The Hipster PDA

I've been rocking a variant of the hipster PDA for about a week now. I've been using a small spiral quad-ruled, microperf notebook and a mechanical pencil instead of their suggestion of index cards, binder clips, and a pen.

Since moving to Japan, this has been pretty much invaluable. I can copy down any information I want (in English or Japanese), including making more useful directions out of the routes that google maps gives me (example). Blocks are numbered instead of streets being named here, so Google's algorithm that works so well in Western countries utterly fails to give useful Japanese directions. Since I can't print out the map anyway, I'm left to analyze it and write directions into the notebook that make sense, like "Take the right between blocks 23 and 24." That's usually more useful on the ground anyway. If I overshoot and find myself along block 24, I know that I've gone too far.

Using the hipster PDA also means that I can do random reads and writes without draining the battery. If I were out in the middle of nowhere and didn't know where my next electricity was coming from, this would be an even better thing. But, my dictionary already takes batteries; having one fewer device to charge when I get home is nice. Sometimes, the simplest answer really is the best.