Dr Mike J Smith

Plymouth University

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Converting NoteStudio files to TiddlyWiki

Tue, 21 Mar 2017

For many years I was a user of NoteStudio on Palm as a tool for implementing David Allen's Getting Things Done (GtD) productivity methodology. It was great, worked well, had a few foibles and then the developers dumped it.

After that I then ran NoteStudio on the StyleTap emulator on my Android device (see blog) but the touch interface doesn't sit well with Palm (everything's a bit small). So I moved on to using ToodleDo and Keep - I still use Keep, but whilst ToodleDo is good, the Android client is frustrating to use. So...

I came across TiddlyWiki which is a great Wiki system that can operate in server or single-file mode. The single file is great for using on Android and AdTidWiki provides a simple interface to using it. I like it.

Exporting data from ToodleDo is easy, simple and painless (good for them) allowing me to move data out as a CSV and then import it directly into TiddlyWiki. That made me think, why don't I revisit the NoteStudio data and see if I can recover it?? These were the steps I took:

1. Reinstall StyleTap onto my Android phone and then restore the last backup of the ROM (I had always used RightBackUp on Palm, so had a complete copy I could restore).
2. NoteStudio supports export to MemoPad format (although this was VERY slow)
3. MemoPad isn't included as a standard app in the StyleTap ROM which led me on a search for a freeware replacement. This led me to Redwood's MemoLeaf. Install this into the ROM, import the Memopad file and then export as DOC format (which generates a single PRC file with all the selected entries in).
4. Copy the PRC file to your PC and then use Zamzar to convert it to a TXT file (Zamzar is actually using the libraries in Calibre in the background to do the conversion).
5. That finally left me with a text file for some text wrangling to convert the data entries into JSON which TiddlyWiki would happily read. My programming skills are a little rusty so I asked James to throw together some code to do this. The code does this, taking the input TXT and doing some extra wrangling:

-put the title in the title tag
-insert \n for a line break
-replace double quotation (") with single (')
-replace anything in square brackets (e.g. [linkname]) with [[linkname|linkname]]. This was to take NoteStudio's MarkDown like link syntax and turn it into the TiddlyWiki syntax
-add a tags field

After a little bit of tidying up in TiddlyWiki this worked a dream and brought in about 1000 records.

Download Python
syntax: python in_file.txt out_file.txt

[/computing] permanent link


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