Posted on Sat - April 29, 2006

Business memos in the date book

I use DateBk5 as my central Palm application, this is where I keep all my information. Of course I have DateBk5 set to integrate my To Do list into one display. With PhoneMagic, I can put brackets <> around contact names so I can instantly call up contact info without exiting DateBk5. But that is only part of my bag of tricks. With a little bit of effort, I can link memos and emails so they are accessible from the DateBk5 application.

Start by making an appointment for the memo on the day you sent it. One key is making sure the appointment name is complete and unconfusing, for example something like this:

Memo to <Jack Smith> RE: Product Shipping (March 2006 delays)

As long as you are under the 255 character limit, you can get pretty detailed. I always use the same RE: that I have in the memo, but the bit in parentheses is my own addition to narrow it down a bit more.

And again, the name in the <brackets> matches the name in my address book so I can look up contact information with a penstroke.

The next key is to keep your memos short and to the point. Half page memos cover most business situations, full page memos cover most of the rest, longer than that and you are in a report.

Mark your appointment "Done."

HotSync your Palm.

Call up the appointment in Palm Desktop. It will have a memo attached called "Handheld Note; Datebook," open this memo up.

Don't rename the memo. Don't change the date or time. Don't change the categories.

Don't change that first line of text that looks like gibberish, this is the formating information that DateBk5 uses.

That way, the memo stays attached to the appointment on your Palm.

Hit return twice after the last character on the first line.

Copy paste the actual memo text into the Palm memo.

HotSync again.

That's it, and now the memo is in the DateBk5 application where you can get to it.

Obviously you can also use it for important emails or for memos people send you.

I got into the habit of doing something like this back when I still used a DayTimer. I would put copies of the memos I sent and received in the appropriate calendar page. This is just an updated version of the same idea.

I've written on my favorite third party Palm software. DateBk5 replaces the standard Palm Date Book and To Do List applications. PhoneMagic replaces the standard Palm Address application.

You can find newly revised additional instructions in my entry Making the most of your Palm - Revised.

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