Ways to Ensure Your PDA is the Productivity Tool You Wanted it to be

When personal digital assistants (PDAs) and small mobile (cell) phones were reasonably new – loooong ago in the nineties – I used to walk around with one of each on a pouch on each hip.

After a while, and a few comments by friends, I started to feel more like Wyatt Earp than a businessman, so I gave up that practice. Yes, I was now more likely to lose or drop one or both devices, but I felt better.

But however you transport these devices, there is no doubt they have changed our lives immeasurably. For the better? Some would disagree but I believe that on balance the answer is yes – except of course in the most profound moment in a movie or at a concert of classical music or a lecture, when a phone goes off – and, worse, it’s yours!

But back to PDAs, there is no doubt that, especially for those of us who are solopreneurs, a PDA can make a big difference in terms of efficiency and productivity – if you use it well.

That’s where my colleague Rick Cooper, the PDA Pro, comes in. I’ve actually only just discovered his excellent blog which is called, yes, Rick Cooper, The PDA Pro and has lots of great tips to help you make your PDA work for you.

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About Des Walsh

I show business owners and other professionals how to navigate the social media maze and use LinkedIn effectively. I'm an author, speaker, business coach, social media strategist and LinkedIn specialist. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Google Plus and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get my weekly Social Business Bites.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Well Martin, you’ve caught me out there – just shows how the truth will out in the blogosphere! I have to admit, with not a small degree of embarrassment, that: a) I dropped my Palm Pilot and b) I did not have it fully backed up. I’m actually in the market for a replacement and was quite impressed with a Dell Axim with 802.11b integrated wireless connectivity – a cousin of mine who researches these things bought one and liked it. But I guess I should ask Rick!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hey Des … you’re right on the money about productivity and efficiency … btw, what PDA do you use? I’ve researched this a fair bit and now I’m about to jump on board and get my first PDA.

    I’m also going to be writing alot about PDAs at my blog – HomeOfficeVoice – as my research shows a keen interest.

    Ric – nice blog. Good point about syncing our pda’s with our pc’s more frequently. What’s your pick for a PDA?

  3. Anonymous says:


    Thanks for the great comments. I hope people will check out your blog with its abundance of practical info and advice. BTW, you’ve reminded me, I used to wear a third holster with a pager too! So funny to think back on it.


  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi Des. Thanks for the post. It’s funny. I do actually wear my Treo 600 PDA/Smartphone in a holster on my belt. In my day, I did wear a pager, phone and PDA. Now, the Treo 600 does it all. I used to practice my quickdraw (a la Wyatt Earp) so I could increase my productivity. Ha! Ha!

    I meet a lot of people who used a PDA for years and then went back to a paper planner. One of the reasons that drives someone back to paper is having their PDA crash or letting the battery run out. Especially if they have not synchronized in awhile.

    The Treo 650 has flash memory which is supposed to retain anything on memory even if the battery dies. So, I think enhancements will continue to make PDAs more “user-friendly”.

    I like your comment about phones going off in a concert or lecture. I remind people that a PDA is a tool to help enhance human interaction. When it becomes a detriment to communication and creates barriers, it’s time to pocket your PDA. For example, when you’re at a dinner or a business mixer, don’t stare into your PDA and take notes. Focus on the person you’re with and make mental notes. When you have a moment, enter information in a note or memo on your PDA and then later transfer it to a contact record.

    For solopreneurs and home-based business owners, it’s critical to sync your PDA with your computer frequently. Since you’re at home most often, you will usually enter contacts, appointments and tasks on your computer. When you do go out, you want to have all of that information accessible.

    Your readers are welcome to stop by my blog for more information on how to use a PDA to leverage their time and increase their productivity.

    Thanks Des.