Using BlackBerry Tasks in everyday life

By Jared DiPane on 3 Jan 2012 02:47 pm
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BlackBerry Tasks 

In an effort to keep myself more organized and ensuring maximum productivity I have been assigning myself tasks to complete each day, but keeping track of them can be a bit difficult for me. After trying several different options, making lists in Memo Pad, adding calendar appointments, email reminders and more I realized none of them really met my needs. When trying to keep organized options are key, simplicity is a must, and reminders need to be reliable, and luckily I found all of these right in the native BlackBerry Tasks application.

Most of the times when looking to complete something specific on a phone the first thing I do is search around for a third party application to allow me to get things done, but this time the answer was found via a pre-installed application. Hit the break with me to see how BlackBerry Tasks is used in my daily life.

Using BlackBerry Tasks in everyday life

Getting Started

Getting used to using BlackBerry Tasks can be a bit difficult, and if you are not interested in becoming more organized and productive, you will struggle even more. If you are interested in getting it all together the time spent setting tasks up daily will pay off and very quickly. Daily I take some time to think of what tasks I have that need to be accomplished, what phone calls need to be made, what articles need to be written, what stores I need to go to and anything else I can think of. Once I know what things need to be done it is time to start entering them into the Tasks app and setting completion timelines to hold myself to.

When adding a new task to the application you will notice there are quite a few different options available to fill in from things like status (in progress, completed, deffered) to reminder times, notes and more. While upon first glance it makes adding a new task look cumbersome the options are actually quite useful and aid in making sure the things that need to get done are completed.  

How to add a task 

New Task

Adding a task is quite a simple process, and only takes about 30 seconds per task once you get the hang of it, so let's see how it is done.

  1. Launch BlackBerry Tasks
  2. Click on "Add Task" or press menu then new
  3. Add task to the top, change status, reminders, due date, etc
  4. Add notes at the bottom and change category (organization is very helpful)
  5. Press menu then save

Pretty simple, huh?  

  

Following up on tasks

Change Status 

Once the task has been entered it is time to allow the device remind you to get it completed, unless you happen to remember before the reminder happens to go off. While adding the tasks to the application you can set when to be reminded for any given task, at the designated time a push reminder will pop up notifying you of the task with the option to snooze it, open or dismiss it. Once you open it you can see all the details and that is your cue to start working towards completion.

For tasks that require multiple steps to completion, or require a bit of time to complete, task status' can be changed to accurately reflect what is being done. Once starting on a task I move it to 'In Progress' so I know it has been started, and if it requires me to make a phone call which I leave a message and await a call, or I await a return email the status goes into 'Waiting'.

Each time a status update is made I add a note to the bottom of the task to reflect the reason for the status update so I can easily go back and see at any point what's going on with the task, and why it isn't marked as completed. Once the task has been completed I change the status to completed and it drops to the bottom of the list. Completed tasks need to be manually cleared from the list so I tend to leave them for the end of the day and remove them from the list while adding new tasks to the list.

 

Making the most of it

Completed Task

Ensuring you get the most out of the application will come down to how you incorporate it into your very own lifestyle. Adding BlackBerry Tasks to a convenience key allows me to quickly and easily access it from any screen, and the ease of access is what makes me continue to use it. I find that using it to input tasks in real time, while the discussion is being had makes me remember much more, and others can see that I am actually taking action on the tasks.

Make the commitment to yourself to follow up on the tasks as you are reminded of them, and to add tasks as they come up and watch your productivity levels increase. Remember, no task is to small to need a reminder for, so whether it is to go grocery shopping, refill the pets food or buy an anniversary present, give BlackBerry Tasks a shot to remind you. 

26 comments

emirozmen

Love this app. Use it a lot!!!!!!!!!

bobaloo

I really want to use Tasks. I try every once in a while to do it again, but I keep coming back to the same problem

There are no sub-levels for tasks. My task list is huge and inconvenient because I can't group items in any efficient way. I suppose I could use categories, but that is a sloppy solution.

Imagine if every single file on your hard drive was in the root C: because it was impossible to create folders.

I'm a product of the DOS days. that's what this tasks application feels like to me.

lwhitty

I use categories to get around this. Like you said, not ideal, but workable for me.

natedog1244

I agree with you on this. I have been using To-Do matrix. It is not cheap, and it can get complex, but what it does for me is awesome. When an email comes in that I need to do something with, I add it to To-Do Matrix. Same goes for a phone call, a calendar appointment, when someone asks me to do something, it all goes into the program and into a specific file with sub folders. I never lose a task and I sleep better because of it.

I think everyone should have a good capture system.

A cheap alternative is to just use the memo pad, call it #1 a work task (that puts it at the top of the memo pad list) and then simply write down tasks and delete as needed.

diegonei

Hold it right there Jared! What about tasks that happen weekly and stuff like that? You do plan on another article covering those right?

thecsman

It does play well when you also use it with Vlingo:

"Note to self: pick up groceries"

=)

jgenn3

One of the main things that has kept me on Blackberry devices. The iPhone and Android devices allthough have gotten better still can not replicate the integrated Tasks, Memo and Calendar programs as good as Blackberry does with corporate mail servers. To take it a step further you can add the free "Onto Calendar/Tasks" application to your Blackberry to easily create Task and Calendar entries from received emails. I'd be lost without it.

