I mentioned in part 1 of the Blackberry Passport Users Review a few weeks ago that Blackberry has become a massively integral part of how I run both my property business and the Audiophile ON website. With a few more weeks of Passport life in the bag I think I can best describe the Blackberry Passport as refinement to how I manage my time, efficiency and productivity. Its these 3 things that have seen me have, at minimum, an extra hour or so of play time in my days. Getting things done on the go is the clincher. Usually I would wait until I am back on my desktop to anything more than checking an email or making a call I now find time in those quiet moments during the day to handle those tasks on the go. This week I am going to discuss productivity on the Blackberry Passport. First I want to go over some specific examples to my own use of the device and how I operate on it. Then I would like to follow up with some productivity tricks and tips before finishing up by covering some of the productivity apps that I actually use. If you feel like skipping some of my ramblings I have separated this article into those 3 sections. Don't worry I wont be offended if you skip... us BB folk are busy people right?
Blackberry Passport Review Part 1: A users perspective
Blackberry Passport Review Part 2: Audio Analysis
Blackberry Passport: How to take better photos with the Blackberry Passport
GETTING IT DONE ON THE GO (Personal Experience)
When I think about my day, there is, on average an hour of sitting about waiting or doing nothing when outside the office. This is usually spread between 2 areas, commuting and waiting around on somebody else. Usually, due to the miserable experience of doing any sort of real work on my previous devices I would spend this time reading my rss feeds, checking various news feeds or not using my device at all....basically, i would procrastinate. When I switched on to Blackberry I found myself not as opposed to doing some actual work on my device because doing these tasks was less frustrating. Now after a few months with the Blackberry Passport I find I am flying through tasks, I am a productive beast.
The Blackberry Passport is the first product I have used that goes a significant way to bridging that gap of what you are willing to do on a desktop and what you are willing to do on a mobile device. Just try and write a document on a LG G3 as I once did the screen is simply not wide enough to get but a few squashed lines of text across it. Jump into a spreadsheet on a traditional smartphone the problem is even more exacerbated. Im not just talking about you could write documents, I wrote the first part of the Blackberry Passport review on the phone in full that was a huge article.... think it was a one off? Nope. over 50% of the articles on this site have been birthed on the Passport in the past 2 weeks. As the audiophile on website is a hobby for myself its nice to spend less of my personal time at a computer and being able to make articles on the go has been a breath of fresh air.
My efficiency in communication has also been energised. Where in the past I would simply reply in as few words as possible, or, as I am sure many of you do, reply to work emails with the obligatory "sorry I am not currently in the office I will get back to you......" you get the picture. Instead if I have a spare 5 minutes I am willing to bang out a lengthier reply complete with attachments. It just seems less effort than it did before. The quality of my replies is also buoyed by the incredible efficiency that my Blackberry Passport handles my various accounts. I don't think a piece of software was ever more aptly named that the "Blackberry HUB". When I'm on the go this thing is indispensable, its like a mobile command centre. I have 6 email accounts, twitter, 2 Facebook accounts, messaging, Instagram and Tidal and a host of other alerts running out of it. All in the one place, all in chronological order, all clear and concise. The Hub is far and away the best feature on a Blackberry whether we are talking software or hardware and rival companies have yet to come up with something that can even come close.
There are many more topics that attribute in other ways to ones productiveness on the Blackberry Passport but I am sure you just want me to get to the stuff that applies to you. As with all my other articles I write on personal experience so the tips and tricks are ones I use. Theres a lot of stuff you can do but here are some that I love. Its the cumulation of little things that can make such bug differences in practice.
BLACKBERRY PASSPORT PRODUCTIVITY TIPS
Bulk delete & server delete
This might have been obvious to some but when I started I was going through individual messages and deleting them. what I should have done is from the hub hit the bottom right menu function and click on select more. Now I can mass highlight and delete emails, facebook and twitter posts all in one go. Additionally Blackberry has given us the option of deleting these messages from just the device or the server at the same time.
Long Press Keys
A quick way to capitalise a letter is to long press any key. A longer press will also pop up that particular keys symbol function. Its worth taking 5 minutes to learn some of your most used symbols as this can speed up going into the relevant menu.
2 Ways to Launch Assistant
I actually use the Blackberry Assistant feature in order to set reminders and alarms. It is the first voice recognition from any company that can recognise my Scottish accent, an achievement in its own right. You can launch the Assistant by long pressing the coma or the play pause hard key.
Choose your "sent from" Account
You can start to write an email and then select which of your linked accounts you would like to send it from. Just swipe down from the "from" input box to get a list of your presets.
This has saved me frustration many a time as some sites I use for research simply do not work well in the mobile style view. Thats ok because we can enable the desktop mode. From the browser hit the menu button > settings > developer options > enable desktop mode. No reset the page and you are done.
To take a screenshot with the Blackberry Passport you simple press the up and down volume button at the same time. Your screenshot will now be saved in your gallery app.
You have a couple of options for navigating pages or documents. To scroll with the Blackberry passports keyboard you just run your thumb or finger across the keyboards surface. This works especially well when reading if you flip the device on its side and scroll with one hand. To jump to the bottom of any page hit the "B" button and to go back to the top hit "T". Of course if you want you can still scroll by using your finger on the Blackberrry's touch screen.
Customise Universal Search
Of course most Blackberry Passport users will know that from the Blackberry home screen you can perform a universal search. Did you also know that you can customise that Assistant window. You can find the option in the assistants settings window and while you are at it customise your Blackberry drop down quick settings menu to make sure the ones you most use are at hand first.
BLACKBERRY PASSPORT PRODUCTIVITY APPS
Team viewer on the Blackberry Passport is by far and away the easiest experience I have had on any phone ever. I simply connect over to my Mac and am able to have a more computer like experience due to the added screen width. I have actually found myself booting into Lightroom, Sigma Photo Pro, Logic Pro X and many more desktops while on the go as well as accessing my personal and server files. Even better is if you are near a display and have a slimport adapter you can work from a full screen with the full power of your desktop and still have a tactile keyboard from which to
The work wide app is one of the best apps on my Blackberry Passport. It allows me to compose messages or write full documents while I can research or copy from another document without the added frustration of having to jump back and forth between windows. Easily one of the most productive apps for Blackberry.
Documents To Go
It comes with your Blackberry but I love this App. Documents to go is just so clean and simple and the document support is perfect for my needs. As I mentioned above I work on word documents, accounts ledgers on the go and all with the help of this powerful on the go processor.
I used to be all about Evernote and I do still use it but with Blackberry's incredible blend software installed on my mac I find that the pre installed Reminder App is on that works best for me on short notes. Simple, easy and syncs beautifully.
One of the best apps I have ever used for voice recording due to its clean and easy to use interface. I find the Blackberry Passport audio quality to be excellent and now use it to record interviews and go over them after instead of furiously trying to scribble down shorthand notes.
IFTTT (Play Store)
Lets me manage my social accounts by having one app post to another. A massive massive time saver for anyone involved with social media.
Now this is a really really really good app. If you need to make a presentation on the go then there is nothing better quicker or more pro looking that the Blackberry Express app. Honestly this thing has saved me a bunch of times and its so easy and effortless to use.
Last and certainly not least is Blend. Blend is the best way to connect your Blackberry passport to your computer. If you are a mac user then even more so. when you switch to using it you realise Android and Apple's approaches to task of working between your desktop/laptop and phone are terrible. When I am connected on the same wifi network it connect instantly and I have access to my documents, contacts, messages... basically everything on my device and its just a mouse click away.
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