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Old 01-24-2008, 11:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi Everyone. I registered just to ask this one question...

I'm a college student thinking about getting a blackberry for the calendaring and task list abilities. I already have a laptop (ibook G4), which is great. So I'm wondering if a blackberry would be overkill.

I'm on Verizon now (family share plan), and would be getting the 8703e used from ebay. I'd be on the $29.99/mo. data plan.

I do handle some email for my job as National IT Consultant for a small "green" construction firm, but mostly use my laptop for that. (And no, the company probably won't reimburse me for a BB).

Mostly I just want some kind of organizer which I can carry all the time. I carry a cellphone anyway, and DON'T want to carry an additional PDA (I tried a palm, but always left it behind). I always have moments where I say to myself "why didn't I write that down", or "darn, I forgot to do that". Unfortunately, Verizon won't let a BB be activated as a phone without a BB data plan.

Am I just wasting my money on a device and data plan meant for folks who need constant email access (which I really don't, or I just use my laptop)? Should I be looking at a Treo or Q (or even plain paper) instead? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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just recently got my first blackberry... now i completely understand why it's called CRACKBERRY...
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The BB has productivity tools, organizer, etc. You can purchase a ton of third party applications to do almost anything that you want. If you want to use a stylus then bb isn't your thing. It does a lot of things VERY well and you cannot beat it for email. If you are using your laptop for email use you will find it stays at home and you are free to roam.

Honestly, I don't know that anyone but you can answer this question. I would probably give it a shot as you are buying a used device and it's not the end of the world. I will say if you have used windows device you know how unstable they are and I know you will appreciate how rock solid the BB OS is!

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Old 01-25-2008, 12:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome to the BBForums...

My thoughts? Yes, you will use it and you will find yourself in greater use of it than you suspect. From what I can read of your post, between the lines, you are not an average college student.

I think you will use more than you suspect. It is a fine oroganizer and tasks organizer.
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Plus as a college student you will probably want text, facebook, Myspace and IM. The BB can do this all VERY well!

Good luck!

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Old 01-25-2008, 01:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trekboy View Post
Hi Everyone. I registered just to ask this one question...

I'm a college student thinking about getting a blackberry for the calendaring and task list abilities. I already have a laptop (ibook G4), which is great. So I'm wondering if a blackberry would be overkill.

I'm on Verizon now (family share plan), and would be getting the 8703e used from ebay. I'd be on the $29.99/mo. data plan.

I do handle some email for my job as National IT Consultant for a small "green" construction firm, but mostly use my laptop for that. (And no, the company probably won't reimburse me for a BB).

Mostly I just want some kind of organizer which I can carry all the time. I carry a cellphone anyway, and DON'T want to carry an additional PDA (I tried a palm, but always left it behind). I always have moments where I say to myself "why didn't I write that down", or "darn, I forgot to do that". Unfortunately, Verizon won't let a BB be activated as a phone without a BB data plan.

Am I just wasting my money on a device and data plan meant for folks who need constant email access (which I really don't, or I just use my laptop)? Should I be looking at a Treo or Q (or even plain paper) instead? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
hey trekboy i think the blackberry is perfect for college students and since you have a job and you do have to do some e mailing with the blackberry you dont have to wait around for an e mail and you dont have to run to a computer to check if you got an email. on the side of being orgnized well its all up to the person how he is. the blackberry has all the tools to do so and then some. i tell people if u cant get my on my cell or aol or pin or even e mail then call 911 thats how connected you will become on a blackberry. once you see how much you can do you will get to a point where the blackberry will free up some of your time because everything is in your hand files email instent message instent email and the abilty to view word and excel files and even edit them. i hope this tells you how the blackberry is and what it will do for you
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Since I assume you will be using BIS for e-mail, it is worth checking what sort of protocols your college (and other accounts) use. It is not ideal to have to resort to POP3, so you would ideally want to be able to access your mailbox by IMAP and/or OWA. I know that some institutions restrict such access to only over a VPN.

Since you will probably want to sync to your iBook you may want to budget for a copy of Missing Sync. A lot of folks prefer this to the free Pocket Mac, but it is worth looking at the Mac forums a bit for further advice.
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Old 01-25-2008, 10:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I, myself, am a college student & am on my second blackberry (got a pearl for my birthday 1 1/2 years ago and just recently got an 8800). I've found it incredibly useful, so I think it's definitely worth it!
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Old 01-25-2008, 11:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I suspect you will find it quite useful, both for the "why didn't I write that down" aspect of your needs but also the email -- which you somewhat pooh-pooh in your post. You'll almost certainly find that you will use the BB to quickly respond to small, minor requests that come in via email, and effectively put the ball back in the other parties court. No need to fire up the laptop.

As for getting further organized, if you get the BB look into add-on software that will allow you to take emails and inject them into your calender and/or task list. Some of your need to "write things down" may well be addressed by that feature.
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Old 01-25-2008, 04:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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First of all, I think it's great that a college student is looking for ways to be more organized. The Blackberry can certainly help you do this.

As someone else said, look into Missing Sync for Blackberry. I have it along with my MacBook and it works flawlessly to sync my iCal, contacts, and tasks to my Blackberry from my laptop. Others have pointed out the advantage of having your BB with you at all times as opposed to your laptop. Email will be your best friend. Look into another app called "I want sandy" that allows you to email reminders to yourself (Don't forget to study for the test Friday) and even make entries into your iCal calendar (Chemistry Monday at 9:30AM) from your Blackberry.

