Why I carry a PDA
I'm interrupt driven. I can be talking to someone one minute and miss an appointment ten minutes later. I use alarms for everything, from when to take medication to reminders for birthdays.
I like to be nagged. One program I have called Reminder asks me every hour if I can take such-and-such off my to-do list. Some things, like remembering to pick up your clothes from the cleaners, don't have an exact time for an alarm. Only if I forget to do it, I won't have anything to wear!
I like to learn new things and use otherwise nonproductive waiting time for personal growth. For example, I'm learning vocabulary words in a foreign language (German). My pda keeps track of the words I miss and trains me with extra time on the ones I keep forgetting.
I don't like to be caught without reading material. I can carry several books with me fairly effortlessly. And in a font size I can actually read with my aging eyes!
I use a voice recorder--to make notes while I'm driving and can't actually pick up a pencil to take them down. Great for that Wisenheimer Brainstorm!
I think people should do things with their minds, rather than talk senselessly on a cell phone.
I like to make use of the free wifi networks around my home when I visit--the one at the public library is particularly useful to me.
I like to make sketches, and rather than carry a sketchbook, which would get all bent up, I have an endless supply of stationery for my artwork.
I like to hole up in a coffee house and start my articles on a word processor without having to carry a seven-pound laptop. I have a folding keyboard which fits the bill quite nicely.
I am a student at a local university and nothing beats not having to lug around bulky notebooks as a modus operandi.
Granted these may not be uses that everyone has, but I don't think anyone couldn't find a use for a device to assist them in some activity of their daily lives. If you work or have a business to run, if you are elderly in a nursing home, if you have an active social life, if you have a family, if you’re a frequent flyer, there's something for everyone in a PDA.
You might say, "I carry a cell phone, I don't need a PDA." In my experience, most cell phone (smartphone) screens are too small to be useful for reading, taking notes, or drawing anything. They're good for phone numbers, but not much else.
Usually, men's wallets and women's purses are filled with bits of paper with important information on them. There certainly seems to be a need for some organization in most people's lives. We all have different roles during the day: we are a student or worker one minute, a family member another. Switching between these roles can sometimes be problematic when it comes to the information we all juggle a good deal of the time. An all-the-time- with-you assistant to record, organize, and communicate information is a good thing to have.
It also depends on your lifestyle, whether you're comfortable having a computer aid you to accomplish things. If you are a Luddite, then no machine is a good machine. It all boils down to this: if you see a need for a capable tool to accompany you in your adventures, a PDA might well be in your future.