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Managing Daily Life at Home, Work, and Play

PDAs and PDA Software


PDAs, Personal Digital Assistants, are increasingly popular and can be an invaluable tool for brain injury survivors. A PDA can help keep track of appointments, including reminder alarms, they can keep ToDo lists, prioritize tasks, keep addresses and phone numbers, provide maps with directions to get to and from your next appointment, and so much more. Many programs have desktop equivalents, too, so that you can use either your computer or PDA and synchronize the changes.

PDA Guides and Reviews

If you're a first-time buyer or are considering a new one and want to know the latest, I've included some PDA Guides to help you decide which is the best choice for your needs and budget.

  • Cybercatalogs.com Product Reviews: PDA - Personal Digital Assistants  http://www.cybercatalogs.com/ProductReviews/Electronics/Catalog/101001.htm
    Cybercatalogs.com provides an overview of PDAs, reviews of many popular PDAs and accessories, and links to more information.
  • PDABuzz.com Detailed Reviews  http://www.pdabuzz.com/Reviews/
    You'll find thorough reviews, reader feedback and ratings and more about PDAs at pdabuzz.com. Helpful for seeing varying opinions.
  • PDA Guide  http://www.viewz.com/netscape/buyingguides/pda.shtml
    Netscape Canada has provided an incredibly helpful guide to PDAs, clearly explaining the basics from screens and platforms to ergonomics, synchronizing, using a PDA for the Web and email, accessories, sound, links to PDA-related sites, and much more.
  • PDA Product Reviews and Reports  http://consumersearch.com/www/electronics/handheld_computers_pda/index.html
    Consumersearch.com reviews the reviews! They consolidate all the reviews and report the findings, ranking all the PDAs. Terrific resource for comparisons especially.
  • Reviews: Palm OS Organizers  http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/palmos.html#Reviews
    Well done, helpful reviews of all the main PDAs by several reviewers at the Gadgeteer. You'll also find reviews of cases, accessories, hardware add-ons, styli, software, services, links to FAQs, and more. Very helpful!
  • ZDNet Shopper: Most Popular Handhelds  http://zdnetshopper.cnet.com/shopping/0-11013-1410-0-0.html&cobrand=29
    ZDNet is a terrific site for helpful reviews and information. Read reviews, see what the top 50 most popular PDAs are for ZDNet readers, and compare prices and features, and more.

Palm-based Handhelds

  • Handspring  http://www.handspring.com/
    Offers a wide range of Palm-based handheld devices in both features and price ranges. Their expandability with modules is a great selling feature, and they're now offering a full line of combination phone/PDA devices.
  • Palm  http://www.palm.com/
    Home of the Palm handheld devices. They offer a wide range of features and price ranges.
  • Sony Clié  http://www.sony.com/clie/
    Describing their PDA as a “personal entertainment assistant,” you'll find lots of information about Sony's line of PDAs at their main site.

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Popular PDAs
image of Palm m105
Palm m105


image of Palm m500
Palm m500


image of Palm m515
Palm m515 Color


image of Handspring Treo 90
Handspring Treo 90


image of Handspring Visor Neo
Handspring Visor Neo


image of Handspring Visor Neo
Handspring Visor Prism



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TIP 1: An Idea to Prevent Losing Your PDA
Anyone can misplace something, including a PDA. With TBI, it's even more critical to establish a routine with a place for everything and everything in its place. Right from the start establish a workable routine to keep your PDA in the same place at all times. Make yourself a deal about where to keep your PDA and keep your deal.

When I first got mine I kept it in its synchronizing cradle except when I put it in my purse when I went out. As soon as I returned, I immediately put it back in its cradle. Once that routine was well established, I added putting it in the charger by my bed at night (which also alleviated late-night worrying about forgetting something!). Much later I added putting it on the dining room table when I'm cooking or eating.

Adding a new location one at a time only after the initial location was a well-established routine seemed to be the key for me -- one new routine at a time.

Other TBI friends of mine keep their PDAs in a fanny pack or clipped to a belt that they wear all the time and keep it in the HotSync cradle/recharger at night. The key is to keep it simple to build a new habit. Once in place, you'll always have it handy and you won't lose it.

TIP 2: An Idea to Prevent Data Loss
While PDA crashes and wiped out data typically doesn't happen very often, having a recovery plan is at least as critical as a plan for your computer. Regular synchronizations with your computer and complete backups of your data will prevent disaster.

Synchronizing:
You can set up your PDA to synchronize automatically every day. TBI Resources has simple instructions to automate your HotSync with your computer's Scheduled Task wizard. Or check your owner's manual or company website for instructions.

Establish a routine. In addition to the automatic daily synchronizing I also have a deal with myself to click the Synchronize button whenever I add or change information at my desk where my PDA sits in its cradle. That way, if my PDA does crash, I'll have up-to-the-minute data backed up.

Back ups:
A program like the industry standard's Backup Buddy  http://backupbuddy.com/ is more than worth its U.S. $29.95 price in quickly and easily restoring your PDA.

Back up before installing new software:
To help reduce the chances for data loss, be sure back up your data prior to installing any new software. I also strongly recommend only installing reliable software with a good track record. There are a lot of freebies out there, but they're not all safe and reliable.

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