SplashNotes for Palm OS

Reviewed by: Howard Carson, June 2007
Published by: Splash Data
Requires: Palm OS 3.5 or later, such as Treo 600, Treo 650, Treo 680, Treo 700p, 350k of free memory for the application and about 10k per list; Desktop — Windows 98, ME, NT4, 2000, XP or Vista; can be installed on Windows without a Palm device or HotSync
MSRP: US$29.95

A PDA or Smartphone is not really a PDA or a Smartphone unless it's truly a personal digital assistant. Address book? Music player? Wi-Fi and Bluetooth? Cell phone? Digital Camera? Calendar or Appointment book? EVDO high-speed networking? The Treo 600 & 700 series have it all. In fact, if more of us used these devices as the well-converged technological innovations they're meant to be, life and business in general might be a lot better organized. Delve deeply into the versatility of these devices and you'll find that they can provide us with the opportunity to easily and usefully track portions of our lives and businesses in ways that have never before been possible. But there's always just one more program or utility that you can add to any PDA or Smartphone that makes it just a little bit better. Splash Data offers SplashNotes for Palm OS to prove it.

SplashNotes is an outliner and note-taker which performs well in a variety of circumstances for a variety of purposes. Entering notes is as simple as starting a new record or opening an existing one. Records are stored and displayed in a Memo Pad-like numbered list. Each record can hold an outline plus extensive notes and attachments. Outlines can be quickly created using numeric or alphabetic lists, with or without check boxes. Note taking is performed by tapping Attach Note in the Item menu. You can write extensive notes, create basic drawings using the Attach Drawing function, and address book entries can be automatically inserted in any outline item (we pulled address book entries from both the Palm Address Book and DateBk6). Text input works well from either the thumb keyboard, the built-in Palm OS on-screen keyboard or by Graffiti stylus strokes using TealScript or Jot.


Students capable of writing Graffiti quickly with either TealScript or Jot installed will love SplashNotes. Individual records can be up to 10KB in size and that's a lot of text notes in one place, representing continuous note-taking for over forty five minutes by our estimate. Of course, if you load up one record to its 10KB limit, you can simply start another one. We played around for a few minutes every day for several weeks during the review period just creating new records and entering a few lines of information, but there doesn't seem to be a practical limit to the number of records you can create.

Strictly speaking, SplashNotes was not designed as a replacement for your Tasks List or To-Do List and it also doesn't offer any alarm functions. SplashNotes was designed mainly for outlining and note-taking in situations (which occur all too often) in which the Palm Memo Pad and Tasks List are inadequate to the needs at hand. Because extensive text input is possible as well with SplashNotes, the size limitations built into both of the native Palm utilities will soon make them a dim memory.

Cons: We're fed up with bad or inaccurate reporting and rumor mongering about the allegedly imminent demise of Palm OS. As of this writing, there are tens of millions of Palm OS device users—the Treo devices and the Palm PDAs remain hot sellers—so we feel it's really safe to say that the operating system and the platform aren't going away any time soon. Although all of the Palm Treos feature a built-in digital camera, you can't attach a photo to SplashNotes items, something we hope will be added to a future version. The drawing utility built into SplashNotes is very basic and has no text box function. I'd love to see a couple of icons on the lower SplashNotes toolbar for quick access to the Notes and Drawing screens.

Pros: To date SplashNotes is worlds better than any other note-taker we've tried. It's fast, the features and functions are intuitive to use and notes are securely stored and easy to back up. SplashNotes can record and store very large notes which makes it much more versatile than the comparatively limited native Palm Memo Pad and Tasks List. Splash Data has clearly thought about the outlining or task list process and the ways in which people tend to assemble and record such information. The result is a robust utility which serves a variety of personal, student and business needs quite well. Although we see a lot of PDA and smartphone software every year, SplashNotes so fully caught my attention that I'm now using it daily. If you really want to squeeze more practical functionality out of your Palm PDA or smartphone, SplashNotes is a great way to do it. Highly recommended.

KSN Product Rating:



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