GTD on Pocket PC

Repost from an old article at What the Thunder Said… circa 2006.  A lot has changed since then – for example, I now use an HTC Touch Pro 2 rather than the (HTC built!) HP iPAQ 5555 – but the reliance on mobile tech for GTD, productivity, and so much more remains the same.  Some day I’ll update what I use now in mobile technology, but this was an important benchmark.

Reading: The following article… Googlenews… praying for Katrina victims
Enjoying: State Fair “Sweet Martha Cookies” chocolate chip cookies and milk
Listening: Nothing. Its too early…

According to this article, more and more people – from professionals to teens – are taking advantage of PDA devices to run their lives more smoothly. Where teenagers may be simply chatting and messaging each other with wireless devices, professionals are getting their email wirelessly, working with mini applications like Pocket Word and Excel, and getting directions from voice activated and self-speaking GPS locators on their unit.

Of course, this is nothing new to blund. As a “seminary student,” I’ve been relying on my Hp iPAQ 5550 for a long time now to keep me going. Besides maintaining three email accounts, surfing the net, managing all the paperwork for my part time job, creating papers, spreadsheets, and powerpoint presentations (with wireless printing, nonetheless), listening to my mp3 collection, and running my blund blogs, there are few things my little pocket pc cannot do. I get all my news, weather, sports scores, movies, music videos, and daily paper on the little gadget. Perhaps even more amazing than all of this, is that I haven’t spent a dime on software, and other than the purchase for the initial machine (which should run anywhere from $300 – $500), I have spent only $130 on memory cards, an extra battery, a foldable keyboard, and a Bluetooth mouse (I’d like to get Bluetooth or nice corded earphones). A Pocket PC’s flexibility and useability are tremendous.

This morning, I awoke to the alarm on Wolf Clock, a program I run. My schedule and everything I had to do was already set up and waiting for me on Pocket Outlook. I had devotions with my Bible and Pocket PC (which has prayer requests and other devotional aids stored on it). Right now, I’m using it to write this entry with Pocket Blogger. After this, I’ll go to the club and listen to mp3’s on Windows Media Player while lifting weights, where I could also watch the latest movie previews or music videos. Speaking of videos, Pocket TV is a great movie player. After working out, I’ll need to get lunch, and Mapopolis will help me get there while Microsoft Money for Pocket PC helps me keep track of expenses and how much to spend (according to a budget my wife and I drafted, which I keep track of on Pocket Excel).

After lunch I’ll need to spend some time studying, so I will for sure need my iPAQ. I keep several Bible translations, as well as the Nestle-Aland and LXX, and the Hebrew Masoretic texts on my Pocket PC. I keep a small Reformed library handy that is accessible through Microsoft Reader (with Calvin’s Institutes, and works by Jonathan Edwards, Augustine, Bavinck, Kuyper, Isaac Watts, Warfield, Poythress, Frame, and all the confessions/catechisms). If this should ever prove not enough, or I need to get more specific, I can surf the net wirelessy with Pocket Explorer or Mozilla‘s Minimo. My preset alarms let me know when its three o’clock, because that is when I’m going to go pick up my wife for a date we planned tonight. (When I get her, I keep the iPAQ scarce. She thinks it makes me look like a nerd!) If we need to call anyone, I keep all my contacts and their info on Outlook Contacts as well.

Tomorrow, I need to drop off my paysheet, schedule request form, and fill out expenses/reimbursement information for the part-time job I work at. I made all these forms on my iPAQ, and, for instance, when I went to the State Fair on work-related interests, and needed a receipt for parking, I simply asked the attendent to leave the price, date, and his signature as an electronic copy on my Pocket PC. Now I’m printing it as a picture, and I’ll staple that to my reimbursement form to ensure it is covered. Ahh, the wonders of technology.

To GTD, a Pocket PC’s connectivity to Outlook and Microsoft Office means that work from desktop to mobile is seamless.  Project management is handled with OneNote, mind mapping Pocket Minder, and Pocket Informant keeps most of it moving quickly and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

In short, there are few things I cannot do on my iPAQ. I suppose someday I will need to get heavyduty programs that I cannot perform apart from a PC or laptop, but those days have not come yet. Until then, you may want to consider investing. If you want an entry level machine, I would consider an HP iPAQ rx, or a Dell Axim x3 or x5 to learn on. If you want a more heavy duty workhorse, there are still a few good Axim’s (x30 or x50v), but I would recommend the HP iPAQ 55xx or the iPAQ 4700. Enjoy!

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