View Full Version : writing using pdas
August 16th, 2005, 03:21 PM
not sure if i'm using the right forum, apologies if so.
i travel a lot and am thinking of purchasing a PDA with a wireless keyboard for producing my work when i'm away from home. I use my laptop at home but it's not something i like taking with me on my travels. A small PDA and fold-away keyboard seem much more practical.
I'm curious to know if anyone has used a PDA + keyboard and how they got on with it. The only downside I could foresee would be the small screen, but then again i'm one of those typers who cannot look at the screen and type at the same time.
August 16th, 2005, 05:50 PM
Are you sure you want to stick to something pocket-sized? Checkout Alphasmart's Dana (http://www2.alphasmart.com/).
One day it will be mine, oh yes. One day.
My eBookman doesn't hook up to a keyboard, so I go to my Hipster (http://www.43folders.com/2004/09/introducing_the.html) for that. But I would love to be able to pull out a pda and a keyboard and start typing no matter where I was - but I'd want one with an mmc slot for portable storage.
August 16th, 2005, 06:13 PM
I own a Pocket PC © and I love to take it with me everywhere I go. Alas, I own no keyboard for it. This doesn't prevent me from using the screen keyboard when I need to type out a note to myself. It makes it handy for keeping track of ideas and such. If I did have a keyboard, I'd be a-writin' fool. :)
My own opinion, whatever it takes to get those words out of you, go for it!
August 17th, 2005, 03:22 AM
An interesting compromise:
August 17th, 2005, 08:39 AM
Of course, you don't have to go the electronic route. I do most of my rough draft on small vertical flip notebooks, the sort you get in an office supply store. 50 pages each, can buy a pack of 10 for a few bucks, put a number on the front to keep them in order. Carry a couple wherever you go. Nice thing about it is that the underside of each page will be blank so you can write reminders or details or do some scene sketching.
The downside is that you have to transcribe the writing into the computer, but this isn't a big deal if you type fast and have a bunch of downloaded music, like me. My creative writing professor in college, who was big on voice and tone and the sound of language, swore that writing by longhand worked better on these accounts than by typewriter/computer.
August 17th, 2005, 08:39 AM
I get quite a lot done on my PALM Pilot while commuting. I use the built-in GRAFFITI writing recognition tool, and I've got pretty proficient with it. I can write about 500 words an hour on it, then download and edit when I get home.
There is a keyboard available, but then I;d have to find somewhere to rest it.... the good thing about the PDA and GRAFFITI is I can write even while standing up in a busy train
August 28th, 2005, 11:37 AM
I use a pocket pc for taking notes, but for writing it would be an incredibly large hassle... for that I use my tablet pc ;)
August 28th, 2005, 04:53 PM
not sure if i'm using the right forum, apologies if so. Sure you are. :)
I use a Pocket PC and foldable keyboard, and it's wonderful on trips. The whole thing fits in my little purse. You could fit in in a jacket pocket, too. It's easy to recharge, and the large battery lasts for like 4-5 hours. It takes the same memory cards that digital cameras use. Very, very practical for writing on airplanes.
However, I've found that there's a little bit of lag-time when typing. It's like a split-second hesitation before my words appear on-screen. Still, I think the portability makes up for the lag.
Also, there are sometimes problems transferring Word .docs. I haven't lost information, but the Pocket PC converts .docs to its own weird format, and then converts it back when transferring to a "big" computer. Sometimes (for unknown reasons) it locks a file into Read Only mode.
September 9th, 2005, 02:14 AM
I write a great deal of my reviews and articles on my Clie, and I've done large chunks of my current novel on it, as well.
One thing I will warn about, and it's just a personal opinion: be careful of using this if you don't have your basics pretty well down. If you write sloppy and then let WORD or whichever software you use clean it up you'll be editing the hard copy for fifteen years.
Since my background was English Lit rather than a more communication-based education I don't have a long wait on spellcheck and I don't bother with grammar check (just catch my errors on final edit). But a lot of writers (many of them quite good writers, btw) come from backgrounds that focus on content and clean up later. (When I was an editor I could always tell which of my writers majored in English and which majored in either Communications or Journalism.)
Just something to mull over. Some of the newer, more expensive models have versions of WORD or WP on them that are virtually identical to the one on your PC. If you can afford one of those ignore the entire post. :)
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