El Platanero

I've been looking for ways to use my task manager productively. up until this day I've been adding my tasks to my calendar instead. This article helped me think of ways to work it. I'm glad it was written.

P.S. To Adam, Go Giants.....hahahahah.

john_v

In your Calendar options, under General options, you can choose to show your Tasks in your Calendar as well. It's probably a personal preference thing, I like seeing the Tasks if they have a due date, when I look at my Calendar.

john_v

I use this everyday as well. I sync mine with outlook on my lappy, since that's what we use (Outlook) at work. Its nice that all the fields sync up properly.

vinsta45

have had blackberrys now for almost 6 yrs and there is pretty much nothing I do not know, nor can I do on a blackberry, but this one app, blackberry tasks, is one I just can't figure out. I see no difference in tasks vs a calendar for a reminder and whenever I think I have the tasks app licked, It never alarms me that an upcoming event is scheduled. It jus tplainly needs to be made more simpler and I really need an explination as to why I need both a calendar and a tasks app to remind me of a task, chore or appointment. I love blackberry and always will, but to me this task app makes no sense what so ever and it is just too hard to program and just has to be made simpler.

Cafeina

I find both the tasks application and calendar useful. I use my calendar for things that I only need reminding of, or for appointments where I need to be physically present. I use the tasks application for "actionable" items (things that require action on my part). So I would place "Jane Doe's Birthday" in my calendar. I would place "Buy birthday gift for Jane Doe" in my tasks application. I hope this helps.

Made in flanders

Thanks to this article, I will try and integrate task manager more in my live!

imcurved

I agree it's super productive. I've been using this app for three years until...today. I just bought bhive task (http://crackberry.com/review-bhive-tasks-40) to fill some of the missing features like displaying due date, etc. It integrates with BB Task. It's on sale for $4.99 (regular price is $8.99).

artie

It's great, I've always used it. Thank you for a great article.

lwhitty

I use Outlook tasks, and one pet peeve with BlackBerry tasks is that there is no way to hide tasks with a future start date. For instance, if you have a recurring task to get a haircut every 6 weeks, when you cross it off, the next recurring task immediately shows up in BB tasks even though the next occurrence is 6 weeks away. In Outlook, the the next recurrence is hidden until 6 weeks pass. I don't want to use a calendar entry for this since there's no fixed appointment. If RIM would fix this, BB tasks would be awesome!

ordigas

Thanks for this article!

bibeberry

I just deleted tasks cos it's kind of redundant for me. I use calendar and twinkle app, nice to see them all rolled out in twinkle. But the integrated tasks and calendar is a new discovery for me I'd try that out.

shick11sp

an awesome cross platform task manager, wunderlist, is close to being released for blackberry. they just had an open beta, which i see has just recently been closed. check it out and give them feedback if you were a tester. its a gorgeous, well designed app. http://blog.wunderlist.com/post/14507455140/wunderlist-blackberry-beta

GaiusPrimus

My main issue with tasks is that you don't have any sort of notifications, so once tou set them up, you still need to go into the app in order to see which tasks you need to complete today.

There's a reason why Outlook has a a side panel that keeps track of the number of tasks due in a specific day, and that is just not available

adamschuetze

There is integrated notifications for tasks, you need to use the "Reminder" field to activate notifications for the task. An icon shows up in the notification bar, and a popup comes up asking what you'd like to do about the task. If you use BerryBuzz you can set a custom LED color for tasks, and in the profiles editor you can select a ringtone/vibrate on a per profile basis.

GaiusPrimus

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the reminder only takes place when the complete time happens, correct?

Or is it something that shows a task icon, with a number (ie. 6) beside it saying that there are 6 tasks to be completed today?

adamschuetze

You can set the reminder to be relative to the complete time, or you can set the remind time to be an arbitrary date/time for when you'd like to start the task. It shows up as an icon with a number in the notification bar.

tim_w_ak

i have used mProductive for the last year or so, and it has helped tremendously. started with the lite version, and for most, it will do the job, but the full version has been invaluable to me. in short it brings all your memos tasks and calendar apps to one screen. i use the full versions features to make projects with all the memos, and tasks as well as calendar events all grouped together. check out the free version first, and the lite version might be enough for most peoples needs. for those with lots of different projects etc, it helps. it is in bb app world.
i too use calendar events for physical meetings and appt's, and use the tasks for action items and use "catagories" to identify who was delegated what within the project.

"addto" is another good app to turn emails, into tasks, memos, or events.

these two have helped me, a scatterbrain get more organized.

bboros

My software stack for keeping on top of tasks is similiar, although I like to be able to view and update my tasks from my Blackberry and my Mac, so I use:

1/ Pocket Informant (really good task/calendar interface) to sync with ToodleDo on the Blackberry; 2/ Appigo Sync to sync with ToodleDo and keep the local iCal task lists up to date, and then finally 3/ BusyCal presents them in a neat way much like iCal.

With Appigo Sync, each calendar on your Mac gets its own folder, allowing categorization in Pocket Informant - nice and simple and has been working well for quite a while now.

USP45

Native Tasks does the trick when nothing else will re: integration with desktop (i.e. Outlook). I can't bear to not have integration.