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  • Palm/Pilot, PDA ?s

    I'm thinking about investing in one. Does anyone have recommedations for a good brand? I was also wondering if there is a way to keep track of grooming notes for each dog, for each visit. Right now I carry a client card with all the information. On the back, for each visit I write down exactly what I do. Is there a way to do this with a PDA?

    Does bluetooth capability really add to its usefullness
    don't find yourself up a creek without a poodle.

  • #2
    I reccomend a windows based support system. the palm pilot is not windows based. I am looking at getting the Mortorola Q through verizon. because it has everything from internet, bluetooth, you can even put your 123 pet software on it, GPS navigation, camera phone for before and after pics. If they could just get it to groom the dog now.

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    • #3
      I have an Hewlitt-Packard IPAQ (almost 3 yrs. old now). I love it. I have the Microsoft Outlook calendar on it. I have all my grooming instructions, the groom fee, medical issues (if any), phone numbers and directions to the owner's house (which I really don't need anymore) typed in the notes section of each customer's appointment. The really neat feature that I use (because I schedule my customer's for the entire year) is the recurring appointments. In other words, I set up the first appt. for 2007 and then make the appt. recur every [6] weeks or on the first Tues. of every month, etc. Also, in the Outlook Calendar on my computer at home I have all of the appts. color coded by area. Helps me to tighten my route each day.

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      • #4
        I am not Ms. Computer but all I can say is I coudn't live without my Palm Pilot. My teenage son forced me into it (lol) when I started my mobile business. I bought the one with the GPS in it and it's the BEST thing I've ever done. You can enter in all client info including trim notes. Everynight I hot cinq (sp?) into my laptop so if the Palm gets lost or broken I haven't lost any information. You can print out monthly appontment schedules which helps me when people rebook. Also, customers see how busy you are...heehee.

        If I can use this thing, anybody can. PM me and I will send you an example of my printout if you're interested in seeing it.

        I also have my personal phone book in there. Always comes in handy. Plus, it's small...fits right into my pocketbook.
        www.gomobileandsucceed.com
        http://thesuccessfulpetgroomer.com

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        • #5
          Palm

          I have a palm pilot and it has changed my life! I condensed everything, client cards, and my book in this one small convinent thing! I also can easily schedule standing appts every month, x amount of weeks and dont have to keep writing so much! I think it took about 2 months for it to become an automatic thing, but it has simplified my life, and I always have a backup on my computer, I can even cut and paste directions from mapquest!

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          • #6
            Windows-based Palm Pilot

            The newer Palms (Treo 700w for examples) ARE Windows based. When I was first replacing my Palm 650 I did not care for the Windows-based software, but it was actually easier to learn the differences in the units because I just tried things that worked on my PC and viola! I was in in business.

            I've been using Outlook and easily keep all my client notes in the "Notes" section of each contact. I include directions to the house, notes on the groom, what their garage code is, or whether I have a key, etc. The Palm gets synced to my PC's copy of Outlook when I get home each day so I always have a backup.

            There is even a place to put a photo (albeit a small one) of the dog in each contact.

            There is a search feature that lets you find any info easily. Say you want to see when the Smith's next appointment is. Juzt hit the magnifying glass icon, enter in Smith, select Calendar to search just the Calendar, and you have your answer.

            Another nice feature is a section called "Notes" where you can keep files of anything that strikes your fancy. I have one called "Gen Maint." where I simply write down the amount of hours my next generator oil change is next due and the hours when the 450 hrs job needs doing. I have one that is Shopping List and as I run out of anything I jot that down so when I get to Groom Expo or want to place a Pet Edge order I know what I need. Another is personal, "Books I want to Read" so when I hear something on NPR that sounds good, or if I am in a bookstore and see a title I want to get when it hits softcover, I can remember it.

            Anyway, everyone has their personal preferences, I like my Palm units.

            Meesh

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            • #7
              I use a Treo

              My treo has enough fields for contacts and space to type notes for groomings on. It's not perfect, but I use my treo to place my appointments, it has blue tooth capabilites (which I don't even use), you can keep track of all your contacts and their addr, ph#, alt ph#. I sinc it every day or anytime I think of it on my pc, and all the info is updated onto MS office outlook. I can talk to a client on speaker while I look through my calendar or make notes as I'm speaking to them.

              The only problem I have with it is that I underestimated how long it would take to drop it, scratchit up, or get water splashed on it.

              So if you get one- protect it with all your might. I've had mine a while and am eligible for an upgrade, but they are still quite an expense. Although I would say it's worth it.

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              • #8
                love my Motorola Q!

                I upgraded last month to the Motorola Q and I am so glad of that. My business is in its infancy but I wanted to get off to the right start. I am somewhat absent-minded so the thought of maintaining a paper schedule and carrying it with me was a little daunting. I wanted a windows-based so that I could sync with Outlook as that is where I keep all of my cust info, as well.

                I narrowed it down to the Q and the Treo and went with the Q because of the price difference (which is not huge). I think that if I had to do it over, I would go for the Treo. I wish that I had the search feature that Meesh mentioned - the Motorola Q does not have that. But that's my only complaint.

                I also think that it will only enhance your image (professional and busy) if you can whip it out on the spot at the customer's location!

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                • #9
                  I have wondered this myself. My brother purchased a nice one a year ago, and rarely uses it, and has offered to sell his to me cheap. I just don't know if I would use it. I tend to do like a lot of people which is buy something, and love it for a month, and then it collects dust!
                  Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

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                  • #10
                    Third-party plug ins

                    You may be able to find a search feature for the Q, there are third-party plug-ins available. I found at Intelligent Find for my Treo 650 because it did not have an adequate search feature. They don't make one for the Treo 700w as it does already.

                    I have used Blue Tooth with my various phones and really liked it, but it's not necessary as you can use the wired ear piece/speaker that comes with the phone or use the speaker phone feature. I stopped using mine because my dog ate it and I did not feel like buying a new one just yet.

                    The phones are amazingly durable regarding drops and falls, but drop it in the toilet and you'll be buying yourself a new one ;-) That was my "forced upgrade" and well between contract points so I had to pay full retail -- $600 and well worth it. (Tax deductible, remember?!). My laptop, which is used exclusively for business use, was 100% deductible on 2006 taxes ... sweeeet! Still had a whacking great tax bill though, ahhhh.... the price of success.

                    Meesh

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                    • #11
                      I am a PDA junkie:-) I switched to the HP IPAQ Travel Companion and it is the BEST:-)

                      1. GPS with detail or you can turn on the volume to hear directions while you drive.
                      2. Uses Windows based software and I use MS Outlook express. It shows all client info, notes, etc.
                      3. The Outlook Calendar syncs with the contacts.
                      4. The GPS syncs with Outlook.

                      I get in the van and turn on my PDA and press the GPS button. It shows my first appointment and gives the quickest route there, after that appointment I turn it back on and it automatically gives me directions to the next appointment from where I am.

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                      • #12
                        Oh, yeah! Thanks Meesh, I didn't even think about a third party add on. Hel-lo!
                        Starting to wish I'd gotten GracyRose's model, that GPS feature is too cool!

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