I like SkyTools 3 Standard Edition. It is not just for planning. I can now easily organize handwritten observing notes with lists and notes. I didn't start looking for carbon stars right away. In mid-January 2008, my notes mention W Ori - probably my first carbon star. (Can almost five years be described as "several" years?)
I would like to get my carbon star observations up to 50. That would be respectable. I know about the Astronomical League's Carbon Star Observing Program - 100 carbon stars! But with binoculars? With reportedly 6891 carbon stars, maybe I can do it!
My November 3rd notes show that I saw T Lyr with my Fujinon 10x50 FMT-SX. I think my first T Lyr observation was last year - probably with my Pentax 20x60 PCF WP II. (Got to get those notes in order!)
Finding carbon stars is also good practice for other targets. Finding starfield patterns or "mini-asterisms" is crucial, and sometimes it takes a few star hops to get the exact field of view. That's the challenge I love!
When observing the more deeply red carbon stars, I often notice a slight delay until the carbon star is most visible. I assume this subjective, visual experience is tied to the Purkinje effect.
V Hya, R Lep and T Lyr are most notable for this effect. I have never found a description, formulation or reference of this visual time delay. It seems that the visual lag occurs as we balance between the realms of the cones and rods.
I can observe some carbon stars with handheld binoculars (for example, UU Aur, W CMa and W Ori), but many require mounted observation with, if at all possible, the necessary binocular.
Here's a good list from the North Central Kansas Astronomical Society: NCKAS Carbon Stars
I think this carbon star list from Christian Buil may be most helpful for binocular observers. I found it yesterday or the day before. The list is "adapted from Stephenson, 1989, catalogue of Cool Galactic Carbon Stars (2 Ed.) and contain[s] carbon stars brighter th[a]n Mv<8.5"