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Old 12-27-2004, 10:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
Mark Rejhon
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Default BlackBerry Calendar Tricks

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BlackBerry Calendar Tricks

It is now a misconception that BlackBerry PIM is inferior compared to Palm/PocketPC's default PIM. This used to be true, but is NOT true anymore. Keep in mind BlackBerryOS version 4 and later now has multiple address per contact, and more fields - putting the PIM roughly on par with other PDA's. The advantage of the marriage of a full thumb keyboard and a scrollwheel, allow the BlackBerry to be much faster to operate than a Palm/PocketPC once you become experienced and memorize the below tricks.

Although BlackBerry Calendar may not look too fancy at first sight, there are a lot of hidden features, and is surprisingly efficient once you are used to it and that you've become a fast thumb typist. Experienced BlackBerry can easily out-schedule a Palm/PocketPC user, and less prone to mistakes such as accidental stylus taps which occasionally require multiple steps to correct your mistakes caused by accidental taps.

The BlackBerry PIM is surprisingly efficient if you learn a few tricks. These tricks work under both BlackBerryOS 3.7.x, 3.8 and 4.x, although one or two keypress shortcuts might only work under 3.8 or 4.x.

Note: These tricks apply to the full-keyboard BlackBerries rather than the Charm 7100. However, some of the tricks also work on the 7100.

1. Spin scrollwheel to select the time (to nearest previous hour)
2. Begin typing name of appointment and hit Enter (Done! That's it! No need to click scrollwheel!)
(If you need to modify further such as more options such as different reminder duration than default reminder, or need a more exact time, just hit Enter a 2nd time)

In the Calendar, spin the scrollwheel to select the time of an existing appointment and then hit Enter (or doubleclick scrollwheel). Now you can easily edit the name of the appointment. Or modify the time or date. Or amount of advance notice reminder. To quickly change the time or date of the appointment, select the time digit and then hold ALT+scrollwheel to cycle through a new time/date value quickly. (This trick works in Agenda view too!)

Just hold the ALT key while you use the scrollwheel to flip through the dates instantly.
You'll zoom through the whole calendar in no time flat, cycle 1 day back/forward with each click of the scrollwheel. If your cursor is on top of the date instead of elsewhere in the Calendar, you can quickly change the month and year too, rather than cycling back/forward 1 day at a time! You can even hit Spacebar to scroll forward by 1 day, if you prefer to do that than using the scrollwheel.

Spin the scrollwheel to select the appointment and hit backspace.

Like a "Today" screen on PocketPC. Click scrollwheel and select "View Agenda". If you want this screen to be the default Calendar view when you launch Calendar, go to Calendar Options and change default view.

You can hit "D" from the Agenda screen to go to the day view mode so you can quickly add appointments using the quick method. Or use "C" to add new appt in detailed mode, "D" goes to day view, "W" goes to week view, "M" goes to month view, "T" goes back to current day, and there's other keypress shortcuts.

If you don't use the Agenda screen as the default view, then simply click scrollwheel and select "View Day", "View Week" or "View Month". These now look roughly similiar to those found on modern PDA's such as PocketPC and Palm now.

If you permanently prefer a 30 minute or 60 minute default reminder everytime you quickly add an appointment,
go to Calendar -> Options. Then you can change this, among other parameters.

Once you know these tricks and become a good thumbtypist, you can add and modify appointments much faster than you can with a Palm or PocketPC. There are also similiar tricks for being efficient with addressbook and other stuff, but that's for another day...
Mark Rejhon
Author of XMPP extension XEP-0301: - specification - open source

Last edited by Mark Rejhon : 02-01-2006 at 11:20 PM.