Thursday, March 11, 2010

a list of the best BlackBerry add-on applications for productivity

My excuses for using a BlackBerry are (a) Verizon delivers great voice quality, as does the BlackBerry Tour (b) physical keyboard and (3) it doesn't seduce me with an almost infinite variety of wonderful time sucking applications.

Here are what I've found to be the core productivity applications. With the addition to the list of the wonderful Timr app for timetracking, I don't know why you'd want anything more (except true e-mail sync without a BlackBerry Enterprise Server ... grrr!). The following are in descending order of utility (to me). The first two get assigned BlackBerry function keys for easy access.

  1. GMail. Specialized application. Not push mail but the next best thing. Great to have my entire e-mail database at my mobile fingertips.
  2. Timr. My new favorite. Wonderful new application for time tracking with OTA sync to a Web interface.
  3. Kindle. A beautifully executed BlackBerry application. You really can read an entire, full length book on a BlackBerry.
  4. TweetGenius. Makes Twitter even easier to use than on a full sized browser. THAT is an amazing feat of design brilliance.
  5. Pandora. Has worked wonderfully for me except when it once started blasting the Yeah Yeah Yeahs our of the speaker during a funeral service (really). Still haven't figured out what happened.
  6. Google Sync. In the background, this syncs my Google Calendar to my BlackBerry calendar. Invaluable. Without this or something like this I'd have to ditch my BlackBerry. I wonder if RIM has any idea of the utility that Google delivers to their platform?
  7. Google Maps. A lifesaver.
  8. Bing Search. I've found it moderately more useful for mobile than Google.
  9. Google Search.
  10. PageOnce. This is a great tool for consolidating all sorts of information like airplane itineraries from multiple carriers and credit card transactions and balances. It's strange that their website isn't as nice as their BlackBerry application. 
  11. Evernote. It works ok for notes but needs a revision. Great for capturing photos of receipts and syncing them up to the cloud and then to my desktop.
  12. Yammer. Super for posting Yammer updates to your company.
  13. BeejiveIM. Excellent IM application that includes everything but Skype.
  14. IM+ for Skype. Waiting for the new Verizon-Skype deal to hit my BlackBerry. This program does work fine but it's pricey.
  15. Salesforce. Surprisingly how much data they make accessible through this application. Fast and nice. And with the Spring 2010 release, it's available on all platforms as a data access (but not comprehensive data editing) tool.Publish Post
  16. Facebook. Adequate. Not great.
  17. Google Voice. Useful occasionally for looking up voice mails poorly converted to text.