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Keep important facts at your fingertips

The Palmtop's great forte is it's ability to allow you to keep all of your important information with you at all times. The suite of built-in applications provides many excellent ways to organize your information. Unfortunately, on occasion I have found myself wondering which of the database-related programs I used for a specific piece of information.

The fewer places you have to go looking for information, the easier it is to manage your time and stay organized. I decided to take that principle a step further on my Palmtop by keeping most of my important information in one of two places: Appointment Book for appointments and immediate To-Dos, and Phone Book for everything else.

I keep both applications open at all times. My use of APPT is rather traditional. How I use PHONE as a catch-all of names and addresses and also for notes on my most current and important projects/topics is more interesting.


For example let's say I decide to buy a new computer. I open Phone Book and press (F2) to add a Phone Item. In the Name field I key in 0Computer and press (F10) (OK). Back in the List view I now have an entry for that topic.

PhoneBook Shows Project Item On Top of List: Graphic

 When I have an idea about the computer or doing some researching on it, I open Phone Book, highlight 0Computer and press (F3) to enter my thoughts. This might include a list of what I need in a computer, possible places I could buy it, the names of people who can give me some pointers on the topic, etc.


As I mentioned earlier, I keep notes on all of my most important or current projects and topics in my Phone Book. My Phone Book's opening list view looks like this.

PhoneBook List View with Many Items on Top: Graphic

 I structure these entries so they are displayed at the top of the screen in order of importance. Here are some examples:

  • Name (" Name" preceded by empty space) -- My most immediate or important events, projects, or topics that I want to have as the first or second entry. For example, While I was preparing for Folio95, a publishing industry trade show, the first item in my Phone Book list was the word "FOLIO" preceded by an empty space. The leading empty space forced the FOLIO entry to appear at the top of the screen. To access information on my hotel reservations, contact information, the sessions I'm scheduled to attend, etc., I simply go to the top of my Phone Book and press (F3) (Notes). I don't see any reason to have more than one or two of these type of entries. If you have five or six topics that are that immediate, you probably need rethink how important they really are.
  • 000Name -- (The "000" places an entry at the top, right below any entry that is preceded by an empty space.) I use this level for my most important, long-term projects and topics. For example, I have an entry 000GOALS, containing in notes on personal long-term goals.
  • 00Name -- (The "00" places an entry at the top, below the "000" entries.) I use this for less important, long-term projects and topics, or continuing lists of things to do. For example, 00HOME contains a list of things I have to fix around the house.
  • 0Name -- (The "0" places an entry at the top, below the "00" entries.) I use this for short-term projects. 0Computer -- the example given at the beginning of this tip -- is one of these.



When I'm finished with the projects I copy the notes to a separate Memo file for backup and delete the entry.

It's important to be a little selective in this process. I'm not suggesting that you dump a bunch of miscellaneous information in Phone Book. It would fill up quickly, searches would slow down, and things would become unmanageable. I still use NoteTaker as a catch- all file for odd bits of information that may be useful in the future, but don't seem that immediate.

Rich Hall Editor, HP Palmtop Paper

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