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Using Icons

One of the best features of DateBk3 and DateBk4 is being able to assign icons for events. In the week and month view, they provide instant information without a single tap. Instead of grey bars in the Week View, icons appear in each bar that represent different types of events. Instead of dashes and dots in the Month View, icons represent different events. Even though they don't provide all the information about an event, they provide enough basic information to know, at a glance, what is happening during each day. With a list of 52 icons, you can use different icons for many different types of events.

Icons can make the Week and Month View much more useful. I was in a Franklin Covey store several months ago and I saw an attachment to hold a Palm device in a binder. The picture on the box had the same events written on the Palm and on the paper next to it. I remarked to friend why would anyone want to write the same thing twice. A manager overheard me and answered that on the Palm, all you see are lines and dashes in the Week and Month View, you can't see details. I said I could see more than lines and dashes and showed him DateBk4's icons. He was so impressed that he asked how he could get the software, so I how to get it. The information that icons can provide at a glance is a very valuable tool.

Installing Icons

There are a couple of ways of installing icons to use with DateBk3/4. The first and easiest is to install the file named "dbSetup.prc" that came with DateBk3/4 or click here to download it. After launching that program on your Palm device, you can install icons and timezones. Once you are finished, you can delete the program. The second way to install icons is to copy the icon text from a text document and paste it into a memo using the Palm Desktop (or whatever desktop program you are using).

Once you have the icons installed, you will need to set your preferences to see them. Keep in mind, you can see or not icons in most views independent of each other. In DateBk3/4, to see icons in the Day View, go to "Options" on the menu bar (tap on the menu silkscreen button, below the App Launcher button, to show the menu bar). Under "Options", tap on "More Preferences". In the upper right of the display that comes up is a checkbox next to "Icons". Check the box to see icons displayed in between the time and description. To see icons in the Week View, go to "Preferences" under "Options" on the menu bar, and check "Display Icons". To see icons in the Month View in DateBk3, tap on "Icon" on the bottom right of the screen. In DateBk4, tap on the tack icon on the bottom right to see icons in the Month View.

The greatest thing about these icons is you can modify your current icons, make your own icons, or use someone else's icons. Be aware that DateBk3/4 assign icons to events by the icon's position. So if you change the airplane icon, all events that had been assigned the plane will display whatever icon you replace it with. There are two ways to modify or make icons. The first is to use an icon editing program. There are several available, but I suggest using DBiced primarily because it's free. To download DBiced, click here for a Windows file, or here for a Macintosh file. After you install it, launch it and you will see a screen similar to the one below. To modify the icons, tap on the one you want to modify and use the grid to make the changes to the icon.

The second way to modify icons is to edit the data string in the Memo labeled DATEBK3. The Memo looks something like this:
and so on. The letter after the number sign identifies the position, next is the label, followed by the data string. WARNING: if you change any of the position letters, DateBk3/4 will not be able to display any icons. Making any changes to the data string will change the icons.

Kevin McCord of GoMinister.com made some icons for ministry use. Click here to download a Windows file, click here for a Macintosh file. Use the icons you find useful.

Here are a few places you can find more collections of icons, some are free, some are shareware:
DateBk3 Icon Warehouse
Paro's DateBk3/4 Icon Site
DateBk3 Icon Archive
99 Icons for DateBk3

As with anything you do with your handheld device, make it fit to what you want to do. Use the icons you find useful and if nothing looks right, modify existing icons or make your own.

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