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Old 12-27-2004, 09:46 PM   #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 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.

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 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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Mark Rejhon
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www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0301.html - specification
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Last edited by Mark Rejhon : 02-01-2006 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 01-31-2006, 05:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rejhon

Keep in mind BlackBerryOS 4.0 now has categories...
Mark -

Any way to assign categories to appointments in the BB's calendar? My 8700 came with the Pumatech sync conduits, and I can't seem to figure out how to copy the categories across from Outlook's appointments.

Thanks.
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Old 01-31-2006, 06:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't think categories are supported on the BB calendar OS 4.1
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Mark, I'm a bit dissappointed that the BB calendar does not let me transfer history from Outlook to the BB when I synchronize. I was trying to rid myself of so many devices (like my Palm) but now I have been told that BB does not support it! Can you confirm!
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Old 02-14-2006, 07:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You can synchronize your calendar history if you desire...
You will need the desktop manager software for this.

Connect the BB handheld and start the desktop manager software.
Go into the PIM sync configuration and switch the calendar from Wireless to the local mail application (Outlook, Notes, etc)
Confirm the change then from the main PIM configuration window, click advanced.
Click the radio button to change the option from "only future items" to "all entries"
Click OK then return to the main intellisync menu and synchronize the data.

All of your calendar entries, regardless of date will now be on your BlackBerry.
Reenable your wireless calendaring and you are on your way!
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Old 02-14-2006, 08:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Is there any way to have a continiuous sync? I keep my Blackberry plugged in when I am ay my computer, and am constantly making changes to my Outlook Contacts / Calendar, but then I forget to sync it before I take it with me. My Axim using ActiveSync would sync immediately when there was a change. If there is no continuous sync, can you schedule one for every 10 minutes or something like that?

Thanks!
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm not sure how your Outlook platform works with respect to where it stores your calendar data, but I use Lotus Notes and my Calendar data is stored on my mail server, not my local PC.

Therefore I can set my mail AND Calendar to sync via wireless connection. Now I can enter/change a calendar listing and in the matter of a few moments, both are sync'd.

The only things I can't get sync'd wirelessly are Addbook and Memo Pad (Notes Prsnl Jrnl).

Hope this is helpful
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Old 02-14-2006, 01:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you have a BES, are using Wireless Calandering, and have a good signal in your area, any changes you make in Outlook or on the BlackBerry should be reflected on the other side within 1-2 minutes.
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Old 02-14-2006, 02:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I should have mentioned that I am not on a BES, rather I just use Desktop Manager.
Any way to do a sync continuously?
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Old 02-15-2006, 07:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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No...the Wireless Calendaring feature is one of the benefits of owning a BES. If you don't want to pay the expense associated with a BES, you could always try a "hosted" service.
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