PDA Lite

A solution to the complaint of tech overload has come from an unlikely source — Fossil. The popular watchmaker has unveiled the Wrist PDA and Wrist PDA/PC, companions to the Palm-based and PocketPC-based operating systems, respectively. The new timepieces function as mini PDAs, allowing users to access contacts, appointments, to-do lists, and memos while on the go.

The Wrist PDA is a neat gadget, but we found the joystick and buttons a bit rigid. And while we appreciate being able to leave the PDA behind on short trips, it was often difficult to read the tiny print on the watch face. Additionally, because the buttons were rigid, we had to remove the watch to open the applications, turning the device into another handheld.

The Wrist PDA/PC supports the PocketPC operating system for the Compaq iPAQ, Cassiopeia, and the Hewlett-Packard Jornada.
The Wrist PDA is compatible with most Palm-based handhelds, including the m100 and m500 series and Handspring Visor, Edge, and Sony Clié. Should you buy a Fossil Wrist PDA? If you would rather set the trend than keep up with the Joneses, you’ll likely love the device. But at $145 (almost the cost of a PDA itself), the Wrist PDA is a bit too pricey a trend for our tastes (www.fossil .com/pda).

Mind Your Business
If you’re like most managers, you probably spend more time in meetings than you’d like. Mindjet’s MindManager 2002 Business Edition provides a simple yet effective way to share ideas with your team via what it calls a “mind map.” The software lets you create a map, a visual thought process, if you will, of anything from a simple organizational chart to instructions to a company press kit.

And the application is easy to use. In just a few minutes, we were able to map the process by which a BLACK ENTERPRISE story is created (no easy task, although MindManager makes it look simple). The application also lets you add symbols and color to the branches, query recipients, and add icons from the Codes toolbar to the branches.

Once you’ve created a mind map, MindManager lets you export it to recipients as an outline or Web pages via Microsoft Project, PowerPoint, Outlook, or several other applications. You can also view mind maps on your Palm OS-based handhelds ($189; www.mindjet.com).

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