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Old 12-20-2005, 08:33 PM
acant05 acant05 is online now
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Importing From Personal Brain (Including external rtf files)

First of all, I want to thank the designer of UR and also the many contributors to the forums here for their thoughts and tips. Like many here, I am an "organizing junkie." I have used several programs in the past - InfoSelect, Outlook, Zoot - but for the past 8 years or so have primarily used Personal Brain (PB).

I have several PB databases that I want to import into UR. I would like to get all my PB data into UR as it provides much more flexible tools for "slicing & dicing" my information. I can export all PB info to XML and from there to CSV, I have 20,000+ items in my main database (called "thoughts" in PB) with 10,000+ of them having EXTERNAL rtf files attached. The rtf files are all in one folder and separate from the main PB database. Each thought has created, last_activated and modified dates and times, ID, title, thought types and from 1 to 192 links to other thoughts (up to 32 parent, 128 child and 32 "jump" thought LINKS).

I do not need all the information in UR but would like to have most metadata and the rich text :-). The rest would be gravy... However, I am not sure that the present UR import facilities will accomplish my goals. I can parse the XML output of PB into nearly any required format for import into UR but am not sure that UR would allow the rich text to be merged with the other thought attributes. Each thought in PB has a sequential ID (5 digit integer) and the rtf files are tied to this - they are 8 digit hex numbers based on the thought ID (padded left with zeros). However, I am not sure that the XML file info from PB can be merged in UR with the external rtf file text information plus maintain all the metadata links. Would prefer the text not just the links in UR.

If a merger were possible, if necessary, I could rename all my rtf files to match the appropriate thought titles imported during a separate csv import operation. I have read through the manual and nearly all the forum archives and am excited about the possibilities in using UR to aid my current project efforts. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to best proceed? I haven't quite got my mind around all the potential of UR but it seems very promising.
If I cannot accomplish my purposes in UR then my only alternative for an effective system will require a LOT of work - perhaps in Alpha 5 - a very flexible RDBMS system. But I didn't want to reinvent the wheel :-) - not now anyway. Again, any guidance would be much appreciated.

A UR Newbie
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Old 12-20-2005, 09:26 PM
kevina kevina is online now
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Join Date: 03-27-2003
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Depending on how savvy you are at xml creation/transformation, you may be able to use the xml (opml) import feature to import your data including the rtf files.

I am not familiar with the Personal Brains info you can or have exported (we are too busy getting UR 1.4 through beta to look at it this moment), but the best way I can recommend you evaluate this method would be to add a few Info Items to Ultra Recall containing some rich text, then export it as xml. You can then compare the exported data to what you entered. The format is quite straight forward, and could very well be suitable for your needs.

Note: You may not want to export all the attributes that are available in UR (will probably just clutter things up): the Item Details (RTF), Item Notes, Manual Keywords, Icon, Stored Documents attributes will probably be the most useful to you.

If you do achieve success with this import method (or believe it has merit and simply need some help), we are interested in providing assistance (and even adding the functionality to a future version of UR if possible). You can ask additional questions here or via email to (we will assist as time permits during the 1.4 beta period).
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