How to Use Your iPod Touch as a PDA

I recently shared that I had declared that I “needed” a PDA (personal digital assistant — like a Palm Pilot or the like).  I also shared in that same Quick Takes that I realized that my iPod Touch (that I already own) would do just about everything that I wanted a PDA for anyway.

When I posted about that, Samantha asked if I could share how I am using my iPod Touch as a PDA.

What I Wanted From a PDA

My biggest wish from a PDA was to have a calendar and a to-do list.  I thought it would also be great to keep track of contacts, and maybe even be able to jot down some grocery lists.  So, I didn’t really have lofty goals, just some basic needs.

How I Am Using my iPod Touch as a PDA

  • Calendar – The iPod Touch comes with a Calendar App (app being short for application).  It’s easy to use and reminds me a lot of Google Calendar.  (In the different scheduling fields/options.)
  • Email – It was very easy to set up my gmail account with the iPod Touch.  Now, if I used my gmail account as a primary email address, it would be a lot more useful.  Because the iPod Touch has WiFi capability, this means I can check my email from a WiFi hot spot.
  • Web Browsing – The Touch also comes loaded with Apple’s web browser, Safari.  Again, this means that I can browse the web from any WiFi hot spots.  (I have also looked up recipes that I saw online and used it while in the kitchen.)
  • To Do List – I purchased an app called 2Do: Tasks Done in Style, and I love it!  This was really the app that put me over the top on knowing that I could use the Touch as a PDA.  2Do allows you to have several different types of lists which you can switch between on tabs on the side (or you can see them all together in one of the tabs.)  This app was $6.99 in the Apple iTunes App Store, and was worth the money.  (There is a Lite version of this app, which is free, but it is just a smaller version.)
  • Grocery List – I am jotting down grocery lists (as well as other notes, such as when I think of a blog post idea and am not near a piece of paper) in the Note Pad that came loaded on the iPod Touch.  There were several free and paid apps for this function, but none of them really seemed like what I wanted.
  • Contacts – The Touch comes loaded with a Contacts app.  Very easy to use.  (Now I just have to load in all of my contacts, huh?)
  • Games – Not that I need games, but I have a couple on the Touch.  I mostly don’t play them, but it is fun to play an occasional game of Tap Tap Revenge: Coldplay Edition.
  • Missal on the Go – I enjoy the app iMissal, giving me the church readings for each day, as well as a variety of prayers and Bible readings.
  • Dictionary/Thesaurus – I bought a $1.99 app called WordBook English Dictionary & Thesaurus.  Now, perhaps I’m the only thesaurus and dictionary geek, but I do love them.  It’s fun to have a dictionary and thesaurus in my purse.
  • Kindle – While I don’t have this on my Touch, apparently you can use the iPod Touch as a Kindle.  Cool beans!
  • Variety of Other Functions – Other features I like on the iPod Touch include (but aren’t limited to): Weather forecasts (when connected to WiFi), Clock (which features stop watch, timer, the ability to add in various cities to keep track of the time in all at once), and Calculator.
  • My Very Favorite Features – Oh yeah — did you know that this thing plays music and videos too?  Oh yeah — you had heard that before?  It’s my favorite feature (especially the music).

I was so relieved not to drop a few hundred dollars on a PDA (which would have been difficult to have done), when I had my wonderful iPod Touch that I kept just thinking of as my cool thing that played music.  Bonus!

Do you have a favorite app (whether it is PDA-like or not) for the iPod Touch or iPhone?


Disclosure Policy

Angie Kauffman
Angie, a domestically challenged nerd and mom of three very fun kids, is the founder of Real Life at Home.  Angie also listens to music every chance she gets, writes eBookspodcastsloves Pinterestdocuments the little moments in life on Instagram, and occasionally sleeps.


  1. scrapper al says

    I find it interesting that you bought your iPod Touch for music and now enjoy the PDA features whereas I covet the iPod Touch for its PDA features. Maybe I bought one I’d expand my music repetoire, lol.

  2. says

    Thanks for writing the post I requested! I really want an iPod Touch now! I’ve had my iPod Nano for years and enjoy listening to music and seminars on it.


