The end of an era, two weeks later without a Palm device

Its been two weeks since I've posted to the world that I'm no longer using a Palm device to track my life. Since then people have continued to express shock, concern, and a little derision, but what I've heard a lot of from people who've made the switch is complete empathy and agreement with my decision. It seems a lot of people have moved to either higher or lower-tech devices instead of the Palm. In my case, I've mixed a little of both in my system; moving the task list to Tracks, and my calendar to Google, while moving my collection process to a Moleskine.

Here are some of my observations I have of my going for over three weeks Palm-free:

Moleskine: By far the best decision I've made in this whole experiment is moving to a Moleskine for my collection. The Moleskine just screams "write in me", with the correct balance of stiffness in the pages that isn't too hard and isn't too flimsy, and the right texture for both my ballpoint and my gel pens. I've found that times I used to spend looking through my lists are now times I spend collecting ideas in my portable Moleskine. Its very liberating.

Google Calendar: Google Calendar is quickly becoming my favorite calendar application of all time. From the agenda e-mail in the morning to the ability to quickly enter in new data into the application (and share it) makes this an excellent way to keep track of what I need to accomplish throughout the day. This app rocks.

Evolution: I know I've said before that Evolution was a steaming pile of shit. Actually, the problems I've had with Evolution have all been centered on the Palm integration. When I'm not trying to integrate the Palm into the mix, Evolution is a pretty spiffy little application. The calendar sync with Google is working very well (which allows me to share my calendar between home and work), and the address book is helping me keep up with my contacts. There are still a few rough edges, (like importing VCF files from the filesystem takes about 7 clicks), but for the most part I've been the happiest with Evolution that I have ever been in a long time.

Tracks: Tracks is really what brought on this whole experiment. I've loved how the system will slowly turn items I haven't really paid attention to from a light shade of yellow, to a bold traffic-light-yellow. (I'm almost ashamed how many things are bright-yellow right now). My only complaint is with adding or removing projects: it requires you to bring up a list of the projects in the system. To me, that's a waste of time, and worse, it causes Firefox to hang for a while parsing through a large amount of Javascript that is used to make up the drag-and-drop functionality. It slows down the whole process, but it's not that big of a deal breaker to make me stop using this excellent product.

Phone: For stuf like a quick calendar lookup or as a quick calculator, my Nokia 6010 has performed pretty well. I wish I had a data cable or some way to export all of my Evolution contacts to it, but for now it's serving its purpose well.

Zebra Retractable Pen: Its cool. What more can I say? (Other than I've almost left it in my pocket to get washed one too many times).

Weekly Reviews: It seems like my Friday afternoons have gotten interrupted more often than not, and I haven't found a time to compensate to do a full weekly review. I'm now two weeks without doing a weekly review. Not good.

Comments from people:On Thursday, we went to get sush. I printed off the order from my little database I used to keep track of peoples' orders (hey, I'm still a geek, damnit), and folded it into my Moleskine. Steve commented that I had just downloaded the order information into my "Palm". Cute.

All in all, I think the experiment has been a success. I really wish I could get a full weekly review in sometime soon, but with work being crazy, that's not as likely to happen as I would hope.

More later on...


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