Recommendations for a simple electronic organizer?

I really only need something small and electronic that allows me to keep several long to-do lists in word -document-type form that I can choose the order of (a program that doesn’t automatically put them in alphabetical order or by date added or the like) and that I can add to or delete from without messing up the order of entries, to save on paper and pen use. A simple monthly calender that allows several entries per day would be nice but not necessary.

I would prefer a setup that allows me to use a stylus to select options and letters for typing to a text message-type mini keyboard (though I suppose I could make my own stylus for that) and definitely don’t want a write-with-a-stylus type (like signing for packages). Other than that, it just needs to be cheap, fairly long-lasting and easy to change batteries or better yet recharge. I don’t know hardly anything on the subject, as you can probably tell.

Do any of you use one you quite like and can recommend?


I can tell you that Palm customer service is a ridiculous joke. They will never get another dime of my money.

My calendar database got corrupted a while back. I had a backup file from days before the problem. It didn’t work. The internet is full of tales of how their backup files don’t work. I contacted their online customer service, pretty obviously provided from India. Normally I am OK with Indian tech support, they may be slower but usually more polite. However, after going through about 3 people, this guy sends me a link to something that he says is a fix, and it’s a phishing scam site. WTF :confused: I described the situation on their online customer sat survery for closing out the call. Never heard back from them. US-based tech support was at a pretty steep fee.

So think carefully before selecting a Palm product. I got the sense they had truly abdicated any level of support, for a product that is not all that reliable.

Thanks, Harriet the Spry. Anyone else have recommendations or words of caution?

My iPhone does all that, (except my finger is the stylus), but I’m not sure if that’s the type of device you are looking for.

Well, I don’t have an iPhone and hadn’t planned on getting one, and I’m guessing it definitely isn’t cheap. Good information to know for the future, though, thanks.

First, tell us what “cheap” means to you.

I have gone through several Palm devices and never had a serious problem, hardware or software. I have usually upgraded after about 2 years of use. I still have a couple sitting in boxes from after I upgraded, including a PalmPro.

Currently I have an HP iPAQ, which I like much better than the Palm. I switched because I have a tablet PC and Palm doesn’t support XP Tablet. The HP is a Mobile Windows OS which plays much more nicely with Windows and its applications than the kludgy Palm sync for Windows and apps like Word and Excel. They’ve got bells & whistles (voice memos, MP3 player, memory card) but the iPAQs start at $300.

I think the market for a simple device like the kind you probably want is drying up in favor of the integrated phone/PDAs, but there might be someone out there trying to fill a niche market.

We use Palms. We’ve never had a problem with corrupted files, but I’ve had trouble with the power switch on the two Tungstens I’ve owned. They’re still usable though (There are other ways to turn them on).

They’ll do everything you describe; if you don’t want to use Graffiti (their handwriting recognition program), you can pop up an onscreen keyboard and tap the letters with the stylus.

If you want to give one a try, maybe buy a used one off of eBay; that’ll allow you to get started without sinking a bunch of money.

Thank you for all the information, CookingWithGas. Cheap to me means less than $30.

(I just realized that I forgot to bold your username earlier, Harriet the Spry. Sorry.)

Excellent idea, Mama Zappa, thank you. (I didn’t see your post when I replied earlier.)