Friday, May 13, 2011

Why the BlackBerry?

Today's smartphone market offers an array of options. It is also highly competitive. The latest figures show the Android holding 33% of the market, BackBerry at 29%, and the iPhone at 25%. If you are in the market for a new phone, which one should you buy, especially when the leading competitors are all excellent choices? This post is about the reasons behind my choice, the BlackBerry.

The BlackBerry Syncs With Outlook
I could probably end the post with that last statement...The BlackBerry sync with Outlook. Other leading brands do not. My last post explained why I use Outlook and have done so since 2001. The leading handheld device at that time was the Palm. Palm provided a great piece of desktop software for free, but they also understood how popular and powerful Outlook was. Therefore, you were provided two options: sync with the Palm Desktop or sync with Outlook. I wish every smartphone offered the options to sync with Outlook.

Most of us have Microsoft Office, complete with Outlook, so when you buy a BlackBerry, there is no need to look for any third-party software to manage your calendar, to-dos, contacts, etc. Install the BlackBerry Desktop Software on your computer, run through the simple setup procedures, and you are ready to share your organizational data between your computer and your BlackBerry.

Go with another smartphone, and you will find plenty of options. One program handles your calendar. Another one handles to-dos. Finding one that has calendar, to-dos, contacts, and reference information rolled into one is. Finding something that does all of that at no additional cost is even tougher.

The Task List Search Function is Fast and Easy
When I look at the BlackBerry task list, I see a list of my to-dos in order by due date. With the most overdue items at the top and the things I need to do years from now, such as renewing my driver’s license in four years, at the bottom. But what if I want to find a particular item or group of items?

I press one of the two "convenience keys" on my BlackBerry Bold to bring up my task list. If I simply start typing, the device starts narrowing the list. With each key stroke, the list narrows instantly to only the entries which contain that string of letters. Because it happens with each keystroke, I never have to wait on search results. In a future post, I will discuss how to use the task list in more detail.

It's Easy to Share My Methodology With Others
I do what I do with Outlook and the native BlackBerry software. When I work with someone else who has Outlook and a BlackBerry, we do not have to begin by purchasing additional software. We do not begin by downloading any new software. We can jump right into methodology, because we already have everything we need.

I do keep my eyes and ears open for other software that helps people organize their lives. One of the main reasons I do so is that non-BlackBerry users need some options, since other leading brands do not sync with Outlook. I want to be ready to help people succeed with whatever smartphone they have.

For my own use, however, I already have everything I need. That's certainly not to take away from any software that has been developed. There is some good stuff out there. I am a proponent of people using digital tools to make managing their lives easier, and anyone willing to write software to that end has my full support.

It's simply a matter of when you have Outlook and a BlackBerry, all you need is some instruction on how to use what is already at your fingertips. That's the easy part.
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