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Replacing Palm PDA with Android smartphone

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  • Replacing Palm PDA with Android smartphone

    I am finally considering to retire my third Palm Tungsten E in favour of an Android smartphone. I have been a Palm user since 1998 when I bought my first Palm III, and I have been using the DateBk3-DateBk6 PIM software from Pimlico Software from the day that I found it, and DateBk6 outplays any PIM application I have seen on any smartphone so far. Now when Pimlico Software has released Pimlical for Android, I am seeing the light in the end of the tunnel...

    I have a rather tricky setup today:
    At work I use Microsoft Outlook on Exchange and this is where I keep all my tasks with Projects and NA as well. I also have a personal folder with private calendars that I sync with ~8 google calendars (one for each family member (=5), and some extra) using companionlink. I use Pocketmirror Professional to synk all my calendars and tasks to my Palm today (over USB)

    I also use Microsoft OneNote for reference data/meeting notes on my work PC, and frequently use the hot keys for creating tasks while taking notes in OneNote. These tasks will end up with no category assigned and will be treated as new unprocessed data in the "task inbox".

    The most important use of my Palm is as a trusted calendar and as a capture tool. For the calendar tool, I trust that I can get the Pimlical to work as DateBk6, but what can be used instead of the Notepad application? I have peeked at Evernote, but it seems much more complex, and I want the speed and simplicity of the Palm. In less than a few seconds, I can get the Palm out of my pocket, hit the notepad button, pull out the pen and scribble something in the Notepad app for later processing.

    Any suggestions for what to go for (both in HW and SW)? I will probably still use my ordinary cell phone and use the Android smartphone with only a data subscription, as I don't want to be interrupted while working with my PDA
    Last edited by TomasGardstrom; 03-08-2012, 12:33 PM. Reason: Small correction in text

  • #2
    Scribbling notes "on modern mobile devices"

    Hi Tomas
    Scribbling notes gives nice feelings - I enjoyed this on my former Windows Mobile device. However, on Android - the screen uses another technology and does not require to use a stylus (with the thin tip) - and I found this bad. You can get "stylus" for modern screens but thy seem to look like a wooden stick - they do not give you the precision and do not give you the feeling of scribbling.

    Finally I found a solution - GTD NoteTaker Wallet - works really well - it is fast, always at hand and saves batteries of my mobile.



    • #3

      I was a Palm die-hard who missed the platform alot after I moved to a Blackberry (very disappointing in comparison). Much to my surprise, when I finally got an android smartphone, I got to relive all the excitement and wonder of finding a new device that was so clever, and had so many smart people creating clever applications for it (just like the Palm!).

      For "scribbled notes", I use apMemo... works just fine

      good luck!


      • #4
        apMemo and Outlook task sync to smartphone

        Originally posted by Paper Ninja View Post
        For "scribbled notes", I use apMemo... works just fine
        Thanks for the tip. It seems to be what I have been looking for. I realized that I sometimes use the alarm feature for a note in Notepad (if I e.g. need to be reminded of something in just a few hours from capturing it), and apMemo seems to support that.

        My next thing to look into would be how to sync the tasks from Outlook to the smartphone so that Pimlical can access the data. I would like to do a point-to-point sync computer-smartphone without involving the cloud. Does anyone have a tip how to do this?


        • #5
          Finally getting this project started...

          Ok, now I finally have started to get this project running. The Android phone is bought (Sony Ericsson Neo), and I have started to try it out to get it working for my GTD system. I have Pimlical installed and it worked "out of the box" the way I wanted. I will probably use "MyPhoneExplorer" to sync the local calendar in Outlook with the Neo (haven't tried it yet).

          The next app I need is a task app that can synk to all my tasks in Outlook. I have ~1000 active tasks (including a lot of tasks in Someday/Maybe category), and they are of course categorized with context. I don't wan't to go out and buy tenths of apps just to find one, but I am willing to pay for a good app. Syncing over USB/Bluetooth is good enough, WiFi will not be possible at work due to WiFi security reasons. Any suggestions?

          SymTasks seems to be a good task app, but it has not so many reviews on Android Market. Is there anyone here that has tried it and could give an opinion?

          I will use my Palm until the Neo is setup good enough to replace it, so it is not crucial whether an app works ok when I am trying it out. I will only test it with "fake" data.


          • #6
            Originally posted by NelsonSteve
            There is no comparison with both of them since the h/w and s/w differs. I will prefer Android smart phone.


            • #7
              Originally posted by TomasGardstrom View Post
              The most important use of my Palm is as a trusted calendar and as a capture tool. For the calendar tool, I trust that I can get the Pimlical to work as DateBk6, but what can be used instead of the Notepad application? I have peeked at Evernote, but it seems much more complex, and I want the speed and simplicity of the Palm.
              I feel your pain. My Palm III was the best, most trusted device I ever had. I loved graffiti, I could enter free form data directly into my system almost as fast as writing it on paper. I'm into Evernote on Android now, for the 3rd time and it's mostly working this time. Evernote can be much more complex, but, it doesn't need to be. I finally realized that this time around. It's not perfect, I especially find that it requires a lot of clicks to get to the view of my lists sometimes. I does have seamless ubiquitous access that Palm never did. I have the client on both my work and home PCs, there is always the web interface, and of course, my Android. I've installed the "Clip to Evernote" plugin in my browsers, which is incredibly powerful and saves a lot of cutting, pasting and reformatting when capturing information from the web. I still carry a small note pad around the office for data capture, then process the notes when I return to my desk.

              If you're at all interested in Evernote, check out this video:

              My system is very close, although my GTD contexts are simpler. I just have a GTD, Reference and In Box notebooks, using tags for my contexts. All my action lists are in the GTD notebook, but I can still tag support material in the Reference notebook with GTD contexts.


              • #8
                Follow up on setting up GTD system on Android

                After a lot of obstacles and issues beyond my control (such as the outsourcing of the business I worked in), I have finally prioritized to get my Android phone in shape to be able to drop my old Palm Tungsten E that has served me very well for many years.

                My current application as a capturing tool on the Android is apMemo (registered for a few dollars). It has the most important features as the Notepad application on the Palm; i.e. date and time stamp for new memos and notification for notes that will risk not to be processed until they are due.

                For syncing between Outlook and Android, I use Companionlink Pro (upgraded from earlier version for not so few dollars...). I needed the Pro version to be able to create different profiles; one for syncing Google Calendars to my local .pst-file for use in Outlook to see my family appointments side by side with my work appointments, and another for syncing work calendar, tasks and notes to my Android.

                On the Android I also use DejaOffice, (the app suite that is created to work with Companionlink as there is e.g. no native tasks app in Android). I only use the DejaTasks and DejaMemos features in DejaOffice.

                For the calendar I use Pimlical (from CESD at Pimlico Software, the same developer that developed DateBk6 that I used on the Palm for many years). Pimlical is not yet really on par with the DateBk6 application, but it has so many features and configurations. When the filtering setup functionality will be included in Pimlical/Android it will be as good as DateBk6 with its view setup. As I have ~10 calendars that I sync to my handheld, I want to be able to quickly filter out the relevant appointments. Today, filtering needs to be setup within Pimlical/Desktop (which I do not use) and then copied to the handheld.

                Another of my critical apps on the Palm was Secret!, that I used to store passwords in an encrypted database. Accompanied with the Desktop application for Windows, I'm all set again with the Secret! app for Android.

                I ditched my initial idea to use a separate cellphone and the Android as a PDA only, and I use the Android phone for all the stuff. Anyhow, there are not so many phone calls nowadays and with a good BT headset from Jabra it works fine.