Using the iPod’s Notes features

Q: I live a very busy lifestyle, and can’t always remember everything I need to do in a day. My wife says I need a PDA, but I’d rather not buy one since I have an iPod and it has a “Notes” function. However, I’m not quite sure how best to use it as a to-do list. Can you help?

– Spencer

A: We’ll briefly show you how to use the iPod’s “Notes” functionality, but if you’re like us, you’ll quickly find that it is inadequate for use as a PDA for several reasons; the biggest of which is simply that you can’t add or edit contacts, calendars, or notes without sitting down at a computer.

That said, the iPod’s “Notes” feature is fairly easy to use: it simply reads plain-text files placed by the user in the “Notes” folder on the iPod’s hard drive (you must “Enable disk use” before seeing the iPod in Windows Explorer or the Mac’s Finder).

To create a basic To-Do list note, for example, create a plain text file using NotePad (on the PC) or TextEdit (on the Mac). For example:

To-do List 5-18-06:– Take kids to school– Pick up milk and soda at store– Make Dentist Appt.– Call insurance company

Save this file in the iPod’s “Notes” folder. This item will then appear in the iPod’s “Notes” menu, and you can edit it simply by altering this file in its existing location.

Notes can get considerably more complex (see last week’s hint involving using Notes to create a new iPod interface), but this basic example will help you carry around simple snippets of information alongside your music.

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