How Do You Use Your BlackBerry Series: Alert Settings and Notifications for Your Main Profile

By Adam Zeis on 31 Mar 2010 11:39 am EDT
Alerts and Notifications

Last week we checked out how everyone uses the Messages app, and it the results were pretty even. For the most part, it seems like the majority (6,196) use the Messages app for all emails and SMS, while others (5,328) use separate folders. The rest of the bunch (3,342) has a mix of both the Messages app and separate folders.

This week we move on to another burning question - how do you use alerts and notifications on your device? When I first started with BlackBerry, I had alerts setup for anything and everything. Now I've moved into only a select few alerts for important things like SMS, BBM and phone calls. I actually don't even use the LED for emails at this point since I check my device so often. I know that Bla1ze doesn't even use audible alerts on his device. So our question is this - how do you use alert settings and notifications? We've tried to include the best options in our poll (some specific answers may be missing) so choose what is closest to what you do. There are sooooo many options for profiles (bedside mode, in/out of holser etc) - but most people have one main setup they use daily. So pick the answer that best fits your main use - don't take into account times when you are in meetings etc. and change your device to vibrate/silent. Drop a comment and let us know your exact setup and why it works for you.  

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

How Do You Use Your BlackBerry Series: Alert Settings and Notifications for Your Main Profile


Not that it matters, nor is it a big of a deal, but are these polls maybe "sponsored" by RIM, by any chance, for research?

Nope. Not sponsored by RIM or anybody else. Though if somebody does want to sponsor them they can email me on it :)

We were brainstorming on ideas for articles to write... and Adam came up with the idea for this series. They're kinda fun! And hopefully useful to readers and RIM for that matter.

Nope they totally aren't. Was just a thought I had when messing around with my settings one day. Trying to see what the majority of BlackBerry users do settings wise since there are so many different ways to setup a device.

Phone - ring (How I Met Your Mother theme song) + vibrate + LED
BBM - tone + vibrate + LED
Email - tone + LED
SMS - tone + vibrate + LED

Haha, enjoyed your thorough summary of your settings.

I actually like to just keep my BB on silent+vibrate. I mean most of the time it'll be in my pocket, or on my desk next to my mouse, and I'd rather not bug other people with loud ring tones.

Phone: Vib and ring, LED Alert
SMS/BBM/Emails: Different LED alerts as well as Ring

oh and on SMS I have it set to turn on the screen for that too no matter what

but during work its all on vibrate

I'm using ring, vib and led while phone is holstered in my seidio holstered. Out of the holster I use ring and led.

phone calls, voicemails, calendars, SMS/MMS, BBM, all instant message programs have audible and vibrate alerts with LED notifications.
Emails vibrate and audible alerts, no LED
social network, news, etc (ie facebook, etc) no alerts (audible or vib), no LED

I have it on phone only at work. But when I'm at my desk, I have it sitting beside my monitor, so I see the red LED when I have an email, SMS, or BBM.

When I'm at home, I have it all set to audible. And I have a different ringer set for different 'groups' (i.e. family, friends, co-workers, etc.).

And phone only mode for nighttime (while charging).

Normal=LOUD for me. I have a hard time hear my phone at certain places so I have the tone set to about 7-9 and LED. Everything has a different tone so that I know what is what. I use Normal and then set the others for different times and places. Use Medium a lot when I'm at home.

Before 9700 I used to set em all by a third app. But now I don't need a third app for it :)
Also I'm using different ring tones for different mail accounts and app. notifications. I prefer most short ones. Like for gmail "Notifier_Lucid", for business mail "BBPro_Sanguine", for BBM "Notifier_ChiGong"...

when its out of Holster it just Sound/LED

When in Holster it Vibrates and then Sound/Led (so i can silence it before it sounds in case i need to)

Most(FaceBook, Email, SMS, MMS, BBM) Notices are only 1-3 Secs as to not be annoying to me

I use vibe and ring, and everything just audible notifications. The other profile I use is all off. I just hate vibrations. >.<

I use vibe and ring, and everything just audible notifications. The other profile I use is all off or LED only. I just hate vibrations. >.<

i used ringtones from the same artist but diffrent songs
Facebook: Tell him the truth Keri Hilson
MMS: Return the favor Keri hilson
Calls: Alienated Keri Hilson
SMS: Stronger Keri Hilson

When in holster, I have custom vibrations setup so I know what happening without having to pull the phone out:
1 Short Vibrate for BBM
2 Short Vibrate for FB
5 Short Vibrate for Calendar
2 Medium Vibrate for Gmail/Email
1 Medium Vibrate fr SMS
3 Medium Vibrate for Phone

When out of the holster, vibration is off, and I have audible alerts setup for each of the above actions. Audible alert volume is set at 1 or 2 as the phone is always near me when at home. Betwen 10pm and 6am, the phone is docked, and bedside mode kicks in and switches the profile to phone calls only.

