BlackBerry Tips: Do More in Less Time

You love your BlackBerry smartphone for its reliable push email, intuitive interface, and long-lasting battery. But even seasoned “CrackBerry” owners aren’t likely aware of the many keyboard shortcuts and other tricks that can help save time and irritation.

The following tips should work on all current BlackBerry models, regardless of which carrier you’re with:

Navigating through all your email can be a time-consuming process. To speed it along considerably, click the N button to go to the “next” email message. This is much faster than exiting the email and then scrolling down to open the next one.

Press the P button to go to the “previous” email. If you’re at the end of a lengthy message and want to quickly go back to the top, press the T button. Press the R button to reply to an email you’re reading, press L to reply to all, and press F to forward the message.

If there’s a friend, family member, or business contact you call often, you can assign them to a speed-dial letter. Simply hold down a button from the main screen, such as H (for “Home”), and you will see a pop-up window that asks “Assign a Speed Dial to the H key?” After you select “Yes,” it opens your address book to select the contact you wish to assign to that letter. If you want to call into your voice mail, the fastest way to do it is to hold down the “1” key.

Has your BlackBerry accidentally called someone when you slipped it into your pocket or purse (or worse, at midnight, after you’ve had a few?). A small Standby button lies at the top of the handset (near the power button). It might look like a speaker with a slash through it. Hold it down for a second and it will say “Entering Standby Mode,” and your screen will go dark. Essentially, this locks your keyboard until you press the Standby button again.

If you’ve got an inbox full of read messages dating back a week or two on your BlackBerry, it may be time for some spring cleaning. Select a date field, visible in between your emails, such as “Sun, April 5, 2009” and then choose the option to “Delete Prior.” As you may guess, all emails sent prior to this date will be deleted from the BlackBerry.

Navigate through the Web on your BlackBerry quickly with these easy button shortcuts. Press H to return to your home page, press G to go to another Web site (to type in a Web address), and press A to open your bookmarks (or press K to add one).

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