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How I achieved RTM and Palm Treo (and other devices) Datebook Wireless Syncing

wernst Pro says:

I've been using PalmOS devices since the Palm III, and wireless PalmOS devices since the Palm VIIx. I now use a Treo 650 (and I'll probably be getting a Centro in the next two weeks), and I really rely on it not only to organize my life, but to run my business too.

Using Palm's Todo Lists and Datebook (actually I use Agendus as replacement to the Palm Datebook application) was starting to get a little rough as my business and personal commitments started to get more numerous, and RTM came to my rescue.

Its wireless interface (at http://m.rememberthemilk.com/) is usable for "Todays Tasks" and "Tomorrow's Tasks" and for entering new items, but I was missing the Big Picture a good calendar view can give. Google Calendar was a good way to get than on my notebook and desktop computers, but Google Calendar's mobile view is just a listing of tasks for the next 5 days or so - there's really no good way to get a Big Picture view with it.

But I have found a way that works for me. Maybe it will work for you. It isn't free, but it isn't too expensive either. Here are the steps.

1. Set RTM to export only those items you want on viewable on a calendar.

Basically, I tag items I want on a calendar (be it a Google Calendar or my Palm) with a ".event" tag, though I guess a ".calendar" tag makes just as much sense. All .event items must have a due date (such as "Day at the Beach"), and those events that have a specific time should have a time too (such as "Meeting in room 5213").

Next, you need to make a SmartList that displays all items with a .event tag, which I'm going to assume you know how to do. Personally, I have three smartlists that grab items with .event AND @work, .event AND @home, and then one with just .event.

2. Set Google Calendar to grab your RTM .events

This is easy, and explained elsewhere, but basically you create one new calender for each of your .event SmartLists, using the "iCalendar (Events)" webcal link for each different SmartList.

For me, this makes three "Other Calendars" in Google Calendar: "Work Events," "Personal Events," and "Misc Events." I color code each of these calendars differently.

Note that Google seems to need about 3 or 4 hours before RTM items show up in a Google Calendar. Bummer.

3. Use GooSync to Syncronise all your Google Calendars to your handheld devices's Datebook.

GooSync is a service you sign up for at http://www.goosync.com/. The free service will do a two-way, over-the-air sync of your primary Google Calendar and your Palm (or other device's) Datebook, so it won't work here. The paid GooSync service will work with all your Google Calendars (like all your new RTM Calendars), and it costs about $40 a year, and it works fine.

I set GooSync to update every 6 hours or so automatically, but you can run it manually from your device too.

Though it is a two-way sync, note that it is a two-way sync between your Palm and Google Calendar, NOT RTM. That said, I normally add things to RTM via email on the Palm, or the Mobile RTM pages, and they just show up in my Palm Datebook a few hours later automatically, which is good enough for me.

4. Bonus: Automatically add descriptive icons to Datebook items in your Palm

As I mentioned earlier, I use Agendus, which is a Datebook replacement with a lot more features. One of these features is called "Vivid Agenda," which is really neat. You can tell it to look for certain words in your datebook appointments, and it will automatically associate an icon with that word. For example, it will look for the word "flight" and if it finds it, will add an airplane icon to the entry. You can add your own icon associations, such as displaying a soccer ball whenever it sees the word "soccer" in a datebook/RTM item.

Then when you look at the Month View in Agendus, you cans see descriptive icons for all your RTM items.

Agendus runs about $30.

Anyway, I know this was long winded, but perhaps it will help someone else. I know it isn't as good as a real RTM-for-PalmOS program, bit I find it almost as good, and best of all, it works right now.

Cheers,
Warr

Posted at 5:46am on June 2, 2008

robing34 says:

1. Set RTM to export only those items you want on viewable on a calendar.

How do I do this? I checked help and couldn't find anything. As it is, I only recently figured out that to export items using Firefox, I have to copy the webcal address into my browser's address box, then switch the webcal to https.

Anne B.

Posted 6 years ago

wernst Pro says:

Anne,

Please reread what I wrote under #1.

Basically, you tag all items you want to appear in the calendar with something. I use .event, but .calendar makes just as much sense. Then make sure the event you want on the calendar has a due date - this is the date that appears on the calendar.

Next, make a smartlist that displays nothing but those tasks with .event or .calendar.

RTM can export this smartlist as an iCal feed that Google can import with the "Add Calendar via URL" feature. Use the "iCalendar (Events)" webcal link from the smartlist to get a URL that Google Calendar can import.

If there is something that's confusing, please tell us exactly what step is causing the confusion. Please don't ask "How do I do this?" because I have now just told you how to do it twice now.

-Warr

Posted 6 years ago

br3nda says:

i'm lost still at step one..

in rtm I see tags and lists -- what's a "smartlist" ?? Can you describe there you create these?

Posted 6 years ago

raymond.bergmark ProPower Poster says:

Check this: www.rememberthemilk.com/help/answers/smartlists/whatare.rtm

Posted 6 years ago

patrick.mahoney says:

The link you send doesn't work. Also, do you know where I can find an article that describes in detail how Google Calendar can grab RTM .events?

Posted 6 years ago

patrick.mahoney says:

"This is easy, and explained elsewhere, but basically you create one new calender for each of your .event SmartLists, using the "iCalendar (Events)" webcal link for each different SmartList.
... Why do I need to use iCalendar to get my Google Calendar to show specific tasks?

Posted 6 years ago

wernst Pro says:

Help for smartlists:

http://www.rememberthemilk.com/help/answers/smartlists/whatare.rtm

Posted 6 years ago

wernst Pro says:

Nowhere did I say you need iCalendar.

When you are viewing a smartlist that has your .events in them, there is a link to the left that says:

"iCalendar (Events)"

Right-click that link and copy the URL to your clipboard.

Then go into your Google Calendar and create a new calendar from a URL. When prompted by Google, paste the URL that you just copied from the smartlist page.

-Warr

Posted 6 years ago

ryan8403 says:

Warr,

Thanks for the write up, yet another reason for me to keep goosync

ryan

Posted 6 years ago

folkmew Pro says:

Thanks VERY much! Glad I found this post.

Posted 5 years ago

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