The Hipster PDA

About the time personal digital assistants (PDAs) were entering the work force as a time management device an analog version rose in popularity via the Internet.

The Hipster PDA was simply a stack of 3-by-5-inch (7.6-by-12.7-centimeter) index cards held together with a binder clip. What PDA actually stood for (in this case) was never really defined. Users would jot notes on the cards and arrange them based on priority, personal organizational style or whatever system they chose. The size of the stack fit neatly into the hip pocket of pants.

Within a year, this analog freeware had spawned a number of variations and a user could download customizable and printable templates sized to the cards, add pen holders and even buy complete versions of the low-cost, low-tech DIY organizer online.

Grocery lists could become a thing of the past -- at least the paper version. The iPhone "Shopper" application allows a grocery shopper to make and edit lists with ease, and the newest 3G version expands the application to list sharing -- no more, "Honey, could you bring home X and Y?" -- and the use of bar codes. It also ties in a few other applications to make saving enough money to pay for the application a possibility. It's just 99 cents for the basic version and a little more for the 3G with some of the advanced doodads.

The basic Shopper app comes pre-populated with a number of more common items within the shopping world, but the list is not exhaustive. Instead, it offers the flexibility of creating new categories and items to add to a list, then click and drop into a virtual shopping cart as they are dropped from the main list at the store. The list can also be categorized to reflect the aisles and shelves of the store you're in.

Newer versions allow the bar code of an item to be scanned using the camera function. These items can be added to the list automatically, and additional subscriptions can link the user to coupons and food recalls.

The success of the program has led the maker to add partnerships with other retailers to include Black Friday deals and may include Shopper-only incentives in the future.