T Nation

Palm Pilots, Blackberries, Newtons


I've recently begun using my cell phone as a place to write notes, mark down dates, and keep track of small things.

I like it so much that I've decided to buy a PDA.
For all of you here on T-Nation who own a PDA please tell me about it: pros and cons, capabilities, cost, etc etc.

Also, what factors should I consider when shopping for it?

Thanks in advance


I've got a handspring treo and I love the thing, couldn't live without it really.

In terms of what you need to consider you need to decide whether you're going to use it more as a cell or a PDA. If you're using it mostly as a cell you may look at something like the blackberry 7100g which is basically a nice phone with a half decent PDA included.

Then there's the treo which is a beautiful comprimise between a PDA and a phone, it's got a qwerty keyboard and runs the palm OS (easy to use and lots of software available) and works very well as both.

On the other end you get something like the Audiovox 6600 or the new HP Ipaq which is a great PDA and a half decent phone.

If you're just getting into it the treo is still my favourite since it's such a good comprimise, down the line you might decide that you're after more of a phone or more of a PDA and you can move over appropriately.



I have to say that what ever you choose, think about transport. The PDA feature will only get used if it is immediately accessible and not a burden at all to carry. On that note, also consider safety of the unit.

If small enough to not be a bother to have on you all the time and if it's protected from lifes misshaps, you'll use it, otherwise you have an expensive good idea :wink:



I am kinda restricted in my options as my company supplies a cell & i buy my own PDA, the only thing i would seriously recomend is workout tracking software called 'Reflex' by Xenware. I have run it on my Palm M515 for a couple years and do not know how i managed without it. Sets/reps/dates are all recorded, numerous grouping options, plus graphing of weight used, stopwatch, etc, etc.


I started using an older Palm that I bought second hand a few months ago. I was using the Palm Tungsten E, and I really enjoyed it.

My experience with PDA phones is not exactly pleasant. I would suggest splitting it up and having two pieces of technology. Granted, it makes for carrying things akward, but it just seems to work effectively for me, your situation may be different.

If you aren't very savvy with technology I would recommend a Palm based OS. They are great all-round, but they appear to be a little easier to use.

I'm about to advance to an HP iPaq, as we're rotating the PDA's in the family. I'm passing my Palm to my mom, who isn't the most technologically advanced individual. I'm picking up an older iPaq (since budget is limited), so I'm hoping I'll enjoy it.

Honestly though, if you're just using it for notes, and not for applications like music or video, then be wary of salespeople selling you a powerful handheld computer. For simple notes and dates, you should never need more than 64 mb of RAM. On the other hand, if you want internet access through 802.11b (wireless) then you'll probably have to go for a more advanced model.

Finally, if you can get a business model, then consider going that route (provided it's power matches your needs) as they tend to have a longer battery life than the standard models.

Just some suggestions, and good luck with the purchase!


I have a PalmOne Tungsten. It has entirely replaced my paper day planner, and it fits easily in my pocket. It is basic, yet it does everything I need it to. Anything more, in my opinion, is akin to buying a Hummer to drive from home to soccer practice to the grocery store to the mall and back ... slightly excessive.



Treo is best, hands down.
Just one thing: it's running PalmOS and the Internet is choke-full of tiny little freeware PalmOS applications that you can run on your PDA/cellphone combo.
Check this out as an example:



I have a blackberry through work and compared to the rest...the blackberry is hands down far and away the best.

Treo schmeo. I get in this argument about 2 times a day with Treo users..it's like you're married to Treo or some shit. Honestly,those things break and I beat the shit out my blackberry..drop it...slam it in the car door...let kids beat it up..take it in saunas..all of that will not destruct this blue little wonder. My buddy is on his 4rth Treo..and he doesn't treat it any different than I do..he admits his treo is constructed from lego pieces...aka..piece of shit.

I do not have the phone activated on it as I was in contract before my company decided to give us that option..so I don't know personally, but the guys at work that do have it..tell me the reception and clarity is far better than their cell phones...also they have the bluetooth option so they're are no wires, it syncs with your computer without having to do anything..it jsut wirelessly sets it up for ya..no thinking involved.

It runs the internet better with a larger screen than the Treo, the screen is clearer and it displays pictures much better.

The best option on this though is the email instant messages. Once people know that you have a blackberry they can reach you whenever. Since I'm in sales this is a HUGE benifit! I can be out of the office all day and still be in touch wiht all my clients. They have no idea I'm on the golf course...or sitting at home for lunch b/c I have everything I need to stay in touch. I can get onto files on my computer at work and look at things..I considre this a major bonus and open PDfs with real colour.

Wearability is fine...it fits on your belt and it's not too big that it impedes movement or anything..if you want it to be hidden when out, where it above your back pocket..it disappears and isn't a pain in the ass. The holder for it is rugged enough that it won't fall out if you happen to get too drunk one night or take a spill at the local tavern, but easy enough to remove the blackberry when you want it.

Blackberry kicks ass...and once you use it, you'll never consider a treo or palm...how ancient!

End RIM promo..now.

I just couldn't be without my blackberry...believe it or not.



I believe those of you who said they can't live without it. I've tried so many times to use a paper agenda, and I always stop using it after a few days, and I end up disorganized as usual.

But if I start using a PDA and actually become organized, I can easily see how it would become indispensable.


I do want something simple, because I don't see myself using it for anything more complex than dates and notes.


Well, I know we're doing a data recovery job on a Palm, right now. Apparently there's a proprietary system involved, at least on this one, since the memory (embedded flash? I'm not sure) can't be plugged into any of our machines, here...

Anyway, be sure to make backups.


Handspring (now palmOne) Treo. It's a Palm plus a phone. Nuff said. But I've always been a Palm guy (vs. PocketPC that is!) I never go anywhere without it!


I have a Blackberry. I freaking hate it. It big, its really not that uesr friendly. Half the e-mails you send don't go through. The desktop manager software never works/starts up and I end up having to restart my computer a million times.

It syncs with outlook which syncs with Act! but here is a lot lost in translation. It may be good for notes, but it sucks as a task list. My biggest beef is that completed task can't be crossed off. I may be just so used to Act! that anything less makes my brain hurt. Even using outlook gives me a headache.

If I were to do it over again I would have a phone and a PDA with palmOS so I could just run Act! and be done with it.

Unfortunately our business uses Nextel (which is great)but only the Blackberry is availble with the 2 way function. Or, at least it was at the time.