Palm Basics

Here are a few basic tips if you have never used a Palm before. It is similar to a PC with menus within each program, but the menus are hidden along the top bar of the program. On the main screen, you will see a program called Preferences. This is where you set your sounds, what buttons open the programs automatically, and you will want to go to Owner and give it a name (if you did not do this in the initial set up of the Palm). When you sync to your PC, it will have to have the same name on your PC Palm Desktop in order to sync to the Palm.

Palms come with a few basic programs, such as a calendar, address book, task or to do list and memos. They also have some buttons on the front that take you right to those programs. Click on those buttons and you will see what program it opens. For the tasks and meme programs, the first time you click the button it takes you to All, the next time you click it, it goes to the next category, like Personal, push it again and it takes you to the next one, etc.

In order to change your categories of your programs, you need to be on the Home screen (that shows your program icons). Click in the top left side and it will drop down a menu. The 1st choice, Delete, brings up all the programs on your Palm and if you select one, it will delete that program. The default ones (calendar, address, tasks, memos, operating system things) cannot be deleted. The next one is Beam (I’ll explain later), the next is Category and the next is Info. Info tells how much room each program takes, how much empty space you have left, etc. If you select Category, it lets you put the programs into Categories or change them. I added a category to mine called Favorites where I put the programs I use the most (including Preferences – a system program). This helps me find the things I use the most easier than scrolling through all the programs on my Palm.

Beam means that if you are with someone else with a Palm, you can “beam” each other an address, caledar item, memo, task or even a program! For example, I have a free Solitaire game program on my Palm, and I can beam that to someone else with a Palm (you both have to have Beam turned on, and also have to be sitting very near each other). This came in very handy once when I lost all my addresses because of a bad error, and I was able to beam from my mom’s Palm all the family and mutual friends’ names and addresses to save myself typing them again!

Most Palms do not have a keyboard built onto the front of them, so you have to learn to write the characters using “graffiti” in the square area near the bottom where you can write with the stylus that comes with it. You should check the instructions that came with it and learn the “graffiti” strokes to write those letters. The left side of the writing area writes letters and the right side writes numbers. It also automatically capitalizes the 1st letter and the rest in lower case. If you make a stroke starting from the bottom up that looks like / it will make a capital letter out of the next one you write. Another thing you can do is open up a small keyboard at the bottom. To get to the keyboard, either click on the small “abc” on that left side writing area, or to get to the number pad, click on the “123” in the bottom right side. Another way is to click on the top bar where the date or program name is and go to Edit and choose Keyboard.

I do the majority of my typing on the desktop.  For example, you can go to the Contacts or Addresses and enter names and addresses, set up categories like Family, Friends, Work, Medical, Stores, Restaurants, Businesses or just call them Yellow Pages.  If you want to print out your address book, you can select it to print All categories or just Family or Yellow Pages.  Any store or business that I know I will call more than one time, I enter in my Palm Desktop.  There is a “note” option also, where I put extra information like store hours or directions.  For family or friends, I might have a note on where they work and the hours or other information that I might need sometime.

If you are in the Tasks (To Do) program, you will see a Category name on the top right of the screen, and there is a little arrow next to that name (it is defaulted to All). When you click on this word, it drops down a menu with choices like Personal, Business and Edit Categories. You can have a maximum of 15 categories. As an example, I have categories for where I do these tasks or what it pertains to, like: Home, Errands, Travel, Medical, home-based business, Hobby, Calls, Financial, Meals, etc. When you enter a new Task, you can tell it what category you want it in, then if you want to only see that category, click the “All” at the top and select the one category you want to see, like Errands. This hides all the taskes except the Errands. When you are finished, click that top category name again and change it back to All. The Unfiled category is also the default if you do not give it a specific category when you enter it. When you do a new Task, go to the Details box at the bottom, and this will bring up the screen to give it a specific date, category and priority number of 1 through 5.

Memos: This is a great place to put little notes to yourself, and you can choose to “make private” any memo. Then in your program icons (go to Home, All), select Security. This allows you to set a password. You MUST remember this password!! You can have the entire Palm set up to need a password, or just your private records, etc. So if you want to have your SSN on your Palm in a Memo, you can Hide the record and if you click on that blackened out line with a lock symbol on the end of the line, you must enter the correct password in order to see it. This is a very handy Palm feature!

I use memos a lot for things you want to remember or have with you, but don’t know where else to put them!  I have a category called “Item #” where I put sizes of batteries needed for cameras or other items, the furnace filter size, things for my house like window and room sizes, color of paint used for rooms or the outside, what size printer ink cartridges I need for B&W or color, etc.

Palms also have a nice feature called Search!  This looks like a small magnifying glass.  When you click that, you can put in a word like printer, and it will show you everywhere you have that word.  If you are out shopping and can’t find where you saved the printer ink cartridge number, just use that search button and type and it will show you whereever it is on the Palm!

The nice thing about a Palm is that when you push a button, it is instantly on.  It doesn’t have to boot up like a computer.  I have mine set to go off automatically if I don’t use it for 2 minutes.  This saves battery power.  You can change these things in your Preferences program.

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