Making Priority Hub work for you

Making Priority Hub work for you
By DJ Reyes on 31 Mar 2014 02:40 pm EDT

Back in January we carried out a poll to see whether or not our readers used Priority Hub on BlackBerry 10. I was actually surprised to see that there were more people who didn’t use Priority Hub. It’s a big feature for me and I guess I expected more people to make use of it. I recall tweeting this sentiment after seeing the results and got some replies. Most were saying that they couldn’t stand any unread e-mails in their inbox so they didn’t bother with it.

While I, too, can be a bit anal and don’t like to see unread emails in my inbox before I go to bed, I make sure I read an email and deal with it there and then or flag it for later reading. But there are just some emails that I need to attend to first if not straight away, hence the reason for making use of Priority Hub. I’ll still go through the rest of them at the end of the day.

In my line of work, there are just some e-mails that need attending to first or e-mails from certain people that I need to respond to as soon as I can and when you have a ton of e-mails to read through being able to filter in to see my priority list is very beneficial to me. I realize not everyone is in the same boat and it will only be beneficial to those who receive tons of e-mails a day. That’s why we have options but I thought I’d share some tips on making the best use of Priority Hub. It’s a bit of a process to get going with it but once you’re setup, Priority Hub is a really neat feature of BlackBerry 10.

When viewing your entire Hub Priority messages are marked with a red line so they are noticeable at a glance. By default, Priority Hub will mark some messages as Priority if -

  • They have the same surname as you
  • A message is marked with high importance
  • The sender is a frequent contact
  • You started the conversation

These options can be toggled off in the Priority Hub settings.

Priority Hub Settings  Priority Hub Default Options


Manually mark messages or contacts as priority

You can mark Tweets (from native Twitter app) from a certain person as a priority, as well as BBM and Facebook contacts. When it comes to e-mail messages you can mark the conversation as a priority or the sender. To mark any of these as a priority on the fly just tap and hold the message and then tap the up pointing arrow from the side. Then choose whether you want to set the contact or conversation as the priority.

Priority Hub add priority  Priority Hub Mark contact or conversation as priority

You can also manual remove a contact or conversation from Priority by tapping and hold the message then tap the down point arrow.


Create Priority Hub Rules

Marking contacts or conversations as priority can sometimes be a tedious process. What you’re better off doing is creating rules. You can create rules for each e-mail account you have added and then filter by e-mail from/to or subject. You can also set the importance of this filter and also enable it as a Level 1 Alert.

Using the rules option makes things easier. It saves you from having to manually mark them, especially when you know there’s a certain contact you will always get an e-mail from and you want to mark them as a priority. Why not just create a rule for them? Same goes for e-mails that come in with the same subject, or at least the same keyword appears in the subject line. This is what I create rules for the most - Subject keywords. When it comes to a contact, even when you manually mark them as a priority that sticks until you remove them from being a priority. Creating a rule for keywords is easier to do than doing that manually.

Priority Hub Rules Options  Priority Hub Rule Options

You will see a list of your created rules in the Priority Hub settings. You can also toggle these off at anytime or you can just delete them if they are no longer wanted.

Priority Hub Created Rules


Pinch to zoom to Priority

One of the neat features BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 brought was the Pinch to Zoom gesture. Just pinch the screen while in the Hub and it will filter your messages to your chosen criteria. This could be Unread Messages, Flagged Messages and even Priority Messages. If you value Priority messages over unread ones, make use of this feature and pinch to zoom to your Priority Hub.

Pinch to Zoom Priority messages


Instant Previews for Priority Only

Instant Previews was another nice addition to BlackBerry 10. When you receive lots of e-mail messages everyday it can actually be a little annoying, good thing you can turn it off. But there is also another option in there - Priority Only. Rather than turning off previews altogether, why not use it for your Priority messages. You can set this in the notifications area for each e-mail account as well as Twitter.

Instant Previews set to Priority Only


These are all things I do myself to make use of Priority Hub. It certainly makes handling my communication a lot more efficient especially when needing to respond to high priority messages. Will it change your mind about using Priority Hub? Sound of in the comments.

Reader comments

Making Priority Hub work for you


I turn it on, and I toggle all the default settings to off, and I still have emails appear there for reasons which I don't know. I can't use it if I don't understand it.

Posted via CB10

Yeah, I use it quite a lot too. Stunned that people don't. I use the pinch feature to filter out all 'read' convos and emails

Posted via CB10

"These options can’t be toggled off in the Priority Hub settings."
shouldn't it be "can be toggled off"? :)

Haven't been on 10.2.1 long but haven't tried using either functions.

I'm in the category that all unread emails are important. I prefer a "Report As Spam" function over these, I think that would be more important.

 BlackBerry Q10 

Where would the spam reports go? Or, more to the point, what server, app, or process would manage spam, and using what logic/rules? Are you looking for the BB mail client to do its own heuristics?

I can't answer any of those questions but just like the BlackBerry legacy devices "report as spam" feature was built into the os.

 BlackBerry Q10 

I don't use it to be honest. Everything is my hub is important for me and I want to read it all.

