What can a Palm Pilot do that Zula can't?
Making appointments (keep track of train times, people I’m meeting up with)
To-do list (what missions do I need to do?)
Calculator (because I suck at math)
Address book (keep up with new contacts)
Memo pad and note pad (write notes)
The quest to thin down the packing list has me looking at my gadgets: Zula the AlphaSmart 3000, and the Palm Pilot m125. Do I need both? Here are things that a Palm Pilot, such as my m125, is good for, and in parentheses what I could use each function for on my trip:
Now, that’s what the Palm can do. Zula has a calculator, and of course I use it for writing. But Zula can do all of the stuff above too. In fact, I’ve already been using Zula for a lot of the stuff above:
Making appointments & keeping an address book File 8 makes a great to-do list, address book, etc. I’ve read some posts on AlphaSmart’s message boards where people have their “file 8” set up to use as an address and appointment book. That’s pretty snazzy. I can use Zula’s “find” function to move around inside of text to find someone’s contact info (say if I need to make a call when I hit town or something). Plus, I can upload contact info to the web – say to an email that I send myself or something.
To-do list. Honestly, I’m sure that on the road I’ll have better things to do than make to-do lists. But I know that sometimes I make them, and they come in handy, because I can be forgetful. I already use Zula and not the Palm for to-do lists, actually, and it works really well.
Calculator. Like I said, Zula has her own built-in. Granted it’s a tad bulky to whip out at a stall in the Florence gold market, but if I need I could also bring a teeny calculator. I won’t die from doing some mental math either.
Notepad and memo pad Gee, I dunno. Maybe I can use Zula for stuff like this. Besides, on Zula I can type. I’ve used the Palm enough to get a decent hang of the stylus and their Graffiti stuff, but I can’t move nearly as fast as I can on a keyboard.
The Palm does have a few pluses: smaller size, I could wear it on a belt and take it out more easily if I need it (whereas Zula will be kept in my daypack). The Palm also eats through batteries like mad though. And it just seems like a redundant gadget, something else I could easily lose or get stolen.
Maybe I’ll just leave the Palm at home – I just can’t yet come up with anything that it can do, that Zula can’t.
And the winner is…