Is time always on our side? Sadly, no. This is especially true when your daily routine is thrown a curveball by life itself. Some take these detours in stride, while others, not so much. Not everyone can handle life’s little, while managing their professional and personal schedules or appointments. The next thing you know, important events are forgotten and you begin to stress, as you strain to keep everything organized. Of course the first question to be asked is – why the heck haven’t you been using your BlackBerry to help you out?!
The BlackBerry calendar has done a fantastic job so far by reminding me of important appointments and such; though my wife tells me that I should use it more often. Don’t tell her, but I think she may be right. The problem I have, is that I typically input entries with such haste, that I tend to leave out information that I could make use of. The reason is because, as great as it is, I don’t necessarily see the native calendar set up to work how I would like it to be. The solution may be the Calendar Pro application. Let’s see if this “powerful time management system” is the answer.
About Calendar Pro
The Calendar Pro application is brought to you by SBSH Mobile Software LTD. Back in October 2008, I had the chance to review their first BlackBerry application, their secure storage solution called SafeWallet Pro. Now this doesn’t mean that this was their first mobile app. Since 2002, they have offered various applications for Windows Mobile, iPhone and Symbian S60. The application requires you to be running OS 4.5 or higher. If you have a look at the CrackBerry App Store, it seems as though there is no support for the Storm or Storm 2- sorry guys. The most current version of Calendar Pro is 1.0.3 and has a file size of 400 KB. SafeWallet Pro is a fantastic application - I’m hoping I will be equally impressed with Calendar Pro, if not more.
Essentially, Calendar Pro goes above and beyond the native Calendar application as far as features and appearance. Upon opening Calendar Pro, you are presented with four different views to choose from; Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Tasks. As you would with the native Calendar, you have to access the menu to choose which view you want to work with.
I especially love how fluid the appointment and task entry process is. Calendar Pro opts for tab navigation over a standard template. For example – in an appointment entry screen, options are divided into 5 tabs; Details, Notes, Categories, Recurrence and Attendees (the last one is a great addition!). Task Tabs are exactly same, minus the Attendees tab. Call me crazy, but this layout seems much easier to navigate, as I can easy scroll past fields that are unnecessary. Under the Details tab, each field is identified by an icon rather than text. I prefer this type of view, but others may find it a bit confusing at first. I absolutely love how my entries can be colour coded, so I can see at a glance if an appointment is of a business or personal nature, without have to open the actual appointment entry. Also, with the ability to add additional categories, I can quickly differentiate my standard personal entries with personal entries I cannot miss (skatin g lessons). You can also easily identify categories by assigning specific icons.
Let’s look at each view:
The Daily view screen displays a horizontal time bar divided into hours. This bar will display time slots in which appointment entries have been made. If used, these slots will be filled in by a category colour. Below this bar, you will see the list of appointments for that day. Calendar Pro will also use icons to indicate if an entry has a reminder, a category icon, attendees or if it is recurring.
The Weekly View is a typical grid running from Monday to Sunday between 8am to 8pm by default. This can be changed in the settings menu. On this grid, appointments are indicated as blocks of time that are filled in with a colour that is assigned to the category in use. If you haven’t used a category, or haven’t assigned colour coding, the block of time is filled in with white. As you highlight the appointment, you will see brief details of it at the bottom of the screen (namely the subject and start/end time). Tasks are displayed along a grey bar that sits just between the days of the week and the time. Each block shown indicates a task.
view the week
In the Month View, the days again run from Monday to Sunday. For days with appointments, you will see a white bar in the middle of the grid box. This represents the timeline for that day. Any appointments will appear on this time line approximately when they occur. The bottom of the screen will display basic details of the entry. For days with multiple entries, this section will only display the first two. Tasks are displayed by small dots outside of the timeline.
view the month
The Task View presents all of your tasks in a list. From this list, you would be able to see due dates, categories, reminders and which one was completed. The Task view also makes use of the colour coding option.
Calendar Pro also makes use of keyboard shortcuts, allowing you to create and manage appointments/tasks much more quickly. Calendar Pro does sync up with your native calendar quite nicely; as you can see entries from either calendar app in both. You can also sync with calendar apps such as Outlook, as Calendar Pro has been built on top of your BlackBerrys default databases. I had no problem managing calendar entries made before installing Calendar Pro.
If the goal of Calendar Pro is to be an intuitive calendar application, mission accomplished. With visual aids that include icons, colour coding and time blocking, it’s easy to see when you’re free and when you’re busy. You can also see what type of appointment or task you are working with. I did find a small issue when saving items- After I choose to save an appointment or task, one would expect to be redirected to a calendar or task view. In this case you are not; you remain in the entry screen. Calendar Pro is a little pricy at $14.95, but you can take advantage of the free trial period to make sure this application is right for you. You can pick up Calendar Pro from the CrackBerry App Store or from the new CrackBerry Superstore.
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