Monday, February 28, 2011

Supe up your Blackberry

I hate my blackberry. One time, i was so frustrated, i threw my piece of shit bb against a wall, it bounced on the ground and literally right back at my feet, completely unscathed. jebus it is the fucking device from hell. anyway, let's face it, in this day and age, you are expected to be on call all the time and carry that thing around like you're fucking frodo clutching the fucking ring of power.  but because of that, i say, might as well use that ring of power to disappear (or whatever else frodo did while invisible) to your advantage. it is after all useful tech. i use my bb like a mini computer, which helps me continue to be efficient while i'm not at my desk, or even better, make some people think i am at my desk.

  1. Harmonize with outlook - if you make emails from your blackberry look like they were sent from our desktop, or visa versa, you'll always be in this ethereal space of working at your desk etc. This doesn't really do that much, but it does give people (think your seniors and staffers) the impression that you are always working, which can be helpful when you feed them stories about how busy you are, or when you tell them you were working allll night. So, here's what i do: (i) make your email signatures consistent - i have one for new messages from my PC, and nothing for replies - bbs cannot handle html or pictures so don't include em. On my bb, everything has nothing so everything is a reply. I make my default PC email color a bluish color - the same as comes out on bbs. The last trick that a banker told me about - on blackberrys, when you reply or forward, the subject line has "Re" or "Fwd", but on your PC, it comes out as "RE" or "FWD" - tricky. just to cover all my bases, sometimes i change them manually.
  2. Folders - the bb lets u read and write emails while away from the office. it also lets you continue to organize, so that when you get back to ur desk the next day, you don't have a heap of emails that you've read that you now need to sort. a small errand, but if u do this on ur bb right after you read something, it saves time in the long run (like using timers to get ur time in everyday).
  3. Search - get good at using the search function. if you ever need to find someone's email, or reply to a message or something, search for their name, search for subject headings or whatever. it's a powerful tool. use it.
  4. Attachments - learn how to download, save and attach those saved files. If you know how to edit docs on your bb you can even attach comments. 
  5. Forwarding/saving drafts - you can write up or send yourself emails to send later, save them as drafts, and send them/forward them later. If you need to forward something to someone but don't want the previous emails, you can delete the original text as an option (i think you need to actually "reply" to the original email to get that option and then change the header to "FW:"). if you know you're going to be on your bb after you leave the office but need to send something out later after say someone confirms something - send the email to yourself, and then copy and paste the text from your blackberry to a new message or just forward that message. it's helpful to have all the relevant contacts saved in your blackberry already (ask your assistant to do this) or make sure you have an email that's previously been sent to all the right people available on your device - so you can search for it and reply all, delete the original text and paste in your etc.
  6. Conf. calls - if you are working remotely and need to conference someone in, you can do it, learn how. i think you can conference up to three lines in. 
  7. Contacts - save important contact numbers in your blackberry. For example, as a junior, a lot of times you'll be asked to set up conferences. If you work in a branch office overseas, you'll have local numbers and authorization codes for these - they don't tell you this when you start but the secretaries know it. Get it from them and save it and you can set up a call anytime without trying to get a hold of a secretary or go through your head office.
  8. Hotkeys - as with all tech, learn to use those hotkeys to make things go a lot faster. it's like second nature to me to do things quicker. for mail, some basic ones are: "c" for composing a new message, "r" when on a message (open or just on it) to reply, "l" to reply all, "f" to forward. when you are in your context menus you can use the keys to navigate them quicker too if your trackpad sucks or sometimes you just can't stand it. for example, if ur in mail and want to search, go to your menu and i press "s" twice to go to the search function. i don't even need to look at the screen when i do this now it's just second nature. just hit my keys and start typing. there are hot keys for the other programs too so all in all will save you time in the long run. just like sprintcuts.
  9. BBM - you have free data, why not use it to keep in contact with fellow monkeys. (if you don't know, blackberry messenger is like an IM service for blackberries.)
  10. MUTE - know where your mute button is and use it.
  11. Other - there are some other things you can use your bb for for both work and personal productivity - download apps like gtalk, gmail, gmaps, evernote, whatsapp, etc. you can add music to ur blackberry so you use it like an ipod when ur traveling. download bebuzz to change the color of your fucking led light that blinks when you have mail - u can make it blink blue or green or "disco" - at least you'll look cool. 
That's about it for now. there are others but i cant bear to type anymore on my bb right now. oh, you can also play the games too when you've got some minutes to kill, like in the elevator, boring conference calls, taking shits in the bathroom.... the poker game is good for making millions of fake money that you'll never get to use. word

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