I bought a SmartPhone over the holidays, and I’m very happy with it. I’ve only had it a few weeks, but it has already helped me make some productive changes to my daily routine and organizational system.
First, I unified two of my sources of contacts. Previously, I had a lot of email-related contacts in Outlook Contacts, and a lot of phone contacts in my cell phone, with no synchronization.
Second, I eliminated a daily piece of paper – my schedule. We have a large number of people working on Visual Studio and the .NET Framework. As a result, I have quite a few meetings, both to manage my own team and to help work across groups. Pre-SmartPhone, part of my daily routine was to print my schedule and carry it around with me. This naturally had some drawbacks:
- The paper wasn’t always available. If I had an early morning meeting in another building, I would sometimes waste time by first going to my office, then realizing I needed to be somewhere else.
- The paper didn’t update automatically, so I would sometimes arrive at meetings that had been cancelled or rescheduled.
- The paper sometimes ended up going through the washing machine.
With the SmartPhone, I always have my schedule with me, and it is always up-to-date. My SmartPhone is slightly bigger than a piece of paper, so I am hoping I am smart enough not to send it through the washing machine.
Third, I switched my todo list management from Excel, where I essentially made my own task management system, to Outlook Tasks. As a result I have easy access to my todo list even when I don’t have my laptop with me. When running errands, I can have my todo list with me without remembering to bring it. When I think of things I need to do, I can type them into my phone (albeit very slowly – hopefully I will get better at this) rather than write them on scraps of paper to enter later.
I look forward to using C# to write a mobile app for the phone. The OS for it is Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition, which includes .NET Framework 1.0. Visual Studio 2003 supports this kind of development, though I’ll probably use a Community Tech Preview release of VS 2005 (aka Whidbey) so that I can provide product feedback to help us ship a high-quality Beta 2. When I get to this, I’ll be sure to blog about it.
The SmartPhone I bought is the Audiovox SMT 5600. I’m sure there are some other high-quality SmartPhones on the market. I picked this one mostly based on recommendations from co-workers. Here are some links to reviews that people might find interesting:
Happy C# coding!