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Tips & Techniques > using your PDA for sewing tasks

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Posted by: candyo

About candyo starstarstar
Member since: 3/6/03
Reviews: 32 (tips: 5)
Skill level:Intermediate
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Posted on: 7/20/04 1:42 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 6 people   
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I find it very helpful to use my PDA (aka Palm pilot, personal data assistant) to keep track of various sewing tasks and/or lists.

Some examples:
Thread inventory- so I don't end up without the right color thread, or buying one I already have

Pattern wish list- when browsing patterns, I make a list of which ones I'd like to buy at the next sale

General shopping list- I delete the items as I pick them up at the store

An 'inches to fractions' conversion chart

My current meaurements

Fabric width conversion chart

Items on sale

Patterns I need to buy for others

Trend forecasts

Books I'd like to buy/borrow from library

I just keep these lists in the memo pad feature of the PDA. There is also a "to do list" that one could use for upcoming projects.

Spending tracker- make sure you don't get a shock at the end of the month when you find that you've overspent!

Of course, this may not be reason enough to go out and buy a PDA, but if you already have one like I did, this is a good way to get more mileage out of it. I'm also saving paper, and, unlike bits of paper, I will not lose my data, as long as I do regular backups.

Also, there are many sites that offer cheap or free add-on software for your PDA. Though I've yet to find a sewing-related program, if you know a computer-savvy friend, perhaps they could make one for you. (And if they do, let me know!)

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Theatrekelli said... (1/27/05 3:56 PM) Reply
I just got a PDA for Christmas, and I've already used the date book to mark all the sales at the local fabric store. Handy little doo-dads, aren't they?
WenD said... (10/2/04 8:41 AM) Reply
Candyo, This is GREAT! I love these ideas. DH and I joke that we are in the "fight against paper" in our house so I prefer to use my PDA whenever possible. I'm off to "catalog" my threads before I head out to purchase more this afternoon. Thanks. :)
Gigi Louis said... (8/31/04 12:43 PM) Reply
Sounds like I need one of these. All those little slips of paper are so annoying...
KristenI said... (8/31/04 11:31 AM) Reply
Great ideas...I do jot down my shopping lists when i get a good pattern, but could definately use a lot of this info. Is there a fabric width conversion chart online somewhere? Been looking for one...
MaryL said... (7/24/04 8:59 PM) Reply
I have my patterns in Excel on my PocketPC and also use the note function to draw a pic of any unusual detailing to a pattern I don't have. Then I go home and see if I can recreate that detail on a pattern I already have that fits. Saves time not having to fit a new pattern and money not having to buy yet another pattern. I also use my PDA to listen to an audible book while I sew. I've "read" more books this way! Don't you just love how technology has advanced enough to allow us to do all these things with such a small lightweight device?
Danvillegirl said... (7/22/04 7:16 PM) Reply
Nice tip. I use my PDA for work all the time. From time to time I have written down a pattern number. Debbie C, thanks for tip on List Pro, not heard of it, but will check it out.
ncegbu said... (7/21/04 2:00 PM) Reply
Wow - great minds think alike. I've been keeping these lists on my PDA since I first got one about 5 years ago. I keep a running list of patterns I'm looking for on it and take them off as I find them. I also keep measurements for all of my family members on it as well. Now I'm going to explore transferring my excel databases of patterns and books to it. The only thing I would caution is to be careful about compatibility of after-market and third-party programs. When I switched to my newest PDA, I lost a timekeeper/project management program (and the related database) that was essential for my 'real' day job. What a nightmare to recreate all of that data!
JDpenelope said... (7/21/04 5:46 AM) Reply
Good idea, guess I'll start doing something similar. Thanks! I hate entering data on my pda (I bought a pda keyboard, but never use it!), so I enter it in Outlook and "hotsync" it over to my pda. I also have downloaded ebooks from the internet and hotsync-ed them, for reading on trips, when I'm waiting in line, etc. Will have to look/see if there are any sewing books to download.
Debbie Cook said... (7/21/04 2:52 AM) Reply
I use my Palm too, to keep track of my patterns because ... well, I've bought the same one more than once! I use List Pro, which you can customize for any kind of list you want and there's a desktop module as well, so I can type in from the keyboard when I'm here. I have a main list with sublists of patterns sorted by brand and numerically. There's a spot for a description too. And I have a wish list to look at when shopping. I keep all sorts of other non-sewing lists too. It really has helped me.
Jennifer shaw said... (7/21/04 0:26 AM) Reply
Great idea, Nikki! Now if only dh will share our mutual pda with me!!
Oopsy-Daisy! said... (7/20/04 6:25 PM) Reply
I also include my pattern inventory and the yardages I need. I like your thread # idea - guess how many spools I have of Mettler #02 I have? That spool hops into my basket every time.
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