I think once you try out Blackberry you will wonder how you ever got along without one. Best of luck.
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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As a college student I find it incredibly useful. I would say if you can swing the money for the monthly data service, you WILL use it. I switched before this semester to a 8310 from a Nokia 6126 and WOW. I never thought I would use it, but now I do everything through my BB. 4 emails into one device is amazing when I have to be concerned with emails coming from school and 2 jobs. My calender is amazing for balancing everything I have to do, not to mention tasks and memos. Anyway, all I am trying to say is that if you look at your budget and it is in there for swing the monthly cost, you WILL find it incredibly helpful.

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Old 01-25-2008, 05:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the input.

To answer some of your questions, I really don't care about the platform as long as it gets the job done. I originally wanted to go with a Treo, as I have used a palm organizer before, but horror stories about rebooting, and crashing have kept me away. The palm was nice, but the stylus was slow to enter text and required two hands for any operation. A touch screen isn't necessary, because as long as the device has intuitive controls it should be fine. I use a variety of platforms in my line of work (Win/Mac/Linux/BSD, etc) so moving to a BB doesn't bother me from that perspective.

Also I looked at the Moto Q, which I liked the idea of, but the task list was absolutely horrible (yes I know about 3rd party software), and battery life is suppose to be pretty bad. While a camera on a phone is nice to have, it isn't a top priority for me, and I have an iPod nano as a Music player which works great because it's very small. Also, my experiences with the Q at the Verizon store gave me the impression that it has a very sluggish interface.

tobyw, I double checked, and it looks like my school uses both IMAP and POP3 for email, with the user being able to choose which one. Right now I'm using POP3 with my desktop (Apple Mail) mail program, but leaving the emails on the server. I would probably move everything (school/work/home) over to IMAP if I had a BB.

Thatzmister2u, I do use Facebook somewhat for keeping in touch with friends, but not nearly the amount that most college students use it. But I suppose that having it on my BB might change that.

JSanders, I'm probably unlike most college in that I don't want a BB for the "wow" factor, but more for it's functional capabilities. I'm a double major (History/Secondary ED) in my junior year, and have my job which I believe our company is up to 30 independent contractors and employees which I am responsible for helping with technical issues.

Luckily, we are a national company where everyone telecommutes (because it's "greener" to not maintain, heat, and cool an office.) All of our server hosting is outsourced, so keeping racks of servers working isn't my job (Thankfully). However, I am in charge of the website, the Groupware, the CRM, email accounts, etc, etc.

I think I'm going for it! Like Thatzmister2u said, If it doesn't work out, I can resell it on EBay, and move back to my regular (ugly BREW-based) Motorola flip phone. (Not to say the phone is ugly, but I hate the BREW lock-down software.)

I was actually sitting in class today and yesterday listening to lectures which has no real importance, wishing I could be multi-tasking and do something productive. I'll probably be ordering my BB tonight from ebay, and I'll try to post back when I get it to let everyone know. Thanks so much for your help, and sorry for writing so much, but I hope this thread will be useful for others as well.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trekboy View Post
Thatzmister2u, I do use Facebook somewhat for keeping in touch with friends, but not nearly the amount that most college students use it. But I suppose that having it on my BB might change that.

JSanders, I'm probably unlike most college in that I don't want a BB for the "wow" factor, but more for it's functional capabilities. I'm a double major (History/Secondary ED) in my junior year, and have my job which I believe our company is up to 30 independent contractors and employees which I am responsible for helping with technical issues.
No shit, I am a Secondary History Ed major in my junior year! (I guess I shouldn't find this as surprising as I do, but cool none-the-less.) Working a job like that and managing a school schedule I think you will really put this thing to use.

Just my $.02 on the wow factor thing. BB are the workhorses of the smartphone world. Wow factor is for the iPhone, which is gimmicky and not nearly as powerful as a BB. I haven't been around this forum for long, but I have been selling for a hair under 4 years now, so I have been around since before the original RAZR . I just joined because I got my BB a little while ago.

The facebook app is kind of crippled and lame, but it still lets you know when something happens to your account (wall post, etc.). Free anyway, so worth the DL just to have access to it.

Let us know what you think after you get it!

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Old 01-25-2008, 05:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Make sure you read the FAQ, especially the section on buying a used BB on ebay. Lots of good info there that can save you some headaches and problems.
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSanders View Post
Welcome to the BBForums... It is a fine oroganizer and tasks organizer.

what is this oroganizer JS?
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
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working professional and student

you are not going wrong by getting yourself a BB
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:02 AM   #17 (permalink)
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As a college student as well, I'm happy I went with the BlackBerry. It has features I didn't know then that I now use as well to keep my up-to-date with things both with school, work, family and friends.. It has everything I need - e-mail, text messaging, browsing (Opera Mini), instant messaging (Jive Talk), media, calendars and more all in one device.
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:16 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I wish I had the Pearl when I was in college because it seems to be the perfect platform for someone in your shoes. I have only had my BB a few days but already I find myself keeping better track of tasks at hand and keeping up with email a lot better than I used to. I'm very happy with the battery life too but I suppose that will depend on the device.

Since Facebook was brought up, I have to put in a few words for the Facebook BB application. It is such a slick app and it works so easy it will spoil you quickly if you use it. I'm a pretty light Facebook user, but I will probably do most of my Facebooking (is that word) from my BlackBerry from now on.
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:46 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S2K ON 2 View Post
just recently got my first blackberry... now i completely understand why it's called CRACKBERRY...
Agreed
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Old 01-28-2008, 09:09 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Please let us know how it goes and best of luck in school.
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