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Palm data entry is now much easier for me

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  • Palm data entry is now much easier for me

    I don't know how many times I've heard people comment that raw data entry on Palm devices is slow and frustrating... I know I used to think that was true.

    I'm one of the people that has picked up the Graffiti alphabet effortlessly. Still, entering more than occasional small bits of info was still annoying due to the postage stamp of Graffiti area, and the fact that my hands tend to cramp easily.

    I have installed a very small utility called 'newpen' that simplifies my GTD management enormously. It allows me (when it's toggled on) to write on the entire screen as if it were the Graffiti area. When toggled off, it returns the touchscreen to its normal behavior.

    Since I can already write Graffiti very well, I can now write Graffiti as easily and quickly as if I were writing on paper. I keep my primary GTD info in a manually-sorted multi-category Memo Pad as a sort of Palm version of a Hipster PDA (yeah, I kow how goofy that sounds .

    This combination of simple tools means that I _can_ use my Palm as my collection device. And my list keeper. And my review tool. Big, big win and labor-saver for me.

    * It is not perfect: in particular, it can corrupt the screen in the process of selecting a Find result, needing a toggle off - toggle on to repaint things.

    * If you don't normally use or like Graffiti that much, you may or may not care about this - if it might help, I'm glad to mention it, or feel free to ignore me completely

  • #2
    Another great option for really speeding up text entry on the palm is a utility called TextPlus, which can be found here:

    As you write, it pops up a box of suggested words or phrases that it thinks you're trying to write, and it puts words you use more often higher on the list (very handy). I find that it doesn't really help me when writing 3-5 letter words, but when I have a big word or phrase, it saves me quite a bit of time by just finishing it for me. You can program it with your own words and phrases if there's something missing from the default database, too. I highly recommend it.


    • #3

      Have you compared Newpen with Graffiti Anywhere? I've been a GA user for a while, but I'd love to hear the opinion of someone who's used both.


      • #4
        Palm Data Entry

        I've started using a program called Slap from It's one entry screen that let's you press a button and save the entry as either an appt, task, notes, contacts etc.

        You can enter multiple tasks at once (as long as they go to the same category) and if you put the entry in the proper format it will pick up dates and times for appts. or phone numbers for contacts.

        I'm finding it very useful so far - it was also inexpensive.


        • #5
          Personally I find the best bet to be an external keyboard. They are very portable, usually foldable and no larger than the average palm device. They're available with a variety of connection options from snapping into the hotsync port on the bottom to infrared to even bluetooth. They are usually around $69 - $99 and well worth it if you plan on entering a lot of information.


          • #6
            TheTechChik: yes, I've considered a keyboard... it's a bit much for me to spend at the moment, but it's getting closer to the Maybe -> Someday upgrade

            morrisok: I was focusing on the writing speed increase, but I also do use Slap. When I'm collecting vague thoughts, or 'keywords' for later processing, it IS invaluable as a quick capture spot.

            BrianK: I've never heard of GraffitiAnywhere, sorry. I tend to go on very constrained, narrow, 'find the first thing that helps' tool hunts - otherwise my 16MB Palm would have run out of free space long ago.

            MattJ: sounds like a pretty neat option; I tend to try to keep my individual entries down to 3-6 core keywords as a memory trigger, though, so I'm not sure it would necessarily be faster for me. (My recurring entries are entered already, and fairly fixed - my non-recurring entries tend to be wildly different things