Phone is holstered while at work so I know what's happening based off the vibration. I keep the profile on Normal, and almost never have to change the profile manually since it automatically changes when holstered or when docked. I LOVE BB!!!

I prefer sound notifications on my phone especially when its in the holster. I can hear what's coming in and don't even have to pull the phone out unless I want to. At work though gotta rely on that Berry Buzz app and their array of colors to help me get through the day. Either way, everything has a specific sound (or color), sms & mms share, emails (2 accounts, two diff sounds) messenger, google chat....the list goes on and on, it all chimes differently. Some buzz and chime some just buzz, incoming calls get a flash of disco colors and my latest fav music clip. One of the best customizing things about my phone....

Phone / SMS / BBM / gtalk - Vibe, Tone, and LED
Calendar Events - Tone and LED
Email / Twitter - LED notification only

I really need to get BeBuzz to change the LED notifications

I hate ringing phones so I have SMS/MMS/BBM/Twitter DM set to short vibrate, and everything else set to silent with LED notification. When docked I have the ring on so if someone is trying to reach me at night I will hear it.

the alerts I need - phone, email, SMS, BBM, calendar - are all set up to vibe & ring but they all have different sound effects and LED colors assigned. Some also vibe and/or ring a different amount of times than others.
BerryBuzz rocks!

When I first got my BB I assigned an audible alert to absolutely every single thing because it was fun. Now I have audible alerts set for FB, Msgr, Google talk, calendar, and SMS. I use a ringtone for calls. But most of the time I have my profile set on vibrate (because most of the time my BB is IN MY HAND). I have not yet made the journey into LED alerts, though I have been thinking about it lately.

Vibrate on ALL alerts. Additionally:

New email: Red LED (Note: I use Google Voice SMS to email(filter SMS emails to skip inbox as unread so BB still picks them up), so no traditional SMS.

Facebook: Blue LED (using BerryBuzz)
BBM: Purple LED
Google Talk: Green LED
UberTwitter: Vibrate once, no LED

At night: "Phone only" with all applicable LED still enabled.

I have my phone set up to ring and vibrate and have different LED lights for everything. When the phone is in it's holster it just vibrates (I think the LEDs come on when I take it out...) And LEDs are off when it's plugged in.

Each type of notification has a different sound than the normal BlackBerry sounds (currently based on Pokemon sounds like when you pick up a new item, not like "pikachu" or anything like that). My ring tone is the theme to the original Battlestar Galactica. It's just a tone that noone that I have ever been around has and is "business" enough to not be embarassed if I'm around managers... "Baby Got Back" was a baaad choice... and the Star Trek theme was too obvious geek. I've only ever had one person know the theme when he heard my Berry ring... ever.

The survey is too simplistic and does not really show what can be done with profiles. I go down to the application level in editing mine. I have two main profiles that I use, vibrate and phone only.

Oh yes, Color ID free + BuzzMe Pro for an array of LED indicators. Makes it easy to know what my 8520 wants when it beeps.

I like to skin my Storm so I use a hyberpad to change my alerts and rings when I am in a meeting. After the meeting I never miss an alert because I forgot to reset the profile.

I switch it up depending on where i am.
Home: usually using sounds, sometimes silent.
Work: have it on silent so it's not distubing the rest of my co-workers
Driving: Loud so I can hear it over the music playing

Either way, using BerryBuzz really helps with coloured LED notifications, especially when it's on Silent since I know if i'm getting an email, SMS, BBM, or something else.

I never put my phone on vibrate as it just drains batter faster than leaving sounds on. BerryBuzz is the key though.

Tone + vibrate for phone
Tone only for e-mails and calendar alerts.

I don't do BBM or SMS. Regular e-mails work well enough for me so I have removed that texting (SMS/MMS) line-item cost from my plan.

Vib and ring and seperate ringtones (via profiles and exceptions) for sms, email, and phone for certain groups. When I'm in class I use the off profile to switch my exceptions off, but still get vib thanks to buzzme pro.

I use regular rings for the phone. SMS and email get a single repeat of different tones. I hate hearing the triple tone of others' BB's when I know one will suffice.

I love rings and Leds, even bought bebuzz pro, so here how it goes
Phone : ring + vib Disco
Email/sms/Im/social networks, all ring and led no vibrate at all, I just use it when I'm in middle of a class

I love rings and Leds, even bought bebuzz pro, so here how it goes
Phone : ring + vib Disco
Email/sms/Im/social networks, all ring and led no vibrate at all, I just use it when im in the middle of a class

Like the others here, I have different profiles for work vs. outside work:

@ Work I always use a profile that I call "Call Vibe - No Msg." This profile vibrates (with Disco LED) on calls, and LED (different colors for Work vs. Personal email, SMS/MMS, BBM, etc. thanks to BerryBuzz!) only for everything else. In/out of holster doesn't matter, it's always on vibe but for calls only. I get many dozens of emails each day and it's wildly distracting to have it vibrating or dinging on each and every one. I just always assume I have a truckload of unread email in the box.

