Thursday, August 19, 2010

Handyshopper to ToMarket

I am not the only one that is heartbroken that the maker of HandyShopper has expressed no interest in making an app for Droid. I have used it for years, and the only thing I didn’t like about it was not being able to edit it on my desktop.

So, I looked at several other shopping apps (Grocery King, OI Shopper, Dr. Shopper, Upvise, Our Groceries, Hungry, Andyshopper) and ToMarket (free for Lite, or $3.99 for Pro) is the most Handyshopper-like app I could find. And bonus - you can edit it via a csv file on your computer, but it’s still not easy to add things to the list.

However, I did successfully add all 1500+ of my Handyshopper items to ToMarket, and while it did take some time, it wasn’t all that hard.

How to import your Handyshopper lists from your Palm to ToMarket on your Droid:

  1. Export each of your Handyshopper store lists to your Memos, using either dashes or bullets (I unchecked everything, I didn’t care about prices or aisles, but I imagine you can tweak these steps to add whatever you like from HS).
  2. Sync your Palm with your computer.
  3. On your computer, open a Word Doc (or even Notepad) and cut & paste each file into the document.
  4. Do a “Find & Replace” to “replace” all the dashes or bullets with nothing (deleting the dashes/bullets).
  5. Do a “Find & Replace” to “replace” all the commas (“,”) with “@comma@” (not in quotes).
  6. If you have any multiple line items (like I used to paste entire recipes into my shopping lists), make them one line.

    If you have this:

    Change to:
    Flour & Sugar & Eggs
    Flour @comma@ Sugar @comma@ Eggs

    (Whatever, just keep it on one line!)
  7. On your Droid, download ToMarket (either the “Lite” or “Pro”).
  8. Open it, and add each of your stores (They are the titles of each of your Memos): Menu button ->More->Store Maintenance.
  9. For each of your Databases (I had “General” and “Christmas”) in HS, make that a List title in TM: Menu button->Switch Lists->Create a New List
  10. Helpful hint: Add a couple items manually on your Droid to each List (so when you open the CSV file, there’s data in there to kind of guide you).
  11. Export the Database: Menu button->More->Tools->Preferences->Export Database (Click OK)
  12. Hook up your Droid (as a USB drive) via USB to your computer. Go to the ToMarket\export folder and you’ll find the ToMarket.csv file. Copy this to your desktop, and make a backup copy somewhere else (just in case you mess up the first file.)
  13. Back on your computer, open the file… How the .csv file is laid out is explained by ToMarket here, along with some tips on how data should be entered (some we fixed in steps 5 & 6 above). Note that Column A is your “List” names, and Column B is your item names, and Column D is the store names (separated by semicolons).
  14. From the Word doc, paste one of your lists (except the first line (store name)) into Column B under the items you had manually entered on your Droid.
  15. Edit Column D with “All;Storename;” (If you have something that you want to appear on multiple store lists, like toothpaste, change it to “All;DrugstoreName;GroceryStoreName;” or whatever (Note: If you had an item on multiple store lists in HS, it will be showing up in each exported Memo – you can delete the multiples of the items, you just need one, as long as you change the store names to the ones you want it to show up in).
  16. You can also edit the other columns if you want (or just fill down each column so it matches what’s above it).
  17. Once your file is complete (or if you just want to do a test run), save and close the file, and move the file back onto the Droid via the USB (replacing the old one).
  18. IMPORTANT: Disconnect the Droid from the computer!
  19. Open ToMarket on the Droid.
  20. Import the file: Menu button->More->Tools->Preferences->Import Database. This may take a while, depending how many entries you have (I had 1500, so it took a few minutes).
  21. Everything should be in ToMarket! (Note: If you open your file and notice weird names (“Flour” “Butter” “Sugar” “Eggs” for example) for stores or lists, go back and do steps 5 & 6 – Remember: NO Commas, and No multiple line items!)

