Not quite new, but need some advice and help

Hi folks, I've been a member of this forum for exactly a year. I have been doing GTD on and off, and carrying a Franklin Covey classic for a few years. At one point, I had a Palm 500, but at the time, you could not sync w/both a Mac and a PC. At work I use an iMac and at home I have a PC.

Last year I started using ThinkingRock, but when when the Mac I had before this one crashed (big hard drive failure) in September, I lost ALL my stuff and could not get it to load again. Man, was I disgusted--esp. since it happened at the absolutely busiest time of my work year and I had missed deadlines, etc. I"m thinking of getting a Blackberry Storm because I understand that the platform no longer matters. I am tired of carrying around a heavy paper planner. I even bought a skinnier Barnes & Noble planner, but there's not enough space in it for notetaking.

Folks, I'm kind of at my wit's end with this stuff. While my life is not as busy as some people's, my job requires that I wear three very different "hats" and I have a lot of deadlines to deal with etc.

I guess I'd like to know: who uses a combination of paper and a BlackBerry? How do you use it? How does it work for you? Any drawbacks? Benefits?

And if anyone can recommend third-party applications for the Storm that work well with GTD, and don't cost an arm and a leg, I'd also be grateful!

Whew! I thank you for listening.


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I'm all paper, but I regularly recommend to electronics people to use the google services to synch and backup their data. That way, you can keep all your email and appointments in the cloud as well as in your computers. Just a thought.

Would this be under the

Would this be under the Google services for your mobile phone? I'm not really familiar with Google as anything other than a search engine.

Also, I've been afraid to get Gmail because my husband says it opens you up to all kinds of hackers, cookies, ads, you name it. Is this true?

GTD & electronics

Dave Allen used to have on his web site, some pdf files you could download for free. One of them was how Dave uses(ed) his Palm. IIRC, you could easily modify it for use on your BB. What I seem to recall being nice about it was that his plan didn't depend on third-party software, which is why it should work with your BB too (or a Centro, maybe?) ;-) BTW, I still have it on my hard drive, so if you can't find it, PM me by clicking on my name, and clicking on the Contact tab, and I can email it to you in return email.

Re: Gmail, I've been using it since the early beta days. It doesn't open you to all sorts of hackers. Yes, there are cookies, like almost all sites today, and ads, but if you use Firefox, you can use AdBlockPlus to kill them, and I get almost 0 spam. I get maybe one or two a month, whereas my normal email address gets 10-30 per day. Just don't pick a generic screen name. You can set up a screen name, and try the calendar etc. stuff. BTW, I use my gmail exclusively for mailing lists I'm on. All my personal mail comes to my main address. This plan works quite well for me.


more info needed.

Any chance you could tell us a little bit more about what you need to carry with you or where you store notes, etc.

Here is how I use paper & my smartphone (Palm Centro). I use the phone for calendar, contacts, a few memos of important info, and sometimes tasks (this is for both personal and work). And of course, I can check my emails and facebook and such.

At work, I carry a blank notebook. This is just to capture info as I go or am on the phone. Then this all gets typed into the computer (we have to do this for compliance). All of my works to do items are in the computer program we use here. I would use Outlook though if I did not have this industry-specific software.

For personal things to do, I usually just write on sticky notes or index cards and have a pocket in my purse to carry them around. Or, a great place to hold notes is the small brag books or photo albums. you can usually find them at Walgreens or Target for a few dollars. I use one to hold coupons, sticky notes, index cards, etc. Very handy and nice and small!

So, those are a few ideas. Hope it helps a little bit. But, if you give us more info, we might be able to come up with some more ideas for you! :)

Well, right now I keep a

Well, right now I keep a tiny notebook in my purse where I write down, say, the titles of books I want to read, or web sites I learn about when I'm not near a computer.

At home, I'm always thinking of something that has to be done at work, so I'll run to my FC planner and write it down.

At work, I have voice mail to check, e-mails to answer (that I like to keep back up copies of) but I use the work phone for that. I've used my Palm as an address book and I like doing that. Most importantly, I have tasks that tend to get moved forward from day to day. Like, say I have a next action that is "call Larry about the contract" and I intend to do it on Monday. Sometimes I don't get to it till Wednesday. Or, I have an ad to run on the 20th of the month, but the ad copy is not due to the newspaper until the 15th. I need reminders because at certain times of the year, we run ads with multiple newspapers with varying ad dates.

I go to the library constantly and would like a reminder of when my books are due back.

