BlackBerry 101 

Customization. It's one of the things I always like to do first when I get myself a new BlackBerry. You can take two identical BlackBerry phones, and - through customization - get two very different experiences.  As BlackBerry users, we find a theme that best suits us, arrange icons to our liking and even set the font to something pleasing to the eye.  But a BlackBerry should be pleasing to the ear, too.  You hear one alert and know it's a BBM, hear another alert and know it's your email. Alerts for mailboxes, phone calls, and even text messages can be customized to your liking.  Let's show you how.

BlackBerry sound profiles 

To bring up the Profiles' selection menu highlight the speaker icon on the main screen. Alternatively, you can launch it by selection the speaker icon in the Home screen. Once you have done this you'll have a choice of seven profiles - Normal, Loud, Medium, Vibrate Only, Silent, Phone Calls Only and All Alerts Off. The names of the profiles speak for themselves and you can edit these to set them exactly how you want them. You'll also have the options to Set Ring Tones/Alerts, Set Contact Alerts and Edit Profiles.

For this 101 Lecture we'll be editing the Normal Profile. Although we have used the Normal profile as an example here, the process is the same for editing the other profiles.

Profiles - editing profiles

Select Edit Profiles and then select Normal. You will then get a list of categories you can customise. The first being the Phone, select this to change the ringtone of your incoming calls. There is a long list of default BlackBerry ringtones that you can choose from. If none of them tickle your fancy you can always choose from your own music playlist by choosing Select Music... at the top of the list. These ringtones and alerts list will be the same for the following categories. The option to choose your own, including any MP3 on your BlackBerry, is also available.

Profiles Phone ringer 

In the Messages category you can change the alerts for each individual email account you have on your BlackBerry, as well as SMS (text) & MMS (pictures/video) messages, PIN and Level 1 messages.

Profiles - Individual settings 

The next category is Instant Messages. Here you can customise your alerts for the different Instant Messaging services you use. The main one being BlackBerry Messenger, of course. You can set a different sound for a new message or a group message. If you have Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger or any other IM app installed, alerts for those can also be set here.

The fourth category is Reminders. This would be for your Calendar, Tasks or anything that you flag to follow up.

The last category is Other. This will be the section where you can customise third party app alerts like Twitter, Facebook, SocialScope etc.

Once you have customised the profile to your liking, bring up the Profile menu again and select the profile from the list. You will see the speaker icon change to the one of you selected on the main screen. There is a speedy way to switch from the Normal profile to the Vibrate Only profile from the main screen. This can be done by pressing and holding onto the letter Q until you see a pop-up that says Profile changed to Vibrate. To go back to the Normal profile, press and hold the letter Q again until another pop-up confirms the change.

Locating the profiles icon on your screen 

There you have it. Your guide to editing and setting your BlackBerry profiles. Now on you go and customize away.