for club memberships etc)

In my tasks I have split them up into different catagories
gifts- I list people under that with a note about what I have bought so far or what I think they might like or what I am looking to buy that person. House goals- here is where I list my wishes for the house- gazebo, landscaping, or types of plants I want to try for the year. I have a daily section that I list my to do list that is current. I have paid for a program titled redo. It pops things into each catagory as I have scheduled them - so each wednesday in my daily section a task titled garbage shows up. This has been great for those repeating things- birthdays, garbage day, yearly appts. I have a John section that lists the things I want to bug him into doing when he has some time. OF course, my to do list for him is different than his to do list but it is those nagging little things that I think he should/could do that I don't like to do and I just keep it as a reminder to myself that I don't want to forget to ask him to pull down something out of the attic for instance when he has a minute. I also have one for notes to myself- books to buy, movies to rent etc.

I don't use memos and maybe I should but it just seems that tasks and calender can cover everything I want.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 3:23PM
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Here are some of mine:
Contacts Categories
Mustangs (Girls softball team)
Services (Cleaning man, electrician, garage door, etc)
Medical (Doctors, Dentist, HMO data, Hospital, etc)
Temporary (Probate attorney-hate him)
Explore (Places and things that I want to try Ex: Furniture store in Orlando)

Memos Categories:
How to-Work (Ex: How to order passwords for new employees)
How to-Technical (Ex: How to download a file that won't open)
How to-House (Ex: How to set sprinkler timer)
Best Products (Product reviews that I have read and want to try Ex: Reese peanut butter)
House Measurements (Ex: Air Conditioner filter sizes)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 7:49PM
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personal, work, health, service

vital, shopping, financial, wish list

Task list

I also have a program called DateMate that tracks birthdays and anniversaries and reminds me a few days in advance.
plus i added velcro to a wallet and keep my pam there with all my cards and money, makes keeping track of purchases with pocket money really easy

    Bookmark   March 23, 2005 at 9:33AM
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Thanks for sharing, all.

Steve, as you mentioned in another thread, one of the best features about the Palm is the search function. Sometimes there are too many categories and you can't remember where you "filed" something -- BUT, very easy to retrieve. I haven't yet utilized the Priority feature, maybe because while I know that it is a 1-5 scale (most to least important), I never thought about the numbers in terms of a time frame. Thanks for explaining your methods. Good ideas!

I try to simplify the categories, the fewer the better. (I used to have separate "Family" categories in Contacts, but neither DH nor I have a large family, so I just combined them.)

Dayenu, great Palm wallet! When I owned the m105 I had a great Palm "glove", taking up very little extra space. I now have the Zire which came with a hard case, but more bulky than the glove, so sometimes my Palm goes unprotected. I love your option!

Mustangs, I like your EXPLORE category. Looks like I will be able to merge some of my categories and call it EXPLORE.

Ginger, may I steal "House Goals"? I have (paper) file folders for each room that I stash notes and ideas into -- but jotting them on the road will be a help too! You should explore the Memo feature.

As far as adding on programs, I haven't found the need, really. Events/occasions are entered with an alarm and a repeat.

I do wish that when printing out a "Day" view it would print out the whole day (maybe in 15-minute increments, the way Outlook does) instead of just the times where you have appointments listed. That way you can look at your day (and appointments) then plan how to fill the time in-between.

Thanks again!


    Bookmark   March 24, 2005 at 8:39PM
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