If someone told me ten months ago I would be spending my free time using technology more throughout my day I would have thought the person was crazy. I work with technology all day long. How would it be possible to use it even more?
In July 2009 I signed up for Twitter. I was very resistant to the idea. After all, what would I have to say in 140 characters that people would want to read? And what could they say that would keep me interested?
In August 2009 I signed up for Facebook. And my free time has not been the same. (One reason why I never went back to playing EverQuest was the time suck.) I spent that rediscovered time writing and reading instead. I am limiting my time on it, believe it or not.
In September 2009 I sent my first text message from my prepaid cell phone. This particular Nokia model was in my possession for over 2 years before I sent one.
In February 2010 I was gifted an iPhone. Twitterific is my favorite part. It is so convenient to catch up on what’s going on in my neighborhood throughout the day. But I also like Toodledo and Flight Control.
This month I began using Google Reader. That’s right. I have a handful of sites in my Google Reader now. I’m horrible about bookmarking sites and unless it’s one I can remember easily it can be months before I return. I really like Google Reader.
What’s my next step? Who knows… maybe I’ll look into feedburner next so others can easily follow my blog too!
About a week and a half ago, my Palm T|X fell from our phone cabinet and my keys went with it.
The screen itself appears to be holding together but there’s funny business going on underneath. Where you see yellow in the picture, the dead grey pixels are slowly taking over and spreading out. It’s getting difficult to see people’s addresses and phone numbers in my contact list.
I started off with a Palm V. I’d play Mahjong while waiting in long lines. There are years of Palm archives on my computer that contain contact and calendar information. If an appointment wasn’t on the calendar then it didn’t exist. It took me a long time to figure out how to use Graffiti so my letters were recognized. I bought a keyboard for it thinking I would write story ideas into the memos but the keyboard never worked right.
When I thought my Palm had been lost in a recliner I bought another one to replace it. After a week or two, I really dug into that recliner and found the original one. I kept the one with the better buttons and sold the other one to my friend Rob. He loved having it, but left it on top of his car one night after work and drove off without it. Rob was distracted when he answered his cell phone. He did find it, but it was in such bad shape he bought another used one.
A few years ago my husband decided I needed an upgrade. He knew I wouldn’t do it myself. My Christmas present was this Palm T|X. It had color! Sound! Wifi! Bluetooth! I could no longer play Mahjong during long waits but I could read books with the Adobe Reader. Or check my email at the airport. Or figure out from imdb.com what movie my family was watching while at the Topsail Beach house. One of the really cool things was color coding all my calendar entries. If it was Orange then I was going to see a movie. If it was Pink, then I had something writing related to do.
Palm stopped making the T|X in March 2009. A few months ago the Palm OS stopped on mine and I had to upgrade to a higher version. I found out the hard way it couldn’t setup recurring tasks like the old OS. Put a check mark in the box and it would not generate the same task for the next week; I missed that feature. And the desktop calendar didn’t show the color coded entries.
It looks like an iPhone is my near future.
I may or may not have mentioned it before but when it comes to new technology I’m a slow adopter. It’s not because I don’t want some of the latest and greatest gadgets. I spent many years working in the Help Desk industry and have seen too many cases of where getting the latest and greatest also came with frustration. Not a lot works with it or doesn’t work the way it should. And because it’s new there aren’t many people around you can ask questions.
But I am slightly salivating over an iPhone. My husband bought one after his Palm Treo died. Oh, he lets me play the games but the thing that caught my attention was the free Kindle app that can be downloaded for the iPhone. I wouldn’t be limited to just .pdf files for my ebooks. It would be a trade-off. As I understand it, there isn’t an Adobe Acrobat Reader for the iPhone. But Adobe has one in the works. So it’s only a matter of time before it’s available.
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Writers and readers alike are always looking for tools that will help them stay organized. The variety available is endless. Some are for specific things like shared calendars or birthday/anniversary reminders. I found out about three recently but haven’t put any of them in action. Here they are in alphabetical order:
IWantSandy.com – You can email your reminders or send them through Twitter to the site. It works with Google calendars, Outlook, and other programs to send reminders via to your PDA or cell phone.
LibraryElf – Can’t remember when your library books are due? Do you check out items for more than one person on your card? Or want to keep track of all the items due for your kids too? Do you belong to more than one library system? You can keep track of what’s due, what’s ready for pickup and what’s overdue. Seems very convenient and there are a lot of library systems available. The Cleveland Public Library even has a link to it on their web site.
Remember the Milk – They recently celebrated their third anniversary so they have a little bit of longevity behind them. The site allows you to make lists and get reminders via email or instant messenger. You can share and send your tasks to other people. Reminders or tasks can be added through phone or email.
Do you have any favorite tools to help you stay organized?
After much debate between Good Reads and LibraryThing I decided to use LibraryThing to keep track of which books I own. It should also assist with keeping track of the books I’ve read. Several people I know have accounts on both sites; I may get one on Good Reads later but for now, LibraryThing is the site I’m using.
You can see my library here. It contains mostly the books in my To Be Read pile. One nifty thing is that I can export the data into an Excel spreadsheet and then keep that on my PDA to prevent the purchase of duplicate books. Nifty, don’t you think?