Ask what remodelers use their handhelds for and the answer might be "not much." These Palm operating system applications will transform your under-used PDA into a pocket workhorse:

Grab your e-checkbook. If you use Quicken for accounting, Landware's Pocket Quicken lets you enter job receipts or payments on the job, then sync up with your office computer with one click. $39,

Take it "to go." Cutting Edge Software's QuickOffice lets you view and edit Microsoft Word and Excel documents on your PDA -- perfect for fill-in-the-blank change orders or preliminary budgets while walking a site. At $39, it's half the price of competing Documents to Go.

Track the details. Punch List tracks completion details on your projects, syncs with scheduling software, and generates fax or e-mail reminders for whomever is responsible. At $199, it might be more than you need. Check Strata Systems' Straw Boss, which performs many of the same functions without the desktop component or notification features. $19.95,

--Joe Stoddard is a technology consultant to the construction industry, [email protected].