I’ve been reading Blackberry Hacks, off and on, for the last couple of months (author’s blog here). Very useful if you’re a Blackberry user that wants to get the most out of your device. The book has 100 “hacks” for squeezing maximum productivity out of the bb. As usual, some of the “hacks” are just things you should be reading the manual for anyway, and hacks 72-100 are pretty much aimed at system administrators and application developers. But in most cases, there’s some original and innovative stuff here. And a lot of it is stuff you’d probably never discover unless you immersed yourself in Blackberry forums for a few weeks.
Anyway, I dabbled with a bunch of the hacks in the book and ended up sticking with three new applications: PocketMac, BBToday and Berry 411.
I actually didn’t learn about PocketMac through the book, though I did learn a couple of tricks about it. I was intent on not using it because I didn’t want to bcome dependent upon a cable for synchronizing data. I caved. Synchronizing task data is just too important to ignore. PocketMac does the trick. It actually allows you to sync all kinds of stuff, but I only need to sync tasks and notes and it does this well.
BBToday (that link will allow you to install ‘over the air’) is a nice little freeware application that gives you an overview of everything that’s going on with your BB. On one screen you’ve got power and signal information, how many new emails you’ve got, phone calls you’ve received, weather, etc. Very handy, and it’s become my default startup application.
Berry 411 is another application that’s turning out to be pretty handy. This one isn’t freeware, rather it’s ‘CharityWare’. If you find the application useful, the author encourages you to send money to a charity, and has some recommendations on the website. You configure Berry 411 with your home and work addresses. Once that’s done you can use the program to do quick yellow and whitepage searches, find directions, movie times and locations and more. You can install over the air here. Very, very handy.