Monday, August 9, 2010

Pimlical to Google Calendar

With 10 years of data in my Palm calendar, I still had quite the battle ahead of me using Pimlical. I'm hoping that this will help someone not go through everything that I had to go through.

Once you open Pimlical, ALL your Palm calendar data is already there (it uses the same databases as Palm).

I never used Categories on my Palm. Every single entry was "Unfiled." So, the first thing I had to do was figure out how I wanted to break up the data into manageable chunks (the limit for any google calendar is 10K appointments, so 5K is probably a good number). I (thanks to the Pimlico developers suggestion) decided on 2-3 year chunks. I did Before 2000 (since I got my first Palm in 2000, there shouldn't be much on it), 2000-2003, 2004-2005, 2006-2007, 2008-2009, 2010-2011.

Then, go into Google Calendar and create these calendars (dashes aren't supported), so I did Before2000, 20002003, 20042005, 20062007, 20082009, 20102011.

Now, back in Pimlical, go to File->Google Calendars.
Check the "Show" and "Sync" boxes for your new google calendars. Note the "Category" name (should be G_GOOGLECALNAME). Click OK.

Now, when you create or change a calendar item in Palm Desktop or Pimlical in that category, it will sync with your google calendar(s) (when you do File->Google Calendars->OK).

"You can change the default creation category (Options | Preferences - use Find button to locate the preference DefaultApptCategory) to create an item directly in a google calendar and you may want to do that if by default you want all newly created items to appear in Google calendar." (From Pimlical)

Changing multiple items' categories.

"Suppose you have several items in Pimlical that you now want to appear in Google Calendar. You would need to assign a google calendar to each item. You can either do that one at a time if there are only a few of them, or you can take advantage of Pimlical's ability to change the category of a large number of items in a single step, either replacing an existing category or appending a category to existing categories.

Example, you have a bunch of items in the categories PERSONAL and BIRTHDAYS in Pimlical and want every item in those two categories to appear in a Google Calendar called MyCalendar. If you have set up to sync with this calendar [as we did above], you will find a category called G_MyCalendar in Pimlical. What you need to do is assign the G_MyCalendar category to every item in the PERSONAL and BIRTHDAYS categories:

1. Click on Advanced Find
2. Click on CLEAR button (to clear ALL filters)
3. Click on Tab: Categories & Icons
4. Click on the area where the assigned categories are listed (underneath the radio buttons)
5. Select the PERSONAL and BIRTHDAYS categories (make sure the radio button: IN ANY OF THESE CATEGORIES is selected)
6. Click on FIND - this puts all items in those two categories into the Display Results dialog
7. Click on CHANGE button to change every single item
8. Click on Category button
9. Click on G_MyCalendar category (again - whatever the category name is
for YOUR Google calendar and make sure no other categories are assigned
(such as unfiled).
10. Click on ADD checkbox so this category is ADDED to the current category
list (so it stays assigned also to the PERSONAL and/or BIRTHDAYS categories.)
11.Click on OK

Now every single item in the CALLS category has also been assigned to the
G_MyCalendar category and will appear in that google calendar on the next sync.

Note that if you routinely want everything in a local category to also appear in Google Calendar, you may want to use the preference option: AssignPimlicalCategoryToGC set to True. What this does is automatically create a LOCAL category in Pimlical that matches the Google Calendar Category, so assigning an item to that local category will also result in it being assigned to the Google Calendar as well. This is especially useful if you want an item in Google Calendar to also appear on a Palm Handheld as it must be in the local Pimlical database to get synced to the handheld." (From Pimlical)

What if all (10+ years of) events are Unfiled and you want to break them up like I did?

Here is Pimlical's advice (paraphrased):

You need to separate out the events. If you have not categorized your calendar AT ALL (or they are all in the same category), then at the very least, you should separate them off by date. Chances are 80% or more of your calendar is in the past and rarely gets looked at, so I suggest you setup a couple of archive calendars in Google Calendar with a name like: Before2000 and Before2009 and then just put items from 2010 on (plus all repeat events) into a current calendar. that should be a lot more manageable.

You can isolate those events pretty easily using Pimlical's advanced Find by doing something like:
1. Go into Advanced Find and click on Clear button to remove all filters
2. Click on Date/time tab and select start date of 1900 (i.e. earliest date) and end date of 31-dec-1999 (this for the calendar Before2000).
3. Click on Regular Appts. tab and for Repeat, leave only NONE selected (removes all repeat events) [I left the repeats in, hence why I broke it up into 2 year chunks]
4. Click on Find, and in the Display Results dialog, check the size of the calendar - you really want to keep these calendars below about 4,000 events for best performance in Google Calendar
5. click on Change.

Now assign all these events to the Google calendar which would be something like G_Before2000 by clicking on the Categories & Icons tab, clicking on Categories and selecting just that one category. Then click on OK."

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