Friday, March 1, 2002

More on staying organized


By Michael Connick

My article in the February issue of PalmPower's Enterprise Edition, "A simple solution to staying organized," (at generated more email than any article I've ever written for PalmPower's Enterprise Edition. I must have stumbled onto a major concern of the readers of this magazine! Therefore, I'm going to elaborate on my approach to staying simply organized, and I'll answer some of the most common questions I received via email.

How do you synchronize email messages and Word documents?

I don't directly synchronize email and Word documents to my Palm handheld. Here's what I do instead:

For large Word documents, I use Wordsmith (at to synchronize with my Palm handheld. However, in most cases I'm only interested in saving copies of documents smaller than 4K in size or sections of larger documents. For these, I just copy or import the appropriate information into a Palm Desktop Memo. Although I run Outlook 2000 on my work system, I've found it to be more trouble than it's worth for synchronizing. So I synchronize with my Palm handheld using the Palm Desktop application.

For importing email messages, I use a Windows macro package called KeyText 2000 (at I've set it up to automatically import and reformat email messages into Palm Desktop Memos. This software only costs $25 and is a real boon for automating any repetitive tasks you may have to perform on your Windows computer. The reason I use the macro package instead of just copying and pasting an email message into a Palm Desktop Memo is that it imports the entire email message, including the headers. Just copying and pasting the message would only save the message body, without including the From, To, Date, and Subject header fields.

For those of you who might be interested in using this package, below is the KeyText command I use for automatically copying an Outlook 2000 email message into a Palm Memo:

&#123Alt F&#125A&#123Tab&#125t&#123Return&#125&#123Shift Tab&#125c:&#92temp&#92emailMsg&#123Return&#125&#123Pause 1&#125&#123Click "Yes"&#125&#123Run "^Palm Desk" "C:&#92Program Files&#92Sony Handheld&#92palm.exe"&#125&#123Alt F&#125I&#123Tab&#125TT&#123Shift Tab&#125c:&#92temp&#92emailMsg&#123Click "Open"&#125&#123Pause 1&#125&#123Click "OK"&#125&#123Pause 2&#125&#123Click "OK"}

For this macro to operate correctly you'll need to have a directory called "temp" on your C drive that contains a file named "emailMsg.txt" in it. This file can contain anything you like the first time you create it. After that, it will automatically be reused by the KeyText macro to hold a complete copy of your current email message, including all the headers, for import into a Palm Memo. Also, you'll need to change the path shown for the "palm.exe" program to the correct path on your particular machine. Finally, make sure that the Palm Desktop application is set up with the Memo Pad as the Startup Application. You can do this by using the Option menu of the Palm Desktop program.