Simple Note Taking

I work for a retailer of a cell phone company and remember several months back our BlackBerry rep came in to ask us questions about sales, accessories, problems, etc like all manufacture reps and took notes from our responses and suggestions.

Now the reason I’m choosing to write about this is because of how she took down the notes during this particular visit. She had her 9930 in hand at all times and was just flying on the keyboard taking down everything we were throwing at her. For whatever reason this didn’t stand out to me much till our next manufacture rep came in with a trusty old pen and paper and just seemed old fashioned and slow with the note taking.

I started doing stuff like this on my phone and it started to make much more sense because I could just simply copy and paste this info right into and email without having to type it all up after just handwriting it. If I wanted to wait to get it onto a pc or laptop I could wait and just sync with desktop manager and all my notes are immediately transferred to my pc for easy access later.

Now some people will say they are faster at typing on a computer and that’s probably true but if you figure in the time to hand write all the your notes and then type them all up on the computer I guarantee it would have been a lot faster from your phone.

I remember seeing stories of some music artists that use their BlackBerry phone to write lyrics and I recently saw a story that a guy wrong up an entire autobiography on his smartphone that also happened to be a BlackBerry.

For me personally I find it easier to input everything on my BlackBerry Bold 9930 and use a pc/tablet for viewing it later if needed. My phone is always on and with me so I never have to worry about finding a pen and paper or firing up a laptop to take down some important notes.

This is a simple feature I think a lot of people over look on their smart phones. We type on our mobile devices more then we realize and become quite quick on them over time so quick note taking would seem logical on these devices rather then resorting to older and slower methods.

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Simple Blackberry Features Commonly Overlooked

People are always asking me why I stay with BlackBerry who currently have one or already left to try another platform. My answer is always that I’m efficient with my BlackBerry and it gets things done well. I’m able to maneuver around my BlackBerry faster than anyone I have seen and its all thanks to some simple little shortcuts that are now basic to me on a BlackBerry. These aren’t “advanced user” methods I’m going to explain but these are just simple things anyone can do to make their BlackBerry experience more enjoyable and efficient.



Keyboard Shortcuts

BlackBerry has the dial from home screen feature enable by default but if disabled it opens up a lot of shortcuts for you. From home screen press the BlackBerry key -> options -> launch by typing -> change to Application Shortcuts. Now to do the same thing you did before when dialing from the home screen you just need to press the call button then type.

P – Phone/Dialer/Call log
T – Tasks
U – Calculator
O – Options
A – Address Book
S – Search
D – Memo Pad/Notes
H – Help
K – Lock keypad (when password enabled)
L – Calendar
M – Messages
B – Browser
N – BlackBerry Messenger
V – Saved messages
C – Compose Email

These simple shortcuts make basic navigation of the phone quick and easy. Only one I didn’t like at first was N for BBM but I got use to it and like that its next to my main messages shortcut. If you want to dive deeper into the power of shortcuts there is an app called ShortcutMe to make more powerful shortcuts.



Autotext/Word Substitution

I overlooked this for a long time as well. Simple things like making r = are and u = you can help speed up your texting and maybe keep your emails a little more professional. You can use it for more then just 1 word as well. You can make 2 letters write a whole paragraph if needed. Very powerful tool if used right but always remember to back up your phone cause setting these backup is never fun if lost. You can either use Desktop Manager to do it or Auto Text Backup app and doing it OTA.

This is a shortcut I made to quickly reply to someone saying “I’m busy with a customer” by only typing 3 letters.



Simple Blackberry word shortcut.



This reminds me that this also works for #FF (FollowFriday) for you twitter junkies. (#blameitonBrock)



Memo Pad

This app is great for saving information on just about everything from grocery lists to product keys for apps/programs. I use to jot down notes about what my girlfriend might like for her birthday or Christmas because without my phone handy to “write it down” I would never remember. People often ask for links to sites or app downloads and I have a memo saved for most of them so that I can just open the app type a word that is in the memo and I have it right in front of me.



