Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Shortcut Found

I just noticed an awesome feature in the newer BlackBerry OS devices (I currently use a Tour 9630). If you hold down the Menu Key (the key with the dots that looks like an actual blackberry, directly to the left of the track ball) the active application window will appear (aka the Application Switcher). This works in any window or application that you're using, and allows you to quickly and easily switch between applications.

This window (commonly known as the Application Switcher) can still be invoked by holding down the ALT key and the Escape Key (key directly to the right of the track ball).

This shortcut is a significant enhancement that allows you to switch applications quickly using only one hand.

Happy Multi-Tasking!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Creating a Search Shortcut

Not everyone is familiar with. creating a search shortcut for your messaging list. Most are familiar with clicking built in shortcuts like alt-o for outgoing or alt-p for phone logs.

Here is how to create a message list shortcut:

Example: alt-w for all email messages that have attachments.

Open your message list.
Click menu button to access drop down.
Choose Search

At this point you can configure your search criteria however you wish. For this example we will leave all input fields blank, and choose 'Type' = "Email with Attachments"

Next, click the menu button and select 'Save'.
Give the shortcut a title (for this example we are using "Email with attachment").
Choose the shortcut key (example uses 'w').

Click the menu button and select 'Save', and you're done.

From that point on, whenever you're in your message list application and hit alt-w, it will produce a list of only those messages on your device that have attachments.

Also notice that the application ribbon will display the name you've given to the saved search.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Power of Auto Text

Some people call this the poor man's spell-check, but Auto Text is much more powerful. It was initially developed to automatically fix spelling errors. For instance if you type 'teh', it will "auto text" or correct it and type 'the'. How else can you use this feature? I have several email templates, signatures, and common lists set on my BlackBerry as Auto Text entries. To add an Auto Text entry, just go to Options>Auto Text and choose "new" from the drop down menu. When I type 'sigb' my BlackBerry populates my business email signature; when I type 'sigp' it populates my personal signature.

Are there any other lists or set of instructions that you send out on a regular basis? Make an Auto Text entry and save yourself the thumb-taps or having to wait until you get back to the office. Examples: An Online Auto Sales Rep uses Auto Text to send out quick email messages with quotes and feature/benefits (excalade1xl); An Insurance Adjuster sends out claim instructions (carclaim1); A Sales Operations Manager sends out instructions for online reporting access and setup (reportinginst). . . .and the list goes on and on.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Extension Dialing

Extension Dialing
Please, please, please. . . if you learn nothing else from reading this post, please use this tip. The BlackBerry gives you the option to dial extensions automatically or to dial via a pop-up. If you enter in a comma into your dialing string, the BlackBerry will pause for 2 seconds then dial the next string after the pause. If you place an 'x' after the first string, your BlackBerry will give you a pop-up window that looks like this:

So, when you schedule a Conference Call, use the following dial string to make dialing into the bridge easier for your BlackBerry users:
  • 10-digit phone number,'X'extension (ex: 1-800-555-1212,X123456)
  • If the Conference Call requires you to push the '#' key after entering in the extension, add the '#' character to the end of the extension dialing string (ex: 1-800-555-1212,X123456#)
This is more than just a cool trick, it is a common courtesy and down right Conference Call etiquette. Make sure the next meeting you schedule that you're placing this dialing string into the "Location" field in the Outlook meeting maker. Too bad no other "Smart" devices have this capability.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Mark Twain
“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he'd learned in seven years.”

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Impatica ShowMate

Impatica, Inc.'s BlackBerry Presentation viewer takes your BlackBerry to a whole other level. Coupled with the ShowMate, this is the ultimate for any road warrior or sales professional who has to present PowerPoint regularly.

The ShowMate is a device that is about the size of a small computer mouse that connects to a standard LCD Projector. Your BlackBerry connects to this device using Bluetooth or a standard USB cable.

Once connected, you can project a PowerPoint Presentation directly from your BlackBerry! No need to lug your laptop anymore, just bring your BlackBerry and ShowMate.

But wait, it gets better. You can view the 'Notes' portion of the slide while projecting the 'Slide'. This feature alone is a reason to leave the laptop behind because you cannot do this using your laptop and the native PowerPoint interface.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Speaking of Shortcuts . . .

Attention Application Developers.

If you're developing a BlackBerry java application, please consider those of us out here in the BlackBerry user community who love to leverage their keyboard shortcuts. If your application does not currently have a shortcut assigned, it is fairly simple to do as long as you have a unique shortcut value in the name that is not being used by another application.

Here is the BlackBerry Developer Knowledge Center Article that describes how to do this. It is pretty simple however, and you only need to add \u0332 directly after the letter you want to serve as the homescreen shortcut (Project Properties>Resource Tab "application name").

Example: BeeJive's title would look like this if they wanted to use the 'J' key as the shortcut: