Five Tip Friday: How your phone can help you stay productive

Five Tip Friday

BlackBerry has a long history of providing smartphones that help people stay productive. We asked our followers on Twitter (@BlackBerryHelp) to share with us their best tips for using their phone to stay productive. We want to share a few of our favorites with you, as well as some of our own productivity tips!

Whether you’re trying to find ways to keep your emails organized, carry and store your many important documents on your phone, or just customize your playlists to help you optimize your workflow, BlackBerry has you covered with helpful apps, useful gestures, and much more to keep you running all day long.

Use shortcuts for easier access to the things you use most

Mikel highlights a great feature that can help you navigate your phone quickly- shortcuts! His image highlights the swipe gesture on the PRIV that allow you to access 3 shortcuts from anywhere on your PRIV. The default shortcuts are the BlackBerry Device Search app, the Phone, and the BlackBerry Hub, but you can customize these by:

  • Swiping down from the top of the screen once using two fingers, or twice using one finger.
  • Tap Settings priv_guest_gearSwipe Shortcuts.
  • Tap a circle, and choose whether you want this shortcut to Open app (you’ll choose which one), call a contact with Speed dial, Send a message (email or text) to a contact, or choose an action from the All shortcuts menu

PRIV also allows you to customize keyboard shortcuts! For more information, read this Help Blog article on how to turn on and customize PRIV keyboard shortcuts.

BlackBerry 10 phones with a physical keyboard, like Passport and Classic, allow Keyboard shortcuts that can be used on the home screen and in the Hub. To add a shortcut, or change an existing one:

  • On the home screen, swipe down from the top of the screen.
  • Tap  Settings > Shortcuts and Speed Dial.
  • Tap and hold a letter
    • If the key already has an assigned keyboard shortcut, you can change the shortcut without first deleting the existing shortcut.

You can choose from App Launch, Quick Compose, or Other Shortcut.

Deal with emails quickly & easily using the Hub

BlackBerry fans like Mark always highlight one of our favorite tools for productivity- the BlackBerry Hub. The ultimate tool for productivity, it combines all your messages into one easy location. From here, you can perform many functions that can help you stay organized and productive.

To see only unread messages, BlackBerry 10 users can use the convenient Pinch gesture; pinching the screen with two fingers will filter the read messages, showing you just those which you have yet to open. You can also filter messages by account, by clicking vaca_clock and choosing which account you want to look at.

16_06_BB10_Hub_PinchGesture

PRIV users can also filter by unread, or high importance messages, by clicking down-arrow.

Note: #PRIV users (and soon to be #DTEK50 users) who download and install August security patch can now use the Pinch gesture!

There are also times when our inboxes get too full, and we need to do some bulk email management so that we can stay organized. BlackBerry makes this easy with Mark Prior Read and Delete Prior in the Hub- learn how with this article for BlackBerry 10, and this article for PRIV users.

Make notifications easy to tell apart by creating custom notifications

The Hub is great for seeing all you message in one convenient location, but what about when you’re busy and don’t want to be interrupted? Customizing your notifications can help you identify, without even turning on your phone screen, whether the notification is urgent or not.

BlackBerry 10 users can choose from different Notification profiles- such as Bedside Mode, which turns off all sounds and visual notifications, or Meeting Mode, which turns off notification sounds. You can also create a custom notification profile, and customize notifications for apps and/or contacts. Customizing the sound and/or vibrate settings for different apps and contacts can help you differentiate between junk mail and important messages, without even looking at your phone. That means you don’t have to stop one task to check your phone, keeping you on the task at hand.

PRIV users also enjoy many customization options for notifications. You can set your PRIV to Do Not Disturb, which is perfect for sleeping and important meetings when you don’t want any distractions. To turn on Do Not Disturb,

  • Swipe down with two fingers on the home screen
  • Tap Do not Disturb do not disturb
  • From here, you can tap Total silenceAlarms only, or Priority only.
    • Priority only notifications allow you to choose types of notifications you want to receive, even if you turn on Do Not Disturb. Learn more about Priority settings here.
  • To change how long do not disturb stays on, tap +or , or tap Until you turn this off.
  • Tap Done.

Don’t worry about storage- add a media card!

Our phones hold a lot of our most precious data- both personal and work-related! Your phone is a compact, easy way to carry this data, but what happens when you begin to run low on storage? If you find yourself needing more storage space, don’t try to decide which photos or documents to delete- you can keep all your family vacation photos, and all your important work documents, together on your phone by adding a media card.

Having the flexibility to carry whatever you need on your smartphone gives you easy access to what’s important, no matter where you are! Find out how to add a media card (microSD card) to both your BlackBerry 10 device and your PRIV by following the links.

Put on some tunes and create your ideal work atmosphere 

Do you find putting on a good playlist can help you focus on the task at hand? BlackBerry fan Holly points out how useful a playlist can be for getting you in the right mood to work.

Whether using music to create a good working atmosphere, or listening to some tunes while you take a quick break, you have lots of way to listen to music on your phone. BlackBerry 10 users can find their Music library in the Music app; check out this article to learn how to create playlist, turn on the equalizer, and more! For PRIV users, your music library is found on Google PlayTM.

You can also download apps that provide music streaming, such as 8tracks (available on BB10 and Android), which offers an internet radio service that allows you to search for playlists based on your mood. Whatever works for you, your BlackBerry phone can be a great tool to help you create a productive work atmosphere.

So there you have it- 5 tips for how you can use your phone to help you increase your productivity. Did we miss any of your favorite tips? Sound off in the comments if you have questions, comments, or more tips to share!  Also, watch the @BlackBerryHelp Twitter channel for more content calls- who knows, we may feature your tip next!

To learn about your BlackBerry 10 or PRIV smartphone, or troubleshoot an issue, there are several great options available to help. Visit http://blackberry.com/support for access to product documentation, how-to demos, tips and tricks, YouTube videos, support forums, knowledge base articles, Twitter support, and contact information for your region.

About Erin Jamieson

Social Media Intern at BlackBerry. Follow me on Twitter

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