Cut/Copy/Paste

This is a simple feature that allows me to quickly share and save information. Hold down the shift key and scroll with your track pad to select an area of text. Now if you hold alt and press down on the track pad you will copy the text. This doesn’t always work with web links cause sometimes it will try to open the link instead of copy it. In this case you can press menu and select copy. You can also “cut” the selected text by holding alt and pressing the delete key. Finally to paste the text you have copied or cut you just hold shift and press the track pad.

Last shortcut is the easiest and I’m sure most know it already. Double tap the space key and you get the . (period) punctuation. This auto capitalizes the next letter you type as well.

ShortcutMe Blackberry App

So a buddy of mine (@kanehamilton) has been asking for me to check out this application for awhile now I always just stayed with QuickLaunch cause it works for me.

Well I finally got the app downloaded and started using it. I will admit at first the app was very confusing to me and that’s due to the fact that I was so use to something else. After diving into the app and reading a little bit about it on the ShortcutMe webpage I started to see why I was suggested this app.

This app does everything my previous app did and so much more. Now with that being said this app is harder to set up as well. You can setup macros with this app to do just about anything on your phone which is what makes this so powerful. You can create something as simple has 2 clicks to open any 1 app or you can go as far as to open BBM, select contact, and send preloaded message. This app gives you so much control of your phone without leaving the homescreen. I considered this a must have app for a power user on any Blackberry device.

At first I didn’t really like the appearance of the app over some others because I normally like everything minimal but if you play with the fonts and find/make a background for it you will love it like I do now.

So if your interested in the app and want to buy it click here.
If you just want to learn a little more about ShortcutMe then click here.

BeWeather Update

Photobucket
(I don’t know where the hourglass came from cause it wasn’t there when I took the pic)

Just got an email saying saying BerryWeather was updated to 2.6.12 and came with the following change log. Looks like mostly OS7 stuff but I always like new versions of apps.

– Adjusted day/night background images for higher resolution screens on OS 7.0
– Added native sendmenu for sharing weather on OS 7.0 (Facebook, Twitter, BBM etc)
– Added native sendmenu on OS 7.0 for sharing weather advisory
– Added new compact forecast style/configurable POP visibility
– Added support for multiple built-in maps
– Added auto-dismissing popup showing detailed error information when location update fails
– Reworked license screen
– Reworked settings categories screen
– Minor changes to theme colors
– Fixed error on first load of radar map

Download Here

Dune Quote

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain

Great quote from Dune. I never did read the book but I hear it was amazing (not a big reader kinda guy). I did enjoy the original and remake of the movie though. Read up here on it.

Keeping Wallet Light with Blackberry

I like to keep my wallet as light as possible to avoid the bulky wallet in my back pocket. I normally only use my ID and debit card on day to day use and everything else just adds bulk to my wallet. I bought a Case-Mate ID Case for my Bold 9650. I normally don’t use a case on my phone to keep it slim as possible. This case is like the barely there case also made by case-mate just a little thicker in the back to make room for 2 cards of your choice.


Only draw back to this case is that a very small part of my camera gets distorted when taking a picture with my cards in the case. It only effects about the bottom 5% of the screen so nothing crazy and the rest of the picture turns out fine.

A great app I have found to go along with this case so that I don’t really lose the “junk” in my wallet is called Key Ring which is found in App World for FREE! This app creates bar codes for each rewards card you carry in your wallet so you can just flash your phone to the cashier and start saving from your phone.

My First Theme

Creating my own theme is something I have tried to do many times in the past but was stuck between being too lazy or frustrated with theme builder to really sit down and try. I finally sat down in the last few days and started to tinker with the theme builder and started to get into it. What I couldn’t figure out by tinkering (which was a lot) I found answers to on various forums and from people on twitter like @Pootermobile.

This is what I was finally able to come up with and might modify over time as I learn more and come up with new ideas. Simple wallpaper friendly theme with just the basic $ for SMS, S for Universal Search, and 0 for profile shortcuts. Everything else I use has a shortcut through default Blackberry setup or I use QuickLaunch for the rest.

Click here for OTA