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Move Memos from a Palm device into the iPhone's Notes app iOS devices
I have spent weeks looking for a way to move 340 memos on my old Palm Treo to my new iPhone. I found many solutions that involved uploading to a website, and then downloading to the iPhone, but I didn't like the security risk involved. I also found a lot of agonized pleas for easy solutions that were not answered, from people waiting to upgrade from their old Palm to a new iPhone.

I eventually found a solution using the combination of Missing Sync for Palm OS and PhoneView. This method is free, as you can use demo versions of both programs, but I recommend buying both -- or at least the PhoneView software, as it has a bunch of uses down the road.
  1. Install both programs, then run Mark/Space Notebook, which is included with Missing Sync for Palm OS. Notebook will automatically download all of your Palm Memos into Mark/Space Notebook.
  2. Mark/Space Notebook has an option to export your memos into a folder on your Mac's hard drive. Do that, and the program will create individual text files of each of your Palm Memos.
  3. Launch PhoneView, and click on the Copy to iPhone icon in the toolbar. Navigate to your folder of exported Palm Memos and tell PhoneView to use that folder. Phone View uploaded 340 Palm memos into the Notes app on my iPhone in about 15 seconds.
Some other solutions I've seen involve a bunch of messing around with formatting columns, which would be great if I was a database genius, but I'm not. This method requires two downloads and two clicks -- one in each program -- and you're done in about half an hour.
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Much better than what I did
Authored by: FlaSheridn on Mar 19, '10 10:27:14AM

Much better than what I did, I actually ended up deciding that most of my old notes were too old to be worth the effort, and keeping them all in one text document for GoodReader.

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Move Memos from a Palm device into the iPhone's Notes app
Authored by: hintfool on Mar 19, '10 11:48:44AM

I just joined this Forum, and I already feel silly for not doing that years ago! Looks like some pro-level users here. And, this topic really speaks to me!

I hope your solution works as well for me on my present setup:

Powerbook G4, OS 10.4.11, Palm Desktop 4.2.2. I also have Entourage 11.4, as part of my Office 2004...

Please describe how you handled the Migration of all your Palm Desktop Data to iPhone. I heard about Missing Sync and about installing Palm Conduits into Entourage, and then syncing Treo to Entourage...

I've seen some interesting ideas here particularly about the PIM Programs for iPhone! I'd love to address them too! But first I gotta get all my data Exported from Treo 700p to iPhone! I hope that your method works fore, cause it looks simpler. Having BackupBuddy on Treo, and SuperDuper on my PB G4 is my extra safety net!

In your case it was 340 Memos, but I have almost 2,400 Memos... So, will Missing Sync Demo allow me to do that, or is there a limit? Same limit Q re: the number of Contacts! Usually Demo Versions have limits... I also wonder if I should be doing all this Migration on my present setup (see above), or this Summer, when I plan to buy the Newest Macbook Pro and the Newest iPhone! So, it's not only moving from Treo to iPhone, it's also new hardware and OS... If I like Missing Sync, maybe I'll buy it... For now, I just need to bring my Data over to iPhone, and keep it simple, as I get used to it!

As part of my research, at Apple store I verified that Palm Desktop and Quicken 2004 installed OK on floor model of Macbook Pro 17... They did. I ran them with a few dummy records: a few Contacts, Memosl Transactions in Quicken. It worked. I can’t say that they would run flawlessly after that, cause I didn’t put my actual files on there, and didn’t try to sync! So, I might be able to install Palm Desktop on my new Macbook Pro and have one less obstacle! I was told that my Office 2004 will run on OS 10.6 too... Then I probably should switch from Entourage to Mail.... All this seems like a big surgery, but maybe it's not that complicated!

I wish I had a spare OS 10.6 Mac to do all that as a rehearsal, but alas I don't have it... So, I guess I'll get MBP first, settle in there, than iPhone? Not sure yet in what order to do this BIg Upgrade! But, for sure, I won't do anything till both MPB and iPhone Updated Hardware this Summer!

In general, I wish Apple made it a lot easier for Treo users to switch! Palm will obviously not help them:)!

Thanks to all for any all advise on this topic! I am looking forward to learning from all of you on this Forum!


How do I insert url links in posts... I couldn't figure out how to use [link:]

Is there a way to Edit Post after posting it? I hope so, cause sometimes it would be nice to make corrections...

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Move Memos from a Palm device into the iPhone's Notes app
Authored by: aubreyapple on Mar 19, '10 01:49:29PM

I used 1Password notes. Just copy/paste from the Palm Desktop to the 1Password notes. Assuming you have 1Password on both iPhone and MacOS.

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Move Memos from a Palm device into the iPhone's Notes app
Authored by: hintfool on Mar 24, '10 09:17:03PM
Thanks, aubreyapple! Interesting suggestion, 1Password. Even if I don't use it for notes... Maybe it's the case of "And", and not "Either Or":)!?

