A BlackBerry is the best way to keep you mobile. Some people and companies also use vehicles to stay mobile while being mobile. In order to stay mobile while being mobile, you can use your mobile device to track your mobile’s information so you can keep your mobile mobile. Whew… make sense?
Ok, I’ll go into a little more detail. Javatek Media deployed their trackIT Business Suite which includes the Expense, Vehicle, Custom and Currency Editions. Let’s face it, it’s getting more and more costly to stay on the road, more specifically the cost of fuel. The Vehicle Edition of trackIT is a promising application that will help you keep track AND keep you on the track. We’re going to take a test drive with the Vehicle Edition, through all of the twists and turns, and then pop the hood and see what it’s made of.
Start Your Engines!
TrackIT requires an OS of 4.0 or higher, so it can be used on almost any BlackBerry. After you download trackIT, the application can be found on your BlackBerry’s desktop as an orange car. It was very close to the CrackBerry orange, so I parked next to the CB icon.
Open the program and you will find yourself behind the wheel of trackIT, waiting for you to rev its engines. Okay, I thought to myself, where’s the ignition? I moved the trackball around and my eyes and smile widen. Instead of your run of the mill text base menu, the dash itself is the menu, as well as the radio and air controls!
First things first, enter in your Vehicle(s) information such as make, model, VIN and plate number. You’re able to keep record of your Fuel, Mileage, Expenses & Maintenance. With each entry, you have the choice to enter a lot or a little amount of data, as seen in the images below. The key is to be diligent, since the program will serve you best when you use it to its full extent. Picture yourself trying to figure out your gas expenditures at the end of the month by trolling through receipts or bank statements. Not so much fun, is it? Throw trackIT in the mix. Keep on top of it by continually entering information in the odometer, price of gas, amount of fuel purchased etc, and trackIT will crunch the numbers and present you with your total running cost. It pays to put as much info as you can.
When entering information in any of these fields, you will see a little checkbox to select a “business” expense. This is an extremely important feature if you rely on your vehicle for business or manage a fleet of vehicles, and need to be continuously efficient. Not only can you add expenses in the Maintenance section, you can also set Maintenance Schedules. Just incase your memory doesn’t cooperate like it use to, it will remind you when to get a tune up or rotate your tires. You can also store contact information for your repair shops. Reliability is hard to find, so you don’t want to lose your contacts you have trusted with “your baby” through the years.
Besides these fields, you also have the Vehicles and Features options. TrackIT allows you to follow virtually unlimited vehicles, keeping your BlackBerry thumbs quite busy.
As you add each new entry into the fields, you can select which vehicle your entry pertains to.
So, now let’s say you have all been good little keeners and have been using trackIT to the fullest. You now want to see the fruits of your labor. Select “Features” and bask in the powerful options that lay before you.
On your BlackBerry, you can view Graphs to help visualize your Fuel/Distance/Maintenance Costs and your Trip Distances. Another option is to view Summary Reports, which includes average prices, fill up levels and distance between fill up.
Uh-oh, it’s the end of the month and your expense reports are due. Your colleague fumbles through receipts trying to add them up or even irking the accounting department. They’ll smile as you walk in, knowing you use trackIT to export your reports to Excel or HTML files.
As with all great BlackBerry applications, trackIT utilizes shortcuts. From the Menu Screen use:
One last feature to mention, is the ability to change the color scheme of trackIT. To show off my CrackBerry pride, I think I will stick with orange.
Waving the checkered flag
Although trackIT is a great application, I wish the information I store could be more secure. To date, the only way to secure it is to lock your BlackBerry. Because of this, I would never store a VIN or plate number. It’s one of a kind interface will make data entry more enjoyable, as you feel you are behind the wheel of a car. This is the only time that using a BlackBerry behind the wheel is safe. The CrackBerry.com store offers trackIT: Vehicle Edition for $24.95