Nice editorial :)
Hah- And I thought I was the only one who faced the same problem!
I get concerned about things in the long run. After many years of going from different OS's, programs, formats etc, I pay close attention to 'exportability'. I don't use an addressbook built-in to a mail client, because it means I'll have to start the program up to lookup an address, it typically has light, if not nil support for exporting to other formats, and you usually can't open the data files, say if the poo hit the aircon and you were dragging config files out in a recovery procedure. This was the reason I used basic programs or scripts instead of heavy or advanced gui-based apps. Of course, it all depends on the mail client, and various other factors, but most would agree they're only there to save entering the same email address continuously.
Eventually (after searching through old, new, console, and x programs), I got myself a PalmPilot. Initially I didn't think I had much use for them, but after a year and a half of using one, I can honestly say they're great PIM's :)
Refusing to change the 'topic' (there are enough 'I love my PDA' pages out there), I keep all my 'personal info' on my PalmPilot. I use it to store addresses, birthdays (which is simply a program that reads the 'Birthday' fields of the address book, and inserts events into the-), datebook/schedule, general notes (eg email drafts), 'small' databases such as reg codes or moderator logs, passwords (heavily encrypted of course), and lists of todo's (household tasks, stuff I forget to do, etc), to name a few.
It syncs to my desktop easily, so I can enter data both at the computer and out somewhere (very few ppl spend their entire day in front of their own computer)- Underestimatively (is that a word?) useful for the occasions where you want to store or retrieve someones info at, say, a coffee shop or similar.
The desktop client I use has few dependancies, and exports to commonly used formats, so when I eventually move on, or my PalmPilot dies, I wont spend days re-entering everything.
I have a mobile phone, and although having a PalmPilot adds to the `daily loadout weight`, it saves entering large amounts of numbers into an inefficient 15 key device, aimed at showing cute little animations over speed and efficiency. Besides that, I can keep just 1 big address list, instead of looking after a mobile for phone no's, a book for birthdays, MUA addr book for emails, etc.
> You forgot one of the most useful free
> palm applications ever made. Strip.
> (Secure Tool for Recalling Important
> Passwords). It keeps track of all your
> passwords and encrypts the whole thing
> with 256bit encryption (AES) and best of
> all it is free and GPLed.
> It's made by a group named Zetetic
> Enterprises. I use it every day to keep
> track of the 50+ usernames and passwords
> I have.
I havnt tried Strip, but I can highly recommend Keyring ( http://sourceforge.net/projects/gnukeyring/ ). Its encrypted with the most trusted algorithm with cryptographers, TripleDES