Posted via CB10

I can see where it can be a useful tool, but I don't make use of it. By comparison I don't receive that many emails (10-25) a day, so I address them ASAP.

love the feature.. the pinch to zoom is great, especially when you have a few key contacts or threads that you need to stay on top of.

The Priority Hub becomes increasingly more important the more accounts you have and the more emails you receive... e.g. my dad has one account and he receives between 5 to 10 emails daily.. he reads all of them, erase the spam and answer the other ones.
I do have 3 separates work accounts plus 2 personal ones and I receive an average of 150 emails per day.. I LOVE Priority Hub, and I cannot really imagine my working day without it.. so yep.. all is relative, I am just so glad BlackBerry put that functionality there. I would love additional criteria to categorize the emails as priority.

Posted via CB10

Thanks DJ! This is one of those features I "going to" figure out & use more. Now you did it for me. I have used it some, now will use priority for toast notifications. I love the pinch. I would love more choices added in.

Posted via CB from "Z" best

I can't live without Priority Inbox.. there is so much of useless mails I get on some of my non work accounts.. I can't sit and keep looking at my phone every second.. But thanks DJ, this was a very informative post. I got a few more ideas to filter my inboxes and make priority hub more effective.

Posted via CB10

I turned it off when I was going through the new OS and checking out features . Turned my girlfriends off a few days latter when she asked me what it was and I explained it. She had no use for it , and she get hundreds of emails a week.

Posted via CB10

Since the pinch function came online I've found less use for the Priority Hub as I mark things as needing to be followed up on and then pinch instead.

But it sure is nice to know it is there when I need it.

Posted via CB10

I use the pinch feature quite often but I can't say I use the priority hub specifically. Still, amazing OS and the hub feature is the primary reason I'm sticking with BlackBerry!

Posted via CB10

So I assume Hub Priority is only available for BB's running OS 10.2. That may be why you didn’t receive a better response to your poll question.

Posted via CB10

I have it enabled but don't see the point of it. Sounds good in theory but in practice I just doesn't do ANYTHING useful.

Posted via CB10

It's great. Only thing is it constantly forgets my group chat is priority. I'm not sure if this is a bug but it happens often.

Priority hub is extremely valuable when you travel. I have all my plane, hotel and car rental information directed to priority hub. Much easier to find a electronic boarding pass than wading through hundreds of emails.

Why don't you just share your email to remember and build a travel doc folder? Even easier to find.....

Posted via CB10

I'd like to see an exclusion, do I don't need to read it check, let's say's latest offer emails

An option that us like "this email is unimportant, never show as important in Priority ".

For me all emails are priority, except advertising or certain newsletters

Zzzzwiped from a Zedevice....

Ouch, a few more to correct, Z10's auto-correct went a bit overboard, won't bother to correct everything now, you got the idea...

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

I would say I use it more now since I got accepted to my new job. I love it, works amazingly well as a Blackberry should. It's not a bad thing if people don't use it. They're still using the hub which is also an amazing idea to begin with. Long live #Blackberry

Posted via CB10

Priority hub would best work for me by disappearing off the face of the earth and freeing up a few kB of memory that would be much better used storing pictures of my girllfriends cat. Yet another pathetic function BlackBerry makes a big deal of that most of us have no need or use for.

I use priority hub for going back to important emails, especially if I don't remember the name of the sender

Posted via CB10

I would like to create a rule for emails that originated from the company domain. Is there a way to do this or otherwise specify a wildcard, such as *

This was a great in depth how-to!

Shows how to use a useful feature that spans multiple menus and settings.

Posted via CB10

I appreciate the write up trying to sell the benefit but I'll always be the type that reads and responds instantly (periodically with small exceptions).

Priority Hub is not for me and I am glad it was optioned to be disabled.

Posted via CB10

I use it all the time and yes it is very helpful. Love this feature.

Posted via CB10 - Z10 'Powered by BlackBerry'

Hmmm...used to use initially but wasn't too sure how it wold make things better and work for my requirements. Will give it another go after reading your post. thanks :)

I like to see everything so I just use the hub. But I could see where people would like it just not for me at the moment.

Posted via CB10

Not that useful. My smart watch tells me the message just by looking at my wrist :-)

Posted via CB10

I don't use it. I have another system : fix it, file it or forward it. If I can't fix it right away, or something that can be done later, I import it into my tasks and schedule it along with my other tasks. If it's not important I delete it. If it's something I need to keep I export it to Evernote /Remember. If it's something to delegate I forward it. I've been using that system for years and it works well for me. Keeps the hub clean too.

Posted via CB10

I agree. I would like to get to a place where I can be that organized. I do the Evernote process though!

From my BlackBerry Z30

"You can mark Tweets (from native Twitter app) from a certain person as a priority"

Can somebody explain how to do this?
I really can't find where to do that.....

Posted via CB10

Has to be done via the Hub. At the moment if you have mentions set to go to the Hub you can mark those as priority but tapping the message and then the up arrow. Any further mentions from that person will appear as a priority

Posted via CB10

Use it hourly and couldn't imagine a phone without it!