@ Home and on Weekends, it rings out of holster and I have audible short tones for BBM and SMS/MMS. Emails all just remain LED only. Silent/vibrate in the holser for calls/SMS/BBM.

Works for me nicely this way. I love BerryBuzz as it lets me quickly see who is pinging me and generally during the day I prioritize personal stuff low. We don't do much SMS/MMS @ work, so 99% of that activity is personal and often it's my wife so I know to check for those when the LED color is right.

Great topic, and I have some ideas to try after reading how others handle their alerts and notifications. Thanks for bringing this one up!

This poll needs more options.

I have vibrate set for certain alarms, but mostly all alerts are set to silent, except for a sound when my phone rings or a vibrate when I disconnect a call.

I chose Audible Only, but that's not really true.

I use a holster a lot. When it's in the holster, just about everything is vibrate only. Except phone calls which are set to audible and vibrate, regardless. When it's out of the holster, I have most things set to audible only. But that's on the Normal profile.

On the Loud profile, I add audible alerts to most things, even when holstered.

I also use the Medium profile frequently as a custom profile where I'm more concerned with instant messages and SMS. These get special alerts in that profile.

If there would have been a choice for "All of the Above", that would have been my choice.

I'm a fan of the blink app, using a different colour led for different messages and alerts. Especially after work hours when I put my phone on silent. I can vissually see important calls and messages coming through

Silent with berrybuzz :) My bb is always within view and I know that when I get time to check it, I'll have a message waiting of some sort. No need to waste battery with a sound or vibrating :)

I have audible alerts on basically everything that sends a notification except 1 e-mail account that I use for only web forum identification and stuff like that. All of my tones are stock alerts from RIM except for phone calls. I custom made an MP3 from "Dueling Banjos", the song in Deliverence.

The only fancy thing I have going on with my notifications is the fact that I use Toysoft's Profiler application. So, my phone switches to Silent at 1AM and then back to Normal at 7AM. I do have a couple of exceptions setup so I can be reached at anytime by a few people.

I also have Calendar triggers with Profiler so my phone automatically switches to vibrate when my Calendar says I'm in a doctor's appointment and back to Normal when the appointment time has ended in my Calendar. I have a lot of those..

I hate having it on vibe drives me crazy to feel something vibrating on me..

phone- ring/led
emails- mute/none- led
sms- ring once/ led
mms ring once/led
google talk ring once/led
bbm ring once/led

thats it really love my led though

I use my BB most of the time in vibrate only, but when is ringing I use a custom sound for the most used apps like email, bbm, msn, and I use berrybuzz to customize the led, that way I know what kind of message I have without the need of touch the phone.

I've only had my 8530 for a week so I have not messed around with it yet. On my retired 8330 every notification was different. I had one for personal e-mail, one for my work e-mail. Then had a totally separate one for SMS, MMS and BBIM. For Bigtime2.... I don't think RIM sponsors anything on this site; HOWEVER, that's not to say that RIM doesn't have some employees who are genuine CBer's who do look at this site and see feedback.

I use several profiles I personally put together. I have two different profiles for Work & one for home, with variations of ringtones for phone. Cyan led for bf/work partner & disco for The Boss. Notifications for sms/mms, Fb, gmail, calendar, primetime2go, breaks, & bbm. I love using the diffrent profiles & helps my berry comunicate with me better without all that who, what, when, where, how & why's. Yup I work Security!

Messages all types different tones
Phone call tone and vibrate except when I work I put it all on vibrate

I use vibrate most fo the time . when I'm at home I might let the phone ring depending on if I wanna be bothered or not lol

I always use the LED because when I'm class I need to put all alerts on silent or risk getting tossed, but since I do have kids I like to know if I have messages, missed calls... Normally my ringer is set to the BB Pro #1 (although my BB decided to use the old phone ring yesterday for reasons I do not understand...), the hubby has his own ringtone of "All Summer Long", txts are set to ChiGong, BBM is Lucid, emails are Light Chime and calander alerts are set to Contentment. I like the shorter alerts. And I love knowing what type of message I've got without having to physically check the phone.
My alarm is set for Greeter, although my BB will sometimes play Antelope. This morning Greeter played, I hit snooze. Five minutes later Antelope played. At least the alarm is going off at the right time, right??

All my alerts have tones when not in holster and vibrate when in holster except for phone call which vibrate and tone when in holster and just rings when out of holster .I normaly just leave the same profile(normal) set since the other settings are set this way

vibe and ring for all except email. got to hav an audible for calls/msgs bcuz i dont keep my phone next to me all the time so i need to hear it.