Going Old School

It’s probably been a month or more since I gave up Outlook (more here), and I’ve noticed something. As a result of giving up on Outlook, I seem to have given up on my PDA as well. Not that I ever used my PDA to it’s full potential; I used it mainly to manage my schedule, maintain my address book, hold shopping lists and display driving directions.

But times have changed. I stopped using Outlook, so it’s pointless for me to input my work schedule into my PDA, since I’ll just re-enter it into Google Calendar when I get home. MapQuest no longer supports the offline, downloadable maps for portable devices that it used to, which was the only reason I ever used MapQuest, really. If I can’t download my directions onto my PDA, I’ll just go back to printing them out like I did before I had my PDA.

So this basically leaves me with two remaining functions; address book and list holder. But again, since I’ve given up Outlook, I won’t keep the contacts in there up to date. I’m in the middle of creating a digital address book in Access to hold all my contact information, so that when Christmas comes around, I can just do a mail merge and print the addresses onto the envelopes. Hand addressing envelopes sucked when it was just my friends and family – I’m not crazy enough to try that for two families worth of Christmas cards. As part of that, I’m trying to find a way to print out address cards, as a sort of do-it-yourself kind of address book. I’m playing with forms in Access – ideally I want one card per person, so that when their information changes, I can just print a new card and replace it. Finding a way to keep it bound together, and not in an index card box, is proving problematic.

After ruling out calendar management, driving directions and address book, I’m left with list holder. That’s right, my PDA is a glorified notepad. And honestly, if I’m just using it to hold shopping lists, do I really NEED a PDA? I think not. And so, after checking out the Hipster PDA, I think I’m ready to give up the PDA and go analog again. We’ll see how it turns out.

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