Becoming Professional: A Blog

Gadgets for the Pros

Posted on: December 13, 2009

I have been dreaming of a BlackBerry ever since I went and worked for Disney on the Walt Disney World College Program last year. Managers in the parks carry clunky BlackBerries with them wherever they go as a combo radio/phone. Not pretty, not glamerous, but my managers looked so cool whipping those BlackBerries out of those holsters (also known as belt clips). I had Phone Envy.

I finally got my very own BlackBerry Tour after my old cell phone company gave me a hard time replacing my dead phone. (It fell in water. Not the smartest thing I’d ever done with my phone.) So I went over to Sprint and signed up. I took my phone home, ripped open the packaging, and began messing with it. I knew what I wanted it for: the ability to check my e-mail and read attachments. I’m convinced this tool will let me run both my life and work in a smoother, more productive fashion. But looking at the newly minted phone, I was left with one large problem: I didn’t even know my phone number by heart yet, much less how to work the dang thing.

Which at last brings me to today’s topic: How to make the BlackBerry (or any smartphone) work for you. I have a BlackBerry Tour, and as a notable non-expert on the things, I cannot speak about any other type of BlackBerry, but hopefully this will show you how you, dear reader, could use a smartphone to make yourself more professional/productive.

First off: E-mail with Attachments! At last you can get your report revisions, group presentations, and PDFs on your phone as soon as they are sent. My BlackBerry Tour even lets me modify them. So here’s an example: I was sitting in a class when I received an e-mail via my phone. I checked it and discovered it was from my group whose presentation was the very next class. The presentation was done, but no one had yet agreed to present. I’m a fairly decent public speaker, so I decided to give it a go. With the PowerPoint on my phone, I was able to familiarize myself with the material before the class so that when I actually got to the presentation, I sounded pretty good (if I do say so myself). Now, this is a classroom example, but we all know how flexible you have to be for business life. This could have easily been a last minute presentation for my company’s CEO or a client, and with this phone, I would be able to nail any presentation.

GPS Directions: Don’t get lost going to an appointment. I’ve stressed before how important it is to arrive early to meetings and job interviews. With this, you can garauntee it.

Tasks in your Calendar: Control your meeting schedule and your to-do list by putting them together. This is a bit tricky, and it took me a lot of searching to figure out how to do this on the BlackBerry, so I’ll put the directions here for anyone else who needs it:

  1. Go to your Tasks menu and add in your task. Set a Due Date (if you want it continuous, like my Work on Blog, there’s a space for that. There’s also a Recurrence option to say Daily and an End option–mine is Never for this since I always want to blog)
  2. Go to the Calendar Application and get the Menu screen, go to Options, General Options, and enable Show Tasks. Now all tasks with Due Dates will appear on those Due Dates. As you Mark them Complete they will appear on the next day, or the next Reoccurence.

Okay, so those are my top 3 reasons for having a BlackBerry for professionalism/productivity. I have other reasons, of course. The Facebook app is very nice. But those are my top three reasons. What do you think? Is a smartphone worth it, or is it just a waste of money? Leave me a comment. I really do want to know.


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Who Am I?

I am a Digital Native who is trying to puzzle out what exactly that means. I share my thoughts on social media, digital business models, and PR here on this blog.

I am currently getting my Masters in Digital Marketing from Hult International Business School, having gotten my B.S. in Marketing from Arizona State University. Everything is on track and I am making headway towards my dream: World Domination... or being a productive, helpful citizen and marketer. Whichever comes first.

Don't hesitate to get in touch. I Tweet daily at @KateDavids and also have a science fiction and fantasy blog ( and Twitter (@Masked_Geek).

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