Sunday, October 1, 2000

A Coola way to get information


By Dan Wolfson

As a Palm user, you're probably familiar with the three main ways to add information to your trusty PDA: tapping, typing, and beaming. Tapping (via Graffiti, Jot, or some other handwriting recognition software) is fine for small bits of information, but entering a long, convoluted URL with no mistakes can be a challenge. For a larger amount of data, typing into the Palm Desktop software on your PC is much easier. You have the benefit of a keyboard, cut and paste functions, and you can import data from other programs. Beaming (arguably the most fun) is handy for sending or receiving information between Palm devices.

But what if you're Web-surfing and find something you want to transfer to your Palm device? It would sure be great if you could just click a button and, "Make it so!" Likewise, when you get information in an email that you'd like stored in your Palm device, wouldn't it be cool to just click a button and be done?

Just one click

Meet Coola, a new way to add information from Web pages and email to your Palm device with just one click. It's at When a Web page is "Coola-ized" you'll see a bright, blue "Coo!a SYNC TO PALM" button like the one pictured in Figure A.


The Coola button lets you add information to your Palm device with just one click.

You just click the Coola button (or Coola link in an email message) and the pre-selected information is cached. The next time you do a HotSync, the information goes right into your Palm unit. Amazing!

We can expect to see Coola buttons popping up on more and more Web sites as this handy "click and sync" technology catches on with Palm device-savvy Web masters.

Where does it go?

As you would expect, events go into your Date Book, and both timed and un-timed events are supported. I loaded the Denver Broncos 2000 season schedule into my Date Book with one click. (You'll find all the NFL team schedules on Coola's Web site at Contact information goes into your Address Book. Notes and other text go into your Memo Pad.

If you want to see the information before you HotSync, you have to fill out the free registration to access the My Coola page. There, you can preview or delete the information before your next HotSync. I like to do this so I know exactly how the items are labeled, which makes them easy to find.

Sharing with others

So now you have a convenient way to get other people's information into your Palm unit. However, what if you have your own information that you want to share with other Palm device users, such as directions to your house, your contact information, or the meeting schedule of your Peripatetic Palm Purists Group? Coola to the rescue! They make it easy to create your own Coola links (called "Coolets") by filling out simple forms on the Coola Web site. The forms create a link to insert in your email or the code to include on your Web page. Then other Palm device users can "click and sync" your information into their Palm devices. One clever use of this is creating your own Coola signature to include in your email. It's the email equivalent of beaming your business card.