If you have used a PDA or a smartphone, you are most likely familiar with an application called MemoPad (on Palm devices) and something similar. It is really just a text application where you can key in some notes for yourself. Having used PDAs and smartphones for a few years, I consider this as one of the most useful and highly underrated applications on your handheld. Here are some reasons why I like the MemoPad.
“Where is a pen when you need one?”
How often have you hurriedly looked for a pen or a piece of paper to note down someone’s phone number, or a message? If you have a handheld, you can just open up MemoPad and type it in. Do you have Post-its stuck all over your house and keep losing just the one that you needed? If you just key in such notes into your handheld, you can find it when you need it, and it is also searchable. If you keep syncing your handheld with your PC, then these bits and pieces of information also get backed up and can also be found on your computer.
“Can you pick me up from the airport?”
Your friend sends you his flight details. You are picking him up on Saturday night. You note down the details on a piece of paper, but you forget it at work. Instead, copy-paste his email into your desktop application (e.g Palm Desktop or Microsoft Outlook Notes) and sync your handheld. Viola! His email is in your handheld now!
“Do you have your reservation number, Sir?”
You book your hotel online. You take a printout with all the details. While packing, you put that sheet of paper inside your bag, but can’t find it when you are checking in to your hotel. Do you have to unpack your bag in the lobby? Not if you have a copy in your handheld.
“Hey, this is a great site to buy cameras!”
You are commuting by train. The guy sitting next to you tells you about this website that has the best collection of cameras and the best prices. You are you looking for a camera yourself. Can you remember the website? Just type it into your handheld. Or may be it is a good book or a movie that someone recommended. Or the name of a dentist all kids love.
“Madam, do you have your rewards account number?”
You pick up a couple of books at Borders and at the counter, the clerk wants your rewards account membership number so that you can get some “book miles.” Do you remember the number? Probably not. But you have it on your handheld!
“What is that car doing here?”
You are driving around your neighborhood, and notice that suspicious car that the guy next door was talking about. Take a quick note on your handheld – the make, model, license plate number and anything else that you notice. Later, you can send an email to your crime watch group to warn everyone.
“Will this blind fit my windows?”
You are driving my Home Depot and remember that two of your window blinds at home need to be replaced. You had taken the measurements last weekend, but you can’t remember them. Not to worry; you noted them down in your Memopad.
Keeping information at your fingertips
These are just a few of the ways in which I have used Memopad on my Palm PDAs and smartphones. This simple and handy application helps you keep a lot of useful information right at your fingertips, literally. It makes your handheld a handy-dandy electronic notepad that’s right in your pocket when you need it. On non-Palm devices, there are other applications called Notes, Notepad, etc, that are essentially the same and all the examples that I described above apply to those as well.
[See also How Smartly Do You Use Your Smartphone?]