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(Archived) (Archived) HOWTO: Import notes from Outlook or Palm Desktop

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  • 1 month later...

Yes. I agree. We need a solution. I have several years worth of notes and tasks in my Palm Trep 755p. I want to transfer them to evernote, but I dont want to do it one by one. I do know that I can save my memos to txt format (comma separated, tab separated values and and txt. Hopefully there will be a solution quick).

Nick G


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That's what I did:

- go to palm desktop, select all notes

- go file/export, select csv, uncheck "private" check box, click on ok. You will get comma separated file that looks like

"my note begins



ends","my category"

- you can double click on csv file - it will bring you MS Excel. Sort the second column - you will get distinct list of your Palm categories.

- in Evernote create note book for each palm directory with the same name

- now, the tricky part. You write script on your favorite language to parse csv file. Each entry (row in Excel) has two parts - body and category. Put body (part one) as a separate file into a subdirectory with the same name as category (part two). More on this later...

- go to Evernote client. select a notebook, select a subdirectory in your current directory and import. Yes, it's category by category, but I wanted to merge some old categories into one Evernote notebook.

Back to the tricky part. In my case it was Ruby. I do not know what's your skill set and how comfortable you are with bash, perl, python or whatever. Essentially, script should read csv, parse csv entry and output the entry into separate file. I recall that Java has bunch of open source csv readers and am sure other languages have cvs parsers. But if you do not want to write any code, I can post my ruby file somewhere or email it to you, but I need some time to polish it, it's too hack-ish, test on both Mac and Windows.

On the other hand, the Evernote should provide import from csv file out of box - it's not a big deal.

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Update to my prev post:

- on Mac, Palm Desktop does not export to csv, only tab-separated, much easier to do it on Windows

- on Windows XP, I had to use cygwin's unix2dos to clean the exported file up. Palm desktop added \n without \r, parser treats it as an error

- I used fastercsv gem, worked just fine - gem install fastercsv

- ruby script that reads csv file, creates directory for each category and separate file for each note is:

#!/usr/local/bin/ruby -w
require "faster_csv"
i = 1
FasterCSV.foreach("mypalm.csv") do |row|
File::open( "#{row[1]}/#{i}.txt", "w") { |io| io << row[0] }

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I'd love to see an easy way to import Palm notes (one that doesn't require any coding skills on our part!)... wouldn't have thought it too difficult to have a CSV import feature in evernote... just stick each comma separated block of text into a separate note... not rocket science... no need to reverse engineer the Palm memo archive format.


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I can't believe it.

They don't have a way to import years of work from the worlds most popular personal information management software? They require users to be programmers?

And the script you need to write creates a directory for every note????

Wow, that's just bizarre...

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  • 1 month later...

This is the process that worked for me with windows Palm Desktop 4.1.4.

I had problems with the "csv" export from the palm desktop until I used "NoteTab Light" http://www.notetab.com/ to convert files to ASCII...

I'm sure there are lots of other ways to accomplish this, but it was quicker to just do these steps than try to optimize the process any more for my approximately 350 notes in 10 categories.

palm desktop

-memos application

-highlight all memos in category, menu file, choose export

--export type csv, export just fields memo and category

notetab light

-open .csv file

-modify menu, chose convert to ascii text

-save file

- copy to linux box into own folder

- rename file to mypalm.csv

- run the ruby script (had to install fastercsv manually for this script to work)

-- the script creates text files (1.txt, 2.txt, etc.) for each memo

- copy folder back to windows machine since evernote import doesn't work from network paths


-create new notebook for category

-note menu, choose import, file import wizard

--provide location for folder on windows machine, use import once option

#!/usr/bin/ruby -w
require "faster_csv"
i = 1
FasterCSV.foreach("mypalm.csv") do |row|
# FileUtils.mkdir_p(row[1])
File::open( "#{row[1]}/#{i}.txt", "w") { |io| io << row[0] }

the "FileUtils.mkdir.." line gave an error for me on my linux box:

uninitialized constant FileUtils (NameError)

so I just did each category one at a time and commented this line out.

I don't really use ruby much- "gem" wasn't installed so I had to install "fastercsv" manually http://fastercsv.rubyforge.org/

It is absolutely ridiculous that we have to go through this level of effort to get our palm memos imported... a few days coding could add this feature for everyone.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 year later...
Has anyone come up with a way to import Outlook notes into Evernote that mere mortals can understand?

I can't get an iPhone until I am sure I can import my hundreds of notes from my Palm Tx.


Resurrecting this old thread since I just imported 470 notes/memos (in a matter of minutes) from my Palm TX to Evernote via Outlook 2003. You have to sync the Palm to Outlook. Once the notes are synced to Outlook, I selected them all, right clicked & clicked "Add to Evernote 3.5". Wish I'd found this ten months ago. ;)


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Has anyone come up with a way to import Outlook notes into Evernote that mere mortals can understand?

I selected them all, right clicked & clicked "Add to Evernote 3.5".

Wow. That's cool. Thanks for updating this thread.

Except.... when I try this (tried with 2, then one Outlook Note) nothing happens.

[update] - the toolbar button seems to be working as expected. But right-clicking and selecting "Add to Evernote 3.5" does nothing.

Outlook 2007


Windows XP SP3

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  • 11 months later...