Also, I am TERRIBLE at math and used to use SplashMoney to balance my checkbook, and to keep track of my spending. I know the Splash programs don't run on the Storm yet, but they're "working on it." If anyone knows of another suite program like Splash, let me know, please.

I'd also like to keep all my passwords in an encrypted area. I had SPlashID for that.

Hopefully this will give you a better idea of my life!


Here are my suggestions...

I assume there will be some sort of todo list area in whatever new program you choose (I believe google has one). I would type in all of your work actions there so you have them available to you at work or on the go in your BB. Then you can move tasks around as much as you want (from date to date) and not worry about it!

For dates where you have ad runs due and ad copy due... In my calendar, I put events like those on the dates they are due, but I choose "no time" for the event. That way it "sits" at the top of that day (instead of in a timeslot). So, every morning I look at what is listed there and make sure I am on top of it. I put my birthdates here too! So, you would put an event in for the Ad copy due on the 15th and the ad run on the 20th. In my Outlook, I color code things as well. So, when it is due the color is yellow, but when I have completed it, I make it gray. This shows on my phone as well! It would also show if you want to print out your calendar.

I would do the same as above for the due dates of your library books, but maybe put that in your calendar a few days beforehand, so they are not late!

I currently use the Splash Suite, so I do not know of a replacement for that...

Also, regarding the running to your planner when you are at home... I have scratch paper pretty much everywhere in the house, so when a thought comes to me, I just write it down and then put it in my planner later. then when I go to my planner, I transcribe the scribbles to wherever they need to go in the planner. With my phone (since it always seems to be right next to me) I email notes to my work email address alot. Then I come to work the next morning and have a little to do list started!

Keep the questions coming!

Well, now I'm a bit more

Well, now I'm a bit more confused! LOL

I found out I have to pay $30 more a month to have the BlackBerry Storm, even though I am not planning to use it for the Web. Now I'm questioning whether I should get it or not. My friend said it's not worth paying for if I'm not going to be checking my e-mail etc. I'm not saying I NEVER would, but I rarely need to check my work e-mail when I'm not at work. I can access it from home and often do, if need be.

My husband suggested I get some sort of software to be able to use my Palm with my iMac AND my PC. When I bought the Palm, I mistakenly thought you had to choose one platform or the other--now apparently that is not true. But frankly, the Palm is outdated and hard to use. I gotta confess to being seduced by the big colorful screen of the BB Storm!


Palm Centro

I would suggest getting a Palm Centro. This is useful, especially if you have Palm software you paid for. It syncs with both Mac and PC, and with The Missing Sync for Mac, you have iPod-type music and video syncing too, as well as a better sync. In such a situation, with syncing to multiple computers, one must be the main, I would suspect, probably your home Mac. The Centro is really a slick phone, IMO, and I bet you can get a cheaper plan than for the BB.


Pam Centro too!

I agree with Jon. The Palm Centro is a great little smart phone. I currently use Sprint and the BB plan is $40/mo for the web/email, etc. The palm phones are $10/mo. I have the everything plan, so I pay for the plan and then the extra $10 for the web capabilities. So, check the cost of the BB as well. That may help your decision. I honestly can run my office from this phone. So, I find it absolutely wonderful especially for the price... Again this is IMO....

I use both...

I have a crackberry, mainly to keep up with email and to surf on the go. I use gmail and google calendar for personal stuff and my work account for work stuff, and it all gets routed to the phone. Appointments for work and personal calendars also come to the phone, and the reminder notices that pop up are a great help.

I'm not that good at typing on the keyboard (arthritic fingers) so I use my planner for notes (esp when talking on the phone!), lists, and to jot down any new non-work events and appointments. In the evening I will enter them into google calendar so that they eventually appear on my phone's calendar.

I currently use a generic zippered 8x5 planner (2-pg/wk) with various sections for to-do lists, projects, journaling, med-tracking (lots of meds to take for the rheumatoid arthritis, and also have to chart joint flareups and other symptoms that pop up), grocery lists (master grocery list forms - throughout the week highlight items that are needed, then take the list to the store on the weekend), weekly menu, chore chart, etc. I have a few folders in the planner to keep needed papers, receipts, etc. I also have a backup contact list, because it seems the phone decides to flake out at the most inopportune times... or I need to look up something when I'm talking on the phone.

Library reminder site

If you go to the library often, you can check to see if Library Elf is supported by your library:

It's an automated reminder site that will send emails when you specify. I just signed up after getting sick of library fines eating into my spare change.