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Tip o' the Week: Balance Your Checkbook!

Wed May 14, 2008 - 3:00 PM EDT - By Brian Hart


If you're like me, you have an enormous load of information to manage each day, whether it be at work, play, family matters, or hobbies. All of these activities have one thing in common: it usually takes money (lots of money) to keep the home fires burning, enjoy a hobby, and get out for some play/entertainment. Keeping track of your finances is a necessary (and oh so boring) evil, but this week's Tip may make this activity a little easier and a little more enjoyable, without subtracting anything from your bank account! Read on for this week's Tip!

When I originally decided to write this weekly column, my plan was to scour the Internet to find useful secrets, tips, tricks, and various other creative ways to make the Treo and Centro a more usable tool in everyday life. To me, the whole idea of having a Treo (or any other PDA) is to save time and make life easier. With this mission in mind, I will be including useful applications in this column that are either free or almost free. Today, I'm featuring a little app I've been using for several years now: MyCheckbook by Quick's PDA Software (Carl Quick).

MyCheckbook is a free app downloadable from Quick's website, www.thequickster.com. If you find the app to be particularly useful, you are welcome to leave a donation for Mr. Quick at his website.

MyCheckbook is a neat little checkbook app that takes up very little memory on your Palm OS Treo or Centro (172KB), is simple to use, and will let you leave your checkbook register at home. In fact, I don't use a regular checkbook register anymore. MyCheckbook lets me create multiple accounts, classify the type of transaction (i.e., Deposit, ATM, Swiped, etc.), and even note the items that have cleared by placing a "check" in a box next to each item. I can edit, void and delete items as necessary, all the time keeping a running balance in my account.

As you enter transactions into MyCheckbook, you can also input check numbers and information in a "memo" space at the bottom, just like a real check. A history of your transactions are kept in a .pdb (Palm database) file, and you can purge the history or keep it as you see fit. Also, MyCheckbook allows you to export your transactions as a CSV, TAB, or QIF file. An autocomplete feature is included in this app, so recurring transactions are saved in memory and will autocomplete as you enter the information. Even a small pop-up calculator is included in this app -- now where do you get SO much for a FREE app??

If you want to take charge of your finances, more specifically your checkbook register, this is a handy app to carry around on your Palm OS Treo or Centro. It is a fine example of how technology can be friendly and reduce the amount of paper we have to carry around. Visit www.thequickster.com today and download MyCheckbook, and while you're there, feel free to leave Mr. Quick a tip!

On a final note: if you have a Tip of your own that you want to share with everyone else, just let me know and I'll find a way to include it in the Tip o' the Week!

Disclaimer: Tip o' the Week makes no guarantee, express or implied, that any tip found herein will be new or particularly useful to the reader (and there is DEFINITELY no guarantee that this week's Tip will be the key to fortune and fame -- but if you can balance your checkbook after this, well... that's not too shabby!)

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