I selected all my notes in Outlook 2007 and clicked Add to Evernote 4. The dialog asks for tags, I click Ok.

"An error occurred while processing clipped data (import failed: MISSING_NOTE_TITLE)."

I reviewed my two hundred notes and could not find any with missing titles. Anyone have any suggestions?

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  • 5 weeks later...

There does not seem to be a good solution available so I manually copied and pasted. It went relatively quick using keyboard shortcuts:

__ open Outlook Notes and Evernote side by side so can click back and forth (resize windows)

__ click New Note on Evernote window to open blank Evernote

__ double-click first Note on Outlook window, press Ctrl+A > Ctrl+C > Esc to select all, copy, and close

__ right-click in text box on Evernote and select paste

__ click in "Click to set title..." box to populate with first line of Note

__ click New Note to save that note and open blank Evernote

__ double-click next Note on Outlook window, press Ctrl+A > Ctrl+C > Esc to select all, copy, and close... keep repeating until finished

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  • 2 months later...


Just successfully transferred all my notes from Outlook 2007 to Evernote running on Vista (selected all notes in Outlook with Ctrl-A and clicked on "Add to Evernote 4" button in upper right hand corner of Outlook (this was added after installing Evernote, think I had to relaunch Outlook for button to show).


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  • 2 months later...
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  • 3 months later...


I already imported my palm memos into my Android cel.

But I also have lots of palm notes (drawings) in my Palm and cannot find how to import them to my cel.

I guess Evernote should be the app which will manage this kind of note because you can have handwriting notes on it.

But I don't find how to export them from my Palm to my cel.

Anyone know how to do it?


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  • 1 year later...

Import Palm Desktop TASKS

OK, I don't know that one can literally IMPORT the CSV file, but Palm had a useful function.
Tasks normally EXPORT to a TDA file, either Tasks or To-Do (same thing, probably because Palm upgraded their App and changed To-Do to Tasks).


Select ALL tasks, or select one Category at a time.
MS Excel.

I only have MS Office 2000, because I'm cheap and I don't need all the excess Corp/Exchange/Outlook functions. I found Palm hung on a Switch To ... and Retry ... dialog until I opened MS Excel.  Then Palm still hung for a few minutes.

When Palm freed up and allowed me to try again, with Excel open/running, that SendTo command in Palm opened a new Excel window with all TASKS imported.
Rows and Columns had to be adjusted.

Then I did deleted the top "Title" row (Tasks or To-Do), now the top row was the correct Headers.  I changed the last column header to Categories.

Data-Sort by Categories.
I wound up deleting the Priority 1-5 column and did some resizing on the columns. Pasting into Evernote keeps the expanded "too-wide" cells as Excel creates them.
Instead of trying to save that as a CSV and import into Evernote, I only had 24 Tasks --- some of which were only valuable as Notes/Memos misplaced.  Some were no longer relevant, so I deleted the Rows.

The rest that I wanted, I simply selected the entire Row or just the first 2 or 3 cells.  Copy and then Paste into New Note in Evernote.
I placed them in Categories previously established by importing Palm Memos, and then added appropriate Tags.

Done. about 20 min.

For Palm Memos, I used the online App by Maddow or Maddox that several people have mentioned and linked, but there's a WARNING.

I experienced a problem which others may not experience, depending on your config.

My default browser is Firefox, not IE.  The app that is Palm to Evernote, here's what it does.  It imports the CSV file that is exported by Memos, but runs a script that does 2 things.  Imports the Memos to this programmer guy's server (he says just trust him, he's not trying to steal info, just imports to do the conversion). He also opens a window that asks for Evernote login.  I saw his page and it was all "techy", like Sourceforge, so I trusted him.

But my problem was that this App attempted to open an upload/transfer connection via my Firefox, which immediately crashed.  When I tried to restart FF, Windows started slamming it with DEP errors (Data Protection = harmful rogue program).

When I temporarily changed my default browser to Internet Explorer (8), the import Memos to Evernote process went fine.

I couldn't get FF to open without crashing immediately.  After minor attempts to fix/reinstall, I eventually had to completely UNINSTALL Firefox, download the latest version, then install again.  I did not uninstall any of my Profiles, Extensions, Settings, Bookmarks, etc.  I did manually go through and delete old Plugins from folders in Program Files (which were probably old and moldy since early version of FF.  I went to the Registry and deleted some Mozilla Firefox keys, after exporting them for safety.  I only deleted subkeys with values that I felt could have been a problem (looked plugin related).  Of course Cache was deleted too.

Also, the first attempt to reinstall used version 23 (i think) but the final time was version 23.01.

Again, I don't know precisely.WHICH part of that hardcore removal before reinstall long trek was "the fix", and maybe the version upgrade was a factor.

CONCLUSION:  If you use that Maddow/Maddox app listed on this thread, change your default browser to IE first, because IE is "promiscuous" enough that it's willing to run that kind of script, but Firefox isn't and/or Windows wouldn't allow FF to behave with that level of "promiscuouity".

(Promiscuous is actually a technical term that refers to setting up a network card in Linux to a mode where it accepts all packets sent to anyone, instead of packets only addressed to that cards MAC, therefore acting as a "sniffer" to try to hack WIFI by snooping on other people's communications.  I borrowed that term to describe IE and it's ActiveX tendencies to "run anything".)

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