The whole process was relatively easy (especially compared to the time I had moving my calendar to Google Calendar), just took some time. I also found it pretty forgiving, like when I didn’t remove all the commas, and had items on multiple lines in the cell in the csv file.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oooooo Swyping!

I had read about Swype in several places before getting my Droid X, but I didn't mess around with it until recently. And wow!

On the Droid X, Swype was already part of the system - it is the alternative to the regular keyboard. It works by apparent magic, remembering words you entered (I use a lot of shorthand that the regular keyboard kept "correcting" for me), and just somehow "knowing" what word you want to enter. It's fun, too.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Outlook & Google Calendar & Droid Calendar

The easiest way to sync your Outlook and Google Calendar is via Google Calendar Sync. However, it has many unresolved issues (for me, it only syncs calendar events that I created - not any of the meetings I was invited to).

As long as your Outlook Calendar is your work calendar (or maybe even if not), you can use these steps to set up your Corporate Email on your Droid, and that will give you the option of adding your Corporate Contacts and Calendar onto your Droid. Works perfectly.

Since I really just want them on my Droid (since I can check my Outlook calendar and my Google Calendar (separately) pretty easily on my PC), I'm ok with this.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Remember the Milk... for $25 a year

I just paid the yearly $25 fee for Remember the Milk. Yes, I think that fee is a little inflated, but it is simply the best task app out there. I'm hoping that Pimlical comes to Droid soon, or IRT Calendar steps up it's game with floating events (and the ability to Exchange sync would be nice too).

I miss free to-dos and floating events on Palm. :(

Searching & Texting

Oh, how I miss the magnifying glass search tool on my Palm!

For Droid - I use PowerSearch (free) to search the entire Droid, and Calendar Companion ($1.99) to search your Google Calendar that's stored online (not just what's in your droid). With Calendar Companion, you can only search for one word phrases.


Since I like to read texts immediately when I get them (as I would think most people do), I was pretty surprised that the default Text Messaging app did not have an option for the texts to "Pop up" as you received them. Luckily, Handcent SMS (free) does just that. The interface also looks a bit more like the Iphone text messsaging.

Memos/Notes Apps

Coming from Palm Desktop with over 400 memos, it was important to me to have a way to easily get all the memos to the Droid, and still have a way to edit them on my desktop. I am constantly cutting and pasting various recipes and travel information in there, and I needed access from anywhere. I didn't think that was much to ask for, but it took me way longer than it should have to find a suitable app.

I tried:
  • Note Everything - Notes are only editable on Droid
  • Goo Memo - seemed promising, since it uses an editable .xls file in Google Docs, but everytime I tried to cut and paste my memos in, it would truncate SOME of them, but not all. FAIL.
  • GDocs Notepad - everytime you opened a note on the Droid, it had to load it in from Google Docs, and it was way. too. slow.
  • Evernote - Fully editable through desktop application, but only able to “Append Text” on Droid, also really slow to load each note.
  • Noteworthy Pro - I couldn’t find it in the Market.

And the winners were:

  • 3banana / - It syncs with (although you have to tell it to sync), and you can use # tags to Categorize your memos. I did have to individually cut and paste all 400+ of my memos, but it really didn’t take all that long. It's a little painful to have to scroll through pages of memos on snaptic, but you can search to find the one you want, also.
  • BFolders - Made to store passwords, but can store memos too. It is password-protected, and there is a desktop application you can download to edit files on your desktop. However, you have to initially turn OFF your firewall to sync the first time and since I sync at work, I couldn't do that. So, I do keep my private memos and passwords in there.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Splashmoney for Droid

I was just trying to find details on importing my SplashMoney data into EasyMoney, when I found this:

Per a post on this Splashdata forum, an email on 8/2 said that "SplashMoney is currently in beta testing and should be available in a few weeks."

This makes me a happy girl, and I can live with SplashMoney Desktop for a few weeks while I wait.

9/2/10 - Update - It's here!