Posted using the best phone ever, the Z30!

I use it a lot. If I peek and see the notification icon on the arrow, I know I have something that I should check. I ended up using the pinch to show unread messages though. My "Android " wife said she wished she had that feature.

Posted via CB10

The priority hub is just one way that the blackberry is superior to the iPhone.

Posted via CB 10 on my Z30 (STA100-5) w

Nice article DJ! I use it often mostly for text messages. On a busy day, sometimes I missent text messages to others and priority hub helps me eliminate those mistakes by making sure "delicate" messages are ONLY sent to those in my priority.

Q10 SQN100-3 | Z30 STA100-2 | iPhone 4s IOS 7.xx

It is a great feature. Easy to use and setup. Saves me a lot of time. If you don't use it, you should.

Seriously, this Z10 is a Contender!! Keep it up BB

Good tutorial. I didn't know even half the features PH before this.


Posted via CB10

I use it for BBM, texts, and email from my wife and other close friends & family members. I haven't gotten a grasp on the Hub rules and Level 1 Alerts yet. Tips are welcomed! Great post.

From my BlackBerry Z30

Hey DJ, you leaked quite a few email addresses here, even the smudged out ones are still kinda legible...

Hope you won't need the spam filter now... ;-)

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

Nice article. What would we do without Crackberry staff helping us to get the most out of our phones? Keep it up!

Posted via CB10

Good write up.

I turned it off straight away but might just start to play around with it after seeing how it can be used.


What's missing to make it very effective for me is not lacking from the hub features, but from the Contact app features .

If the contacts app could bring back appropriate support for "Category " field
....then setting a rule for Prority Hub will make it one of the Hub best features

Ex: Mark as Priority all message sent from contacts in category "Customer ".
This could even make it possible to make Priority for all messaging systems (emails, text, BBM, phone call...)

Posted via CB10

I think that to be fully functional need to modify the action bar, dropped attach and new button (moved to the more action bar menu) and adding HUB and PRIORITY tabs buttons. That way we will switch a faster way (now need to tap the tab button (or swap) and then tap the tab again and again). And this will improve to come back from anothers tab filters too.

Posted via CB10

I'm on 10.2.1 and I can't get the Priority Hub Rules to work for me. For example, if the subject contains 911, I want to send a level 1 notification that vibrates and makes a different sound.

Then when I send through a message with that in Alert in the subject, it does nothing and treats it like a regular e-mail. Anyone else experience this or get it to work? If so, how?

Funny situation :)

According to your avatar, I'm wondering if you still normally receive your 911 messages thru the "Red dial phone" ?

Posted via CB10

Thank you for the information. Can you tell me how you got the Notification screen background (last screen shot) to dark? I'm running on STL100-3. I've manged to have a dark screen on contacts, calendar and BBM. Is there also away to dark System Settings? Thanks in advance.

I was using it a lot but after upgrading to OS doesn't function!
Even if you mark any contact as priority or you set up a rule, it refuses to put them on priority hub and treat them as normal emails.
I switched off / on, reboot the devise but doesn't work! I have searched in the forums for a solution, I have seen others with sane problems but no solution found! Any idea perhaps?

Sent from my Z 30

I really wish there were a way to batch select and edit the priority of messages within the hub. I'm not sure which "rules" priority hub applied (none were selected/done by me), when my accounts loaded, but there are 1000s from my exchange account that are marked as priority (for business purposes, I need my sync timeframe to forever). Even if I select just 2 emails, the option to change priority disappears (I can only do that one at a time).
This is annoying to no end.
Also, whenever I flag an email, it automatically is added to priority hub, so I then have to downgrade the priority as well (I flag and file msgs, so I know which emails to attend to for a particular project, not necessarily based on priority). I haven't been able to see an option where it won't automatically mark a flagged (not high importance) email as priority. Considering we have about 1000 internal employees and I don't always get emails from the same handful of people, I'm really trying to use the priority hub, but right now, it's more of a hindrance than a convenience!

Posted from my Q10/Z10

Is there a way to add Flagged messages to the Priority Hub? I can't seem to call them up specifically. Outlook keeps them at the top of the Inbox

How do you make all messages default to not priority? I find everything, at least new emails etc, going to the priority hub and I have to manually select each message and set to not a priority

Posted via CB10

I set up a rule for a colleague that I receive numerous e-mails from, but the the 2-mails do not go into the priority hub?

Posted via CB10

Having 4 different work related email addresses and 1 private email address, also using instant messaging for work, and talking to 20-30 different people a day, the hub (and priority hub) has become one of my favorite things with using BB10.
I came from a 9900 to the Z30, and was a bit hesitant to get an all touch screen, didn't know why I would need the hub etc.
Now when I have been using it for a while, I wish I had switched sooner!
A friend called it "your new toy" the other day. I had to reply, "it's my new favorite tool, not toy!".

I find it hard to use. I tried the recommendations but its a slog. I guess if I work it over time it will get refined with rules and screening out people./ its a good idea but mine seemed to pull in everyone and then I gotta sift and sort. it should be empty and then I add people and rules etc.