New to me homemaking tool

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Recently Stephen got a new PDA for work and gave me his old one. We had talked about getting me one before that, but I was hesitant to buy one in case I didn’t like it or it wasn’t useful for me as a homemaker. They’re expensive enough that I didn’t want to waste the money.

Oh wow – they’re so cool! Mine is old – a Handspring Visor – but it has quickly become indispensable. I love it!

The date book has been wonderful for keeping track of appointments and piano lesson time changes – it is nice to have it with me when I’m out so I can double-check times more easily.

It has a Memo pad feature that I started putting my grocery list into. When I went grocery shopping, I just deleted items off the list as I put them in my cart.

A big hangup I had was how to import some form of a price book into it. There’s no software on my Palm that allows me to read Excel documents, which is what my current price book is in, and I really didn’t want to purchase software for it right now either. It doesn’t help that none of the price information is actually in the Excel document – all of that is printed out on paper and written in by hand. So it would be a lot of work to go input it all into a document and then transfer it over.

So yesterday I went looking for free software that could possibly do the job better than I knew how to. Did I ever find a winner!

HandyShopper is free, and organizes your shopping list by category and even store aisle if you choose. You can mark items you need, and then easily mark them off as you put them in your cart. It also gives you a total price for everything on your “Need” list – including tax if you set it up that way. Probably my favorite feature is that it will keep track of each item’s price – at multiple stores. No more standing at Wal-Mart, wondering if I can get an item cheaper at Aldi. You can also import items into the database from memo pad entries, so I was able to import a nine page Word document into the database in just a few minutes. I did have to reformat the Word document a little bit, but it was worth the work.

So now I have a shopping list on my Palm that has 365 items on it. And that’s just the more common items we buy – I left off some of the things I didn’t think we’d be buying anytime soon. It’s easy enough to add them later.

This is far better than what I was doing, and much more efficient. There are a few drawbacks – like most of the editing has to be done on the Palm itself and can’t be done on the computer (which would be much faster for me). Once I discovered that I could import memo though, it was faster because I could just copy and paste from my hard drive into the Palm software. I found a way around it and it works for me. :O)

It’s not for everybody, but it makes things MUCH easier for me. I’m happy!

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3 thoughts on “New to me homemaking tool”

  1. Jodi (from HP)

    Other great programs for your new tool are SplashMoney and SplashShopper. SplashMoney is a checkbook register that is SO easy to use and it makes balancing a dream! SplashShopper is similar to what you posted about with HandyShopper, only with it you can do individual stores (as many stores as you like) and put in the price of each item. Once you check off the items you need, it will tell you a price total. You can arrange it by aisles as well. I think that for both programs I paid a total of $30. It sounds like a lot, but I use them daily and they have been a HUGE blessing to me. Both can be updated from the computer or the Palm. Enjoy your new gadget! I LOVE mine!

  2. Wow Jen – I’m honored! There’s so many tools out there that I use – I figure maybe it can help others as well. Our snowball is printed out and in my household notebook. It’s neat to look at and see where we are! And so encouraging too!

  3. It is official that your blog has given me so many useful tools! First, I got the debt snowball calculator from your blog, and now the handyshopper program for my palm treo. I visit your blog everyday from PH!

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