Always on the go with your files? Almost everyone has a few documents — a budget spreadsheet, a policy document, or even a resume — that are constantly in need. Keeping such documents handy typically requires either saving them to removable media, such as a CD-ROM; printing them; or keeping them on a PowerBook. These solutions are not without flaws: you must recopy or reprint the files every time you change them, plus, shouldering the weight of a PowerBook comes with the added responsibility of maintaining a fresh battery or finding an available AC outlet to access files.
For Palm OS handheld users, there’s a better solution. With DataViz’s Documents to Go 2.0, miniaturized versions of word processing and spreadsheet files (from Microsoft Office or AppleWorks) can be automatically downloaded to your handheld. Simply drag file icons to the Documents to Go application on your Mac and select the folder on your Palm where each document should be stored. Each time you synchronize, the latest versions of the files you’ve selected are downloaded and can easily be taken anywhere.
Once a document is downloaded, it is read-only, but it has full searching capabilities. You can beam the document to other Palm devices, even if they don’t have the software, because DataViz enables beaming the viewer as well. If recipients own their own copy of Documents to Go, the next time they synchronize, a copy of the file, in fully editable form, will be uploaded to their Mac — or PC if they have Documents to Go for Windows.
As simple as it sounds, Documents to Go does have its drawbacks. In addition to the program’s inability to edit files, elaborate formatting details — and all graphics — are stripped from files before they are downloaded. Still, basic formatting such as bold, italics, and tables in Word documents, for example, is preserved. The advantages easily outweigh the drawbacks: files downloaded to your Palm take very little space and download quickly each time you synch.