  3. Keith says

    Of course, our touch belongs to Amanda, so I only get to use it sparingly in between whatever recent game addiction she’s on: whether it’s Lemonade Tycoon, Flood-it, Sudoku, or Tap Farm.

    We really like to use Pandora and PhoneFlicks (Netflix account mgmt) as well as some of those you mentioned.

    If it was mine exclusively I think I’d use Skype, facebook, FOX Sports, Blog Writer, and Twitterific apps more.

    Other apps worth mentioning: eBay,, Wikipanion, 101 Classic Novels

    We never use it, but there is a free recipe app called epicurious that looks pretty neat.

  4. Michelle says

    My hunsband and I both linked our iphones to a google calendar so that when I enter an item he sees it immediately and vice versa. Nor more double booking our family! I love the 3-minute retreat app from Loyola Press. I use it every morning.

  5. says

    I love my touch, I haven’t quite figured out how to make it work as a PDA, but I’m going to try that.

    My favorite apps are Fluent News, Toy Story Mania (mindless game but fun), and Words With Friends (scrabble type game that you play with other ipod/iphone users – I’m addicted to this game).

    I like the Kindle app, but I prefer a book to the ipod to read LOL
    .-= Cara´s last blog ..Why women are the stronger sex… =-.

  6. Dawn Farias says

    I’m not familiar with the Touch but I have an iPhone and love the Pandora app. I’ll have to look into the iMissal. Sounds like a great one!
    .-= Dawn Farias´s last blog ..Wonderfully Dysfunctional – Custom Blog =-.

  7. Laurie says

    Buy a calendar app called Saisuke! It syncs with Google calendar. DH and I both got iTouches for each other for Mother’s/Father’s day last year and we both bought the app. Now we can sync both of our calenders to each other’s iPod and to our 15 year old’s Google calendar with one click. Love it! I totally resist buying apps and used the calendar that comes with the iTouch for two months but this one was well worth $9.99

  8. Laurie says

    One more – AIM. My husband was in the hospital 2 hours away from home. He was transferred to the CCU without a phone. Since the hospital has wireless we were able to communicate over AIM during the two days I was trapped at home in a snowstorm!

  9. says

    There is an app called Intuition that has to do lists, grocery list (it stores everything and you can check it off as you go), and maps and everything. I had it on my iPhone before it was stolen and I loved it. Getting used to life after iPhone stinks once you’ve incorporated it into all aspects of your life!

    I love this post. I’ll have to check out some of the apps you like.

  10. says

    I like being able to watch Netflix on it. I also love using the Kindle app :) So many free books including Christian books from Zondervan.

  11. says

    I just got an ipod touch for Christmas and am using most of what you mentioned. I especially love using it as a kindle. The column is nice and narrow and I can easily skim books faster than reading a real book.

    • says

      I just went and looked, and I’m not seeing a Lite version anymore. Sorry! But, I have to say that I’m loving the new “reminders” when I updated my phone recently. I think it showed up on my iPad too. If you haven’t looked at it yet, go check it out.

  12. Coni says

    Hi Angie,

    I have an iPod Touch and use it primarily as a PDA. Here are a few of my favorite apps (all free!) and the ways I use them:

    INTUITION – grocery list; errands
    EVERNOTE – driving directions; brands/colors of favorite products (i.e. makeup, household products, etc.); decorating ideas (include photos)
    CONVERT – converts measurements (distance, speed, volume, length, currency, etc.)
    GAS BUDDY – check local gas prices
    QUIK SCAN – scans barcodes & finds best prices/nearby locations
    KEY RING – stores all of my store cards (CVS, Kroger, Qdoba, etc.)

    I love having my camera, photos, music, contacts, calendar, alarm clock, and so much more with me at all times. The fact that I can jump online is a bonus! What’s not to LOVE about the iPod Touch?

  13. Mirissa says

    I can’t believe no one mentioned Cozi! I love the Cozi app as it has a calendar (and I can link it to my husband’s google calendar so I can see his stuff), grocery lists, journal, to do lists, and it’s online so you can see it from your computer where they have a meal planner, too. And they have an android version. Love it.