I’ve just discovered a cool new toy for my website: it’s called My Chingo. You’ll find it on the right hand sidebar – look for the bright green box. What it does is allow you to leave me a 2 minute audio comment – voicemail, if you will – as an alternative to emailing me. (It also lets you add a short written comment.) All you need is a microphone on your computer. Give it a try!
I do have a love for gadgets. In fact, I’ve had to restrain myself from adding too many to this site. And it isn’t just cool stuff for my website that fascinates me, but anything that’s new and different and makes my life easier (or just adds a little fun). I’m not sure if this is an ADD thing; it could just be a Brenda thing.
One of my all-time favorite gadgets is my Palm Pilot. This particular gadget is one I recommend for anyone with Attention Deficit Disorder, but I think it’s especially useful for ADD moms, because in addition to keeping track of our own lives, we often have to keep track of everyone else’s.
A Palm Pilot is a PDA, or Personal Digital Assistant. It is basically a handheld computer (sometimes referred to as a Pocket PC). Palm Pilots operate on a Palm operating system; handheld PC’s use a Windows format. You can also get a PDA that uses the same system as a Mac. Other than the operating system, they all do basically the same things.
Let me tell you a little about how I use mine:
Last spring, my dad lost his eyesight unexpectedly. I am an only child, and my mom had passed away the previous summer, so it was up to me to handle everything. I had to deal with numerous doctors and tests, as well as my dad’s insurance and long-term disability. Eventually I had to coordinate the sale of the house and the car, as well as moving my dad out of state.
- I used the calendar to record doctor’s appointments and the alarm feature to remind me when they were. The note function within the appointment itself let me record anything from the visit that I wanted to remember or mention.
- Phone calls to make were recorded in the calendar program as well. The reminder to make a call also let me pull up the phone number so it was right there for me. Again, I had the ability to set an alarm.
- I used the memo section for taking notes. For instance, someone gave me a couple of leads on selling the house, so I recorded them in the memo section.
- I used the calendar (again) with it’s journal function. This lets you record notes on other events during the day. For instance, when I am making business phone calls, I like to make notes regarding who I talked to and when. The journal function time stamps each entry you make, so that made it easier to record the details.
- Most of the programs within the Palm have the ability to set categories, so I was able to create categories specifically for my dad. This makes it easier to find what you are looking for, because you can weed out the ones that aren’t relevant.
- The Palm also has a search function. You just enter a search term, and the Palm searches every program on it and returns the results.
- I also have 2 books stored on my Palm. Useful for times when I was waiting for my dad to have some tests done.
The paperwork generated by my dad’s experience filled a set of files 6″ thick. I needed hard copies on many of the papers, but I didn’t have to carry them around with me. I had all of the information I needed stored on my Palm Pilot. It’s compact, it reminds me when I need it to, and I always know where things are because I always put them in my Palm. (If it’s something I can’t put in it, like tickets, I make a note about where I put them, so I don’t forget.) No more 5 lb. planner to carry around, with bits of paper falling out left and right.
I hope you can see how this little gadget can help manage ADD and ADHD symptoms. There is so much more that a Palm is capable of, but as usual, I’ve written way too much. Maybe more another time. Do you use a PDA? If so, leave me a “Chingo”.