PIM Data on Yahoo

I just rediscovered a handy feature of Yahoo: its online address book. I use Yahoo for a free email account, but haven’t used many of their other online PIM features (calendar, address book, note pad, etc.). Instead, I sync my Palm handheld to Palm Desktop (Address, To Do, Memo, etc.) and Outlook (Calendar).

Syncing with Yahoo is pretty straighforward, but it only cleanly handles device–Yahoo sync. It can’t really handle a “3-way” sync that would include Palm Desktop or Outlook.

Rather than doing a full sync, Yahoo provides a handy “import” feature. I use it periodically to keep a copy of my entire contact list online for those times when I need something but don’t have my device handy. (Of course you also get benefits like automatic links to online maps.)

To do a periodic import of your address list from Palm Desktop to Yahoo Address Book, do the following:

  1. Log in to Yahoo Address Book
  2. Click on Import/Export
  3. In the instruction box on the right (titled “Help importing from”), click on the link titled “deleting all contacts…”
  4. On the next screen, click on Erase (this erases all your online data to prevent duplicates)
  5. Back on the import page, set the program type to Palm Desktop (ABA)
  6. In Palm Desktop, export your entire address book to an ABA file
  7. On the Yahoo import page, choose that file that you just created and click on Import Now
  8. The import will correctly handle all categories you’ve defined on your Palm, but there will also be some predefined ones that you can delete

Looking at the other online Yahoo PIM applications, it looks like Address is the only one with Import/Export, although the others do offer synchronization support.

[Usual disclaimer: The views and ideas expressed on this site are mine, not that of my employer (palmOne, Inc.).]