If there is one thing that I can say that having a PDA has done for me, it’s been to remove the layer of Post-It Notes that used to surround my keyboard, monitor, desk, and all highly visible doorway areas. I needed those notes if I was remember to get anything done. And in the age before PDAs (BPDA), when I did not have the illumination of alarms for important things and notes for the others, Post-It Notes were my best friend.
Now, that was a few years ago and I have since moved onto a multitude of PDAs, but one thing has remained the same. I still need to occasionally write down something quickly and easily. And while many of the Palm PDAs that I have owned have had the Notepad app, my Treo 650 does not, so I have slowly gotten back into the habit of using small snippets of paper in order to keep note of small notes. This had to change as I saw the “layer” returning, so I set forth to see if the popular BugMe Notepad application from Electric Pocket could return me to paperless bliss.
Simple and Intuitive
BugMe is a really simple program that’s also packed with a great many features.
Upon opening it for the first time, BugMe gives you a blank screen where you can just begin to write whatever you feel you need to make a note of. You can erase, adjust colors, and even save it as a favorite so that you can reuse that later to build upon for another note. In this respect, BugMe gets praise from me, as you really don’t need the manual to get this far.
An additional feature of BugMe that is very vital to the way I work is the ability to write a note and then assign it an alarm. A good place to use this is when you have parked in a metered parking space but you know your Treo will be in eyesight while you are out. Write on the note that you have to put change in the meter, and then set the alarm to go off before you get a ticket. Needless to say, the last time I didn’t do this it cost me $15, hence BugMe can save you some funds.
There’s a feature in BugMe that I have not used very much yet, but will as I get the hang of it for specific applications. This is the ability to take a screenshot, save it, then write a note on it. I know that many times we wish we could handwrite on the calendar screen something we want to add in for some upcoming appointment, but the default apps don’t allow that (unless you still use a Sony Clie with Sony Organizer).
You can take the screenshot, write on it, and tag it with an alarm so that you don’t miss that added detail for an item. This is a feature that I can see being really useful on a project site with real estate and construction workers, maybe even web developers could use this, too (but only so much given the size of a Treo’s or any PDA’s screen).
So what is happening to my notes? Well, I am still dealing with moving the paper out of the way. Even with an assigned button, I am still finding it not so intuitive to get into BugMe when the PDA is off.
Unfortunately for me as well, I use another program on my Treo 650 with a Today Screen (similar to Windows Mobile/Pocket PC user experience) and BugMe does not have a plug-in for this that lists recent notes or just an easy way to launch BugMe from that screen. So it’s still a chore, but something that I am making a commitment to readjust to, rather than let that layer of paper overrun me again.
The good news for Pocket PC users is that this version of BugMe does has a Today Screen plug-in.
BugMe Notepad can be downloaded for trial or purchase from the Electric Pocket web site. It is available for Palm OS, Pocket PC, and S60 for $19.95.