Posted on Wed - January 2, 2008

Schedule Software - Updated

Thoughts on Apple's iCal

Thanks to my iBook hard disk issues, I ended up with a corrupted calendar on Artus iBook and no calendar at all on Romtix (my Palm). As I was going through and eliminating duplicate data and putting everything back in the right categories, I rethought how I use my schedule.

Even more than when I used a Daytimer, I live out of my Palm. It's all there. My schedule. My To Do list. My ticklers. My journal. My personal movie reviews. My call log. All memos I send, and the important business emails. The important memos and emails I receive. Meetings. Shopping lists. Orders that I expect. The TV shows I want to make sure I tape. Dates with appropriate notes. When I change my furnace filters. When I renew my car registration.


DateBk6 makes this manageable on the Palm side. Not only does it give the equivalent of highlighters and stickers and emphasized type, it really does a nice job of integrating the addresses and To Dos all into one display. DateBk6 also lets you mark events as "done" and then purge the completed events later.

That is one of the keys you see.

If you mark the routine and mundane as done, that gets purged. This would be something like an old shopping list or a television show that you have set the VCR to record. But notes on a personnel matter that you may be called on to testify about, that shouldn't be purged. So the important stuff, you never mark as done, while the stuff that you won't need after a few months, that gets marked "done" as soon as you have finished.

One thing I have discovered is that if I compose memos and business emails in my schedule software, I know I have a character limit so that forces me to keep things brief.

Let's look at how this works in iCal.

As you can see, I keep information on blog entries too. With FindHack installed, my Palm makes a better way to search than the iBlog on the Macintosh. The location has the blog name and title, essential since I have three blogs. I use the ending time for when I posted the blog entry. I put blog entries in my @Journal & Blogs category along with my personal journal. And for notes I use the Entry Abstract. The url and attendees don't transfer to Romtix, so I don't always use those fields.

The blog entry also shows what I call a "zero duration appointment." These start and end at the same time. Palm Desktop for Macintosh didn't handle ZDAs all that well, but iCal does just fine.

The entry for Benjamin Franklin's Passing Day has a few interesting points. First, the name is in <brackets> so I can use PhoneMagic to look up the contact information with just a couple of strokes of the stylus WITHOUT exiting DateBk6. The nonsense characters in the note field are actually used by DateBk6 to format the appointment for display on my Palm.

Once again, the things I want to keep I don't mark as completed. On the first of every month, I purge the completed items that are six months old or more.

There are some limitations that you should know about, all in the Palm OS.

With a simple text editor, you can edit any ics file so that it will begin and end when you want it. But the Palm OS doesn't like early dates and won't display a repeating event correctly if it begins prior to about 1920.

Speaking of repeating events, iCal gives two options, one of which does not work with Palm. The "From" and "To" must be on the same day (unless the event spans midnight), the "repeat" and "end" will generate multiple events that will transfer to the Palm.

The attendees and URL fields do not transfer to the Palm, but the location does. I encourage you to use it when you can. In combination with PhoneMagic, this can be really powerful and only three stylus strokes.

© 2005 - 2008 All Rights Reserved