Ok, so the kids are out of school and the t-ball/soccer/swimming lessons are done, it's vacation time! The question is - Are you taking your BlackBerry with you? If you're a personal BlackBerry user the answer is simple, yes. But if your berry is a work device given to you by "The Man" are you taking that with you? Once upon a time the decision would be easy, leave it at home. But we are now a smartphone society and the BlackBerry just isn't just the work email device anymore. It has our Twitter feed, FaceBook account and out Google Mail. Not to mention our address book - I don't know anybody's phone number anymore and my life is in my calendar, so I need my BlackBerry. Apps like WorldMate in my opinion have made the BlackBerry a must take with you item when travelling.
I am a full fledged CrackBerry addict. When I travel I always take a spare BlackBerry and an unregistered SIM Card ‘just in case'. Why would anyone do this you might ask? It's a valid question and one my wife has questioned with no end to the sarcasm over the years, that is until we took the kids to Disneyland while the 2010 Winter Olympics invaded my hometown. Her beloved 8900 suddenly died while we were on day 2 of our 14 day vacation in Anaheim, and she had to come to me hat in hand with a cute smile on her face asking if I brought my backup 9700 to Disneyland. Of course I've been married long enough to know that this is not an opportunity to pontificate on how she's be so wrong to mock me over these years and simply and silently moved her SIM over to the new device and did a switch device wizard on my laptop - but trust me, I laughed with my inside voice.
Now if you are a business BlackBerry user and want to take the device with you and not be annoyed by work email that you couldn't care less about I have a few tips for you.
First up, turn all work email off all together. I'm on a BES for my work email and I also have a BIS account, to disable all email from my BES account till I turn this back on:
Messages --> Options --> Email Settings --> Change "Send Email to Handheld" to NO
Next tip, if turning off all work email is not something you're comfortable with you can filter much of the noise that lives in office email. Specifically you can stop all the nonsense you're cc'd on. There is some need in the corporate culture to tell everyone what you're working on and let them know you do something.
Messages --> Options --> Email Filters --> Create a filter to only send messages that are sent directly to you
In this example unless my name is in the "To" field the message I will not receive any email messages. Now these tips are also useful for another aspect of vacation - roaming charges. I live in Canada, and unless you've lived in an internet vacuum these last few years you've heard that our cellular rates are not quite on par with the rest of planet earth and I can assure you our roaming rates really take things to a new level. If one leaves North America for a trip to Europe a Canadian is billed $30.00/MB, no I'm not kidding $30 per Megabyte. I know I am not willing to pay 30 bucks for some crap cc'd office mail, or some ridiculous office joke sent to the "all.employees" email address.
I'd like to offer one last piece of advice. If you're reading CrackBerry.com there is a good chance you are close to being an addict like the rest of us here and a big hurdle to fully enjoying your vacation with your BlackBerry isn't annoying work emails. The biggest challenge can be those looks from your significant other "PUT THAT THING DOWN!" Sadly there is not setting or filter on the BlackBerry for that. What I've learned works the best is to simply buy a BlackBerry for your sweetheart and bring him or her into the cult with you. This will eliminate the looks and sighs only to be replaced by BBM's telling you to "PUT THAT THING DOWN AND PAY ATTENTION TO ME"