Friday, August 15, 2008

Palm tasks moved to iPhone ToDo - sort of

The battle was every bit as nasty as I expected.

I knew the ailing Palm E2 would not go softly into the night. It did not disappoint.

I was trying to move about 300 tasks into Toodledo. I first tried using Toodledo Sync (I don't care for the "toodle" name), but after an hour or two of meaningless error messages I gave up [1]. Toodledo Sync is very raw.

The tasks are in Outlook and the Palm, so I figured I'd use the Outlook CSV option. I knew that would mess up the notes however - CSV can't handle embedded paragraph returns.

Then I read this option:
Toodledo :: Import To-Do List: "Synchronize Toodledo with your Palm OS based PDA. Be sure to read the step by step instructions before you begin."
You have to export as a "To Do" archive, not the more modern Task archive. So I figured I'd switch sync from Outlook to the Palm Desktop and then export from Palm.

That was a nasty mess. The Palm world is pretty decrepit. Turns out I read the wrong help file, Palm Desktop 4.1.4E allows switching between Outlook and Palm -- though it's poorly documented. Anyway, I downloaded, tried to do a repair, ran into problems, etc, etc. Two hours, eight reboots and removing several old bits of software trash I completely uninstalled Palm Desktop and reinstalled.

That worked. So now I synched the Palm to a completely fresh Palm Desktop data file.

I exported as a "To Do" (not Task) archive and loaded into Toodledo.

Miraculously it seemed to work. The notes seem to be intact. The Palm categories become ToodleDo folders. ToodleDo's priorities are reversed from Outlook/Palm, so 1 becomes low and 3 becomes high (weird).

Unfortunately To Dos without a date were assigned a 2031 date. I don't know if this is a Palm bug or a ToodleDo bug, but it's very annoying. The ToodleDo interface is very Web 1.0, I don't see a quick way to fix the date attributes. I'm also disappointed by what appears to be an inability to filter by folder, but I really haven't worked with it enough yet. (This looks like an intractable problem, so it might be a killer. It's hard to give up on Outlook's task management power.)

The priority settings on are yet different -- more like Outlook I think. I'm not sure I've got this quite right; I'm getting a headache!

Ok, this is really hard ...

[1] See this Apple discussion thread:

Error initializing connections...Could not initialize Outlook proxy
SynchLib:synchronizeTasks() method called
SyncApp.exe Error: 0 : Error during synchronization SyncTool not initialized at SynchLib.SyncTool.synchronizeTasks()
at SyncApp.frmOptions.backgroundWorker1_DoWork(Object sender, DoWorkEventArgs e)

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