What would I do without it? or How I use my HTC Trinity (for Gear Diary)

October 1, 2007

I wrote this article for Gear Diary after meeting Judie Lipsett (The Chick In Charge) on Facebook.  Turns out she and I have lots in common.  She went to college with my brother, she played in a band that played in Alpine, TX (where I graduated from high school), and after college she went to beauty school.  Crazy, huh?  There are fewer women than men in the geek world, and I have always enjoyed reading Gear Diary because of the slightly different viewpoint a woman has on personal technology.  For example: Many devices and many device reviewers are hung up on the idea of “pocketable.”  To a woman who regularly carries a purse, that is almost a non-issue.  If you have any interest in me writing any other tech-related material, leave a comment.


How I Use My HTC Trinity

Published by Aura Mae October 1st, 2007

I used to keep a laptop at my work station, but when my husband lost his laptop to a job change and needed mine, I found I could do without it by relying on my HTC Trinity Pocket PC. Let me tell you a little about me, about my business, and about how my machine holds it all together.

I own a small hair salon. Not only do I spend 35 hours a week seeing clients, I am also responsible for every other aspect of running the business. I do the marketing, keep the website and blog up to date, pay the bills, and anything else you can think of. I also travel teaching classes to hairdressers, and as the author of Get Some Hairapy – a hairdresser’s prescription for happiness, do some book promotion in my spare time. Oh yeah, and I have a family, as well. People need to be able to get a hold of me, and I need access to my data.

Without my calendar, I am dead in the water. I keep my Trinity with me at all times and I count on it to tell me where I need to be and what I need to do. My salon uses an on-line appointment book service that allows our clients to schedule their own appointments at any time. We love it because it cuts down on how much the phone rings and clients love it because they don’t have to wait for us to be open in order to get on the books. When an appointment is made, the system sends me an email. Direct Push gets it to me in a flash, and when I click on the attachment, all the data is entered into my Pocket Informant calendar. This keeps my calendar on track at all times. So if I run into a client in the grocery store and they ask if they can get in for some highlights on Friday, I can look at my schedule and give them an answer.

geardiary trinity 02

Using the contacts section of Pocket Informant, I keep the client’s personal data and I store their chemical formulations in the notes field. If I make changes during their visit, I can input the new formulation immediately. Good records make good customer service easier!

Recently I was at a photo shoot and wanted to take some candid, back-stage shots when I realized I had forgotten to charge the battery in my digital camera. Trinity to the rescue! I took still pictures and videos that were good enough to put on the blog and share with others. (A Treo owner in the room tried to do the same, but her results were less pleasing. I took out my mini SD card and she uploaded all my photos to her laptop, emailing them out while we were still on the shoot.)

While getting in the car for my drive to work, a text comes in from a client. She’s running late and wonders if she is 15 minutes late should she still come or should she reschedule. I check my calendar and determine that she can still come. I send the text and am off to work.

When a client is “in the chair”, we try to give them as much attention as possible. The people in my life know that when I am at work, the best way to get to me is through my Trinity. Text and email are easy to read while a color is processing and also cuts down on the phone ringing in the salon. And if I don’t have time to answer a call at home, at work, or on my cell, Callwave sends me an email with an audio attachment that I can listen to much more easily than I can call to check messages.

Windows Mobile 6

Third party programs:
Pocket Informant – More ways to manipulate contacts and calendars than I could ever use.
Wisbar Advance – I prefer the pull-down windows to the graphic pages that are WM standard.
Pocket Breeze – Keeps my tasks and appointments on the Today screen.
Spb Full Screen Keyboard – The Trinity is a tablet style PPC, with no physical keyboard. Most of the time I use the regular soft keyboard, but on occasion I use the bigger keys of FSK.
Sprite Backup – The new version rocks! It even backs up after I flash a new ROM.
Pocket Quicken – Ends the “can I afford this item” challenge while away from my desktop.
SOTI Pocket Controller – Allows me to use my desktop keyboard to enter data into the Trinity and enlarges the image on my desktop monitor.
Sirius – There’s no need to store music when I can stream it.
Google Maps – (Almost) Never get lost again!
MemMaid – Keeps things clean and tidy.

geardiary trinity 01

Things I do with my Trinity:
Listen to music.
Entertain a grumpy toddler with a cartoon.
Read RSS feeds.
Write posts for my blog.
Find answers to trivial questions like “Who wrote The Cover of the Rolling Stone?”
Read and send email and texts.
Practice my PowerPoint presentations.
Get directions.

Things I would do without my Trinity:
Show up late (Calendar)
Forget to buy dog food or light bulbs (Tasks)
Forget my mother’s (and everyone else’s for that matter) birthday, phone number and address
Lose my mind!

I have had every generation of converged phone/PDA since they were for sale. There are other PPC devices that can do most or all of what the Trinity can. Is the HTC Trinity the best device (or even the best device for me?) Like many of you, I am always looking for the next best thing. I have recently, in fact, decided that the Trinity is almost perfect for me. I just want more screen real estate. I am looking to upgrade to the HTC Advantage very soon. I anticipate the transition to be smooth, as I am an old pro at loading programs through Windows Mobile Device Center.

I can’t wait to see what the next generation of Window Mobile will allow me to do!


One Response to “What would I do without it? or How I use my HTC Trinity (for Gear Diary)”

  1. If any of you are interested in getting a similar device at a very affordable price, AT&T has the new Tilt available for $299. It is almost the same as the Trinity, with the addition of a physical keyboard. The first round of reviews are calling the Tilt the best WM6 device available today.

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