Sunday, November 23, 2008

Migrating from Palm Calendar to Google Calendar and iPhone

Here are the free steps to migrate from Palm's date book (or Pimlico's DateBk6) calendar to Google calendar for full iPhone sync.

First, sync Palm with Palm Desktop.

Next, open Palm Desktop, select the Calendar view, navigate to File | Export, select Export Type as Date Book Archive, Range as All and provide a file name. This will export the calendar data as Date Book Archive (.dba).

There's a paid tool called DBA2CSV that converts .dba files to .csv files. However this can be done for free using Yahoo Calendar. Login into Yahoo Calendar and via Settings/Import, import the .dba file. It helps to have an empty Yahoo Calendar. Via Settings/Export, export the calendar as .csv file.

Login to Google Calendar (also works with Google Apps For Your Domain GAFYD Calendar) and import the .csv file into any of the calendars. It is a good idea to create a test calendar and test the import before importing into your real calendar. That way if anything goes wrong, you can delete the test calendar.

Follow the instructions here to create an account at NuevaSync and setup sync on the iPhone.

Seems like a lot of steps but it's a pretty smooth and free migration, after which you have a calendar that's accessible on the cloud and on the iPhone, with the iPhone's builtin alert mechanisms. If you have any difficulty with any step, post a comment.


Martin said...

How can I do it the other way around???
I would like to update my palm handheld with the entries I made in my Google agenda...

Anonymous said...

GooSync offers syncing of Google Calendar to Palm devices.

Martin said...

Okay - at least it is something...
Unfortunately it's only sync. 30 days in advance... but at least that's already something.

Thanks for your help!


Unknown said...

Something must've changed. My Palm calendar dba file won't upload to Yahoo! I get this error msg:

Yahoo! Calendar Problem (code 0)
The file was not imported or was the wrong format, please check your file.

Tried with IE v6 and Firefox v3, using Palm Desktop v4.1.4 to create the export dba file.

Anonymous said...

I also had a problem with the Yahoo import. I broke down and bought dba2csv for $25 US, and it worked perfectly. One caveat: after loading the dba file, remember to adjust time from GMT to your local time zone and hit "recalculate". Otherwise, Google thinks all your calendar events are based on GMT.

Anonymous said...

Thanks much - this was a lifesaver!

I had to fiddle with the time zones in the Yahoo calendar to get it right, but it worked out perfectly in the end.

Sara said...

Dear Technobabbler,

Well, it turns out Yahoo does not like Palm Desktop 6.2.2 (Windows Vista). Yahoo wants an older version of the .dba file. I went to our old Mac, synced my Palm Treo 650 there, exported to vCal format. Then I imported that vCal file to iCal on Mac. For some reason this process corrupts some of the entries that were "repeat every day until" on my Treo, and they repeated every day forever! I manually fixed those in iCal (argh), then exported again, this time to iCal format from iCal (no other choice :-) ). After about two hours of pain (not counting the time I spent thrashing around on the web in both Palm and Google support sites) I was finally able to import my iCal file to Google Calendar (which I've already got syncing to my new iPhone). Finally, I think I'm done with Treo 650 -> iPhone 3Gs calendar migration. Thanks for the encouragement.

Btw-I tried signing up for Goosync, but never received the account activation email. At least now I don't need it. Sigh.

I knew there was a reason I had been dragging my feet on getting the iPhone!

Iain McP. said...

Mark - I tried to do the import of the dba file I created and got exactly the same message as you reported.

Does anyone know what I am doing wrong or need to do differently?

I managed to import the contacts OK, but no luck yet with calendar.


Unknown said...

@Sara: Good to know that about the older version of the .dba file.

@Mark, @Iain: I wonder if you are encountering the same issue as Sara. Perhaps you need an older version of the .dba file.

Mary said...

I've created the .dba file from my Palm Desktop. When I import it into Yahoo, it only imports 120 events from 3 years worth of calendar. When I export the calendar into a .csv file, it indeed only has 120 events. After reading the comments here, I suspect that I need to save each years events as a separate .dba file, but don't see any obvious way to accomplish this in Palm. Any magic?

Neil Gerstenberg said...

Thanks for mentioning Dba2Csv :-)

As the developer I recently added support for Palm Desktop 6 to migrate Palm calendars directly into Google: each category can be exported into a new color-coded Google Calendar, and there's no need to worry about the infamous Google Calendar Quota as the Palm2Google tool (included for free with Dba2Csv) will save your sessions so you can try again at a later date without creating duplicate entries.

One thing I should also mention that you omit in this article is that although Palm Desktop version 4.1.4 and 6.2 look similar, and both use the .dba file extension, they actually use a completely different format to store data. As a result many users waste hours, for example, trying to use Yahoo import with PD v6 files...

Anonymous said...

@Neil: Thanks for that crucial information about Palm Desktop 4.1.4 v 6.2. I'm only familiar with Palm Desktop versions till 4.x.

Martha Huizenga said...

@Neil: I'm considering buying a Droid and would be using your product. I have Palm Desktop 6.2.2. I'm not ready to convert yet, but would like to try it first and then reupload later. So how will the reupload work? Will I have duplicate data in my Google calendar? Should I upload to a different calendar and can I delete the other? Also, will it upload all my years of data? Thanks for your help.

Neil Gerstenberg said...

Hi Martha,

You can use the trial version to copy over 25% of your data and then "Save Session". If you then decide to purchase you can pick up exactly where you left off and copy over all remaining events from that session, without duplicates. Please note that the resulting conversion will of course not contain any entries that you may have made in Palm since you started the process - if have been continuing to enter data to Palm Desktop you will have to start over again with a blank Google calendar.

If you are already using Google Calendars I strongly advise against importing Palm data to your main calendar, unless it is blank to start with. The reason is that if you make a mistake, or if your Palm file is corrupt, you may find yourself with a partial copy mixed with your existing data... which is impossible to fix. It is wiser to copy Palm data to a secondary calendar which you can delete if necessary to start again. Secondary calendars will show up fine on your Droid, and you should be able to modify them too without any trouble.

If you use the "save sessions" menu function you can copy as much data as you like to Google - the problem being that Google limits data import to about 10,000 events in a 24 hour period. If you have many years of data then you'll find that progress slows to a standstill at about 10,000 - 15,000 events; that is when to "save session", wait "24" hours, then run the software again and open up the previous session to copy the rest of the data.

I hope this answers your questions - if not, let me know on the contact page.


Anonymous said...

You can convert your Palm Datebook Archive file to CSV in one easy step here: