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Old 01-03-2005, 02:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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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 4.0 now has categories, filters, 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.

QUICKLY ADDING APPOINTMENT
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)

QUICKLY ADDING APPOINTMENT THAT ENDS IN :15 :30 :45
1. Spin scrollwheel to select the time (to nearest previous hour)
2. Begin typing name of appointment
3. Before you hit Enter, hold ALT and spin the scrollwheel. This cycles between :15 :30 :45. Then hit Enter.
(If you need to change length of appointment, spin scrollwheel without holding ALT, before you hit Enter.)

QUICKLY MODIFYING/RESCHEDULING APPOINTMENT
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!)

QUICKLY CHANGE DISPLAYED DATE IN CALENDAR
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.

QUICKLY DELETE APPOINTMENT
Spin the scrollwheel to select the appointment and hit backspace.

VIEW AGENDA SCREEN
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.

KEYPRESS SHORTCUTS FROM VIEW AGENDA SCREEN
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.

VIEW WEEKLY / MONTHLY CALENDAR
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.

CHANGE DEFAULT REMINDER
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...

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Old 01-11-2005, 04:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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the problem that i see is that, if you have a lot of calender items it is slow to load when you first click on the icon (organizing msg) and when you make changes it is also slow. even now more with 4 on both ends. 7280 model any thoughts.
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Old 01-11-2005, 04:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It can be a bit slow -- but it does run faster if you make sure you have a little bit of free memory, and not running too many apps in the background. See if this helps.
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Old 01-11-2005, 04:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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a bit - please define
the prob is HHv4 takes up extra mem and now most devices have almost no mem left after emails/calendar/contacts

how do you close apps in background
i know how to toggle but not close
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Old 01-11-2005, 05:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Some applications cannot close itself. But if you are doing things like running Telnet, Verichat, etc, they have an exit option. There are often three default applications running: Messages, Home Screen, Browser. Those applications cannot be exited. But if you have more than three running at once, try to exit the other ones by hitting the Esc key or selecting an Exit option in the menu.

Now, memory can be used up by too many emails, or too much software. You can scroll back about 30 days of emails, and then select a date, then select "Delete Prior" to delete all old emails older than the date you've selected in the Messages list.

If you do not use BrickBreaker or Password Keeper or certain software, you can remove them from Options -> Applications ... That will free up a little bit more memory.

Finally, you can reboot your BlackBerry by hitting Alt+Cap+Delete, wait 5 seconds, then hit Alt+Cap+Delete again. (or you can remove and reinsert the battery). That clears up some memory.

Once this is done, hopefully your Calendar will speed up somewhat.

Also, try to obtain BlackBerryOS 4.0.0.185 ... It is slightly faster than 4.0.0.171 for things like these. If not, just be patient -- there are slight BlackBerryOS 4 speedups to improve things.
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Old 01-12-2005, 09:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Calendar

I have noticed the slow response as well, but only in the Agenda view. I have changed my default view to day and find it MUCH faster. This, combined with Mark's suggestion about rapid navigation using Alt + scroll wheel makes the calendar a useful, fast tool.
I still keep my Ipaq with me, but I find the BB to be my primary tool.
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Old 01-31-2005, 10:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default calendar etc..

Following up. The device has 1.7 mb free and it is still slow.
it has 6,122 contacts
many many reocccuring appts (50+) that never end and appts going fwd 6+ months
email from a few days
when i do almost anything it goes to the hour glass (HG) even in :
options/network it goes to the HG
calculator
7 secs to 'organize' calendar in day view
13 secs to 'organize' calendar in agenda view

would it be faster a newer device like the 7290 from cingular or are these not device functions as much as OTA functions of our BES and exchange.
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Old 01-31-2005, 11:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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That's a lot of data for a BlackBerry.

Not sure how much better the 7290 handles it, but I know there is twice as much flash ROM in the 7290. That definitely will make the hourglass much less frequent. Applications will load faster due to the extra memory, less swapping going on between the RAM and the flash ROM. More software can run at the same time.

However, for performance of other things, some things might be slightly slower. The 7290 is a bit faster than BlackBerryOS4 on a 7280, but slower than BlackBerryOS3.7 on a 7280.

Also, the early version 3.8's were rather slow, so try to upgrade the BlackBerryOS on a 7290 if you get a 7290. (4.0.0.185 is only available from the Hong Kong carriers, the North American carriers have not released it yet on the 7290)

It probably would be much faster your kind of use (lots of data). Not 100% sure, but I would think it would be.

However, the CPU speed of the 7290 is not faster than the 7280, as far as I know. Just so you know in advance!
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Old 01-31-2005, 02:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: calendar etc..

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradberry
many many reocccuring appts (50+) that never end and appts going fwd 6+ months
Presumably you synch your Blackberry often enough to not need 6 months worth of future appointments to be stored. I've set the redirector to only transfer the next couple of months to my 7280.
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Old 01-31-2005, 02:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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it is hhv 4 so it syncs wirelessly
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Old 01-31-2005, 03:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I wonder if there's an option to configure BES4 to wirelessly synchronize only 2 months forward.

I love wireless synchronizing too of BES4 and OS4 -- Anything that I add to Microsoft Outlook automatically shows up on my BlackBerry Calendar/Addressbook/etc about 5 seconds later. And vice-versa, anything I add to my BlackBerry shows up in my Outlook automatically within 30 seconds. It's continuous synchronization.
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Old 01-31-2005, 04:49 PM   #12 (permalink)
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"However, the CPU speed of the 7290 is not faster than the 7280, as far as I know. Just so you know in advance!

What devices have faster processors so I would see improvement. I can't find a spec sheet for any of the BBs
7230/7280
7250
7290
7100

thanks
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Old 01-31-2005, 06:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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bradberry -- The 7290 is one of the fastest BlackBerries available. (However, a 7280 with OS 3.7 is usually faster and the 7290 OS 3.8 is very slow -- but we're comparing 7280 OS 4.0 versus 7290 OS 4.0, and the 7290 is indeed faster on an apples-to-apples comparision when both are upgraded to OS4.

I don't know about 7250, it's not out yet. (Unless you meant the 7520... don't confuse the 7250 with the 7520...)

7520 is fast too, just like the 7290.

Not sure about 7100, but I heard it is somewhat slower, but that may be a symptom of its higher-resolution screen; and slower-performing theme. However, it has extra memory specs just like a 7290.

Reommended BlackBerry models for people with lots of contacts, such as 6000 contacts:
7290 and 7520
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Old 02-01-2005, 11:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
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i meant the vzw 7250 that is out today. Thanks for all your advice, i should put you on the payroll or at least buy you a beer

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Old 02-01-2005, 02:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The 7250 is rumored to be a very good model, so I would tentatively put it in the same category as 7290 and 7520.

First models of a new BlackBerry can sometimes be unstable, so I am waiting for a review -- sometimes they need a BlackBerryOS upgrade or two, before they run stable.

The 7250 also is supposed to have EV-DO, which makes it the BlackBerry with the fastest radio transmissions. Up to 2 megabits per second! (Typically 300-500 Kbps). Although the CPU is probably no faster, it does have all the extra features necessary for speeding up 6000 contacts -- such as more RAM to reduce slow flash-ROM "swapping" (less hourglass while running multiple programs). And on top of this, double the flash ROM to 32meg, so there's more memory free.

I'm almost tempted to switch to Bell Mobility just for the 7250, consider I am now paying Rogers $300 per month because I use more than 25 megabytes (Rogers has no true unlimited plan.)

I am just a hobbyist on this BlackBerryForums.com site (Read: unpaid volunteer!)
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:34 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Has anyone experienced reoccurring entries with a reminder set not ringing/notifying all of the time? Are there any certain circumstances that would cause this? Would an old event scheduled on Outlook 2002 2-3 years ago with no end time be a problem or should I recreate it on the BB?

My unit is a 7520 with OS4.

I need to rely on this feature so any help would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 02-19-2005, 10:16 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rejhon
bradberry -- The 7290 is one of the fastest BlackBerries available. (However, a 7280 with OS 3.7 is usually faster and the 7290 OS 3.8 is very slow -- but we're comparing 7280 OS 4.0 versus 7290 OS 4.0, and the 7290 is indeed faster on an apples-to-apples comparision when both are upgraded to OS4.
I have a 7230 running 4.0.0.188 - is it possible to revert to 3.7 to increase the speed?

I am connected to Vodafone UK in United Kingdom.

Thnks
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Old 03-05-2005, 06:24 PM   #18 (permalink)
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if in day view mode:
scroll to date, hit return and enter new appointment.
Use the same keys to go forward and backward as for next unread mail (v and n with german BB)
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Old 04-26-2005, 10:04 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Is it possible to change the default appointment 'duration' from 1 hour to anything else. I am not refering to the default reminder. Or a quick tip to change it, if the default 'duration' cannot be changed.

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Old 04-26-2005, 05:00 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Try using the scroll wheel while typing your message. This changes the duration.
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