The apps mentioned on on this site look interesting, and I'd really love to hear from those who have used those apps... I agree with that it'd be nice if one app - Database - PIM did a bunch of those things. Then there is always a concern about having my data locked in someone's Proprietary Format, that is hard to Share, Export etc... The other concern, what if my PIM product is discontinued, or and it's creator goes out of business etc?

Meanwhile, I feel increasingly more weird walking around with a 2006 Palm Treo 700p in 2010:)! And so... I am just doing my research before New MBP17' and the Latest iPhone are out - this Summer 2010?! Can't wait:)!

Edited on Mar 24, '10 09:31:48PM by hintfool

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Move Memos from a Palm device into the iPhone's Notes app
Authored by: jlehmer on Jan 02, '11 10:01:53PM

I followed "Annonymous'" advice to the letter and while PhoneView says it's copied the memos to my "device" (in my case, my iPod Touch), nothing shows up in my Notes app on it. What am I doing wrong? What is the "Disk" folder on the PhoneView sidebar? That's where all the notes supposedly go, but I can't view them on the iPod Touch. Any other hints?

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Move Memos from a Palm device into the iPhone's Notes app
Authored by: Boing2999 on Feb 05, '11 05:40:43AM
Okay, ancient topic, but it comes up in google search so I may as well add my solution. I recently upgraded to 10.5 (I've got a powerPC Mac, and mainly wanted to upgrade iOS to 4.2...), and finally got the Notes entry in Mail. So I decided to give it a go and move all my Palm notes from Palm Desktop into Mail. Unfortunately, I needed to do it only once, so I didn't really bother making it user friendly. 1) Export your notes in "Tab + Return" format as "notes".
2) run this python script in the same directory:
import mailbox, email, datetime, re

# read in memo data (format tab and return!)
f = open("notes", "rb")
m =

# split data into individual memos and fields
notes = []
for n in m.split("\r"):
	notes.append([x.replace(chr(0xa6), "\n").decode("mac_roman") for x in n.split("\t")])

# map from month names (german) to number
month = {

# convert memos into an mbox-formatted database
mbox = mailbox.mbox("palm.mbox")
for n in notes:
	if len(n) > 1:
		mail = email.message.Message()
		mail["X-Uniform-Type-Identifier"] = ""
		mail["From"] = "Palm Desktop Import"
		subject = ""
		if n[5] != "":
			subject += "[%s] " % n[5]
		if n[6] != "":
			subject += "[%s] " % n[6]
		subject += n[0]
		mail["Subject"] = subject.encode("utf-8")
		t = None
		d = None
		m = re.match(r"([0-9]+):([0-9]+)", n[2])
		if m:
			t = datetime.time(int(, int(, 0)
		m = re.match(r"([0-9]+)\. (.*) ([0-9]+)", n[3])
		if m:
			d =, month[], int(
		m = re.match(r"([0-9]+)\. (.*) ([0-9]+)", n[4])
		if m:
			d =, month[], int(
		if t != None and d != None:
			mail["Date"] = datetime.datetime.combine(d, t)
		elif d != None:
			mail["Date"] = d
		mail.set_payload((n[0] + "\n" + n[1]).encode("utf-8"), "utf-8")	
		msg = mailbox.mboxMessage(mail)

You'll have to fix the month names to your local language. And you may want to tweak subject format or mail format to your taste.
3) import "palm.mbox" into Mail (mbox format)

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Move Memos from a Palm device into the iPhone's Notes app
Authored by: hintfool on Dec 06, '11 11:27:42PM

I just saw a Comment Authored by: Boing2999 on Feb 05, '11 05:40:43AM

It's basically a Conversion of Tab and Return via Python Script into MBox Format…That sounds great, except:

How do I run Python Script?
Do I need a specific application?
Or is it to be done from the Terminal?

The nearest I've been near scripts was to run an Apple Script… So, I really need someone to explain to me how to run this Python Script!

I am already on Macbook running Lion, 10.7.2, and I can Export and move the Tab Return Export of my Memos from Palm Desktop 4.2.2 that is running on my Powerbook G4, 10.4.11 G4, 10.4.11.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that Boing2999 is reading this, or… Maybe someone can provide the instructions for how I can run that Python Script on my Macbook 10.7.2, so the that Mail can Import that File in MBOX Format.

I also wonder if Mail will know to consider this as an Import of Mail Notes, and not Email Messages… Otherwise, this whole Conversion would be a waste of time!

Thanks a lot in advance for your help!

P.S. I just found this:

So, between Terminal or whatever else you someone reading this here might suggest, it's a question of me finding someone who knows the Terminal, cause I don't… And hopefully Mail will know to Convert this Import into Notes, not Email Messages!

I should also probably run this on my Test User, so not to mess up my Main User Mail….

Thanks in advance for your help!

Edited on Dec 06, '11 11:41:06PM by hintfool

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