I’m sure there are articles out there already about free services that help you organize and all sorts of cool shit. But as usual, my writings are more for myself than anything else. I just finished setting up my BlackBerry Curve. I thought I’d just take the BlackBerry leap before I get to using the Bold. It also saves me money in the long run. AT&T was just too expensive. I miss their very speedy 3G network, but I use low bandwidth services anyway: email/texting barely requires a 3G connection.
Yes, I know, I said I’d talk about how to feel like a million bucks…
Anyway, I’m using the T-Mobile BlackBerry Minutes & Mail Enterprise. I finally found a decent Microsoft Exchange host that has BlackBerry Enterprise Server at a decent price. Most places offer a measly 200 MB account, so having 3 GB is an incredibly measurable difference. Together, they deliver an instant email experience, seemingly faster than even Microsoft’s push e-mail over wireless ActiveSync. Sending myself an email from Gmail, I received in record time: practically right after I pushed the send button, my BlackBerry rang out with notifier_crystal. The only thing is that the entire setup experience was a huge hassle: I had to change my MX records and had to try all sorts of nonsense before I got the damn BES account to work. The sad thing is that I don’t really know how it finally worked: it just did. I was just thankful when I saw that the Enterprise Activation went through, climbing from 9% to 25% and all the way to complete.So after I saw that I didn’t have to wipe the device yet again (which I had done numerous times), I got around to customizing it. One thing I hate about BlackBerry’s: the fonts. They’re just horrid. The best one, and it’s kind of a stretch, is BB Clarity at 7 Bold with smoothing on. I don’t know why, but their fonts just look squashed. They look like someone from the 90s designed it when “digital” was cool.I got on Crackberry and bought the 9000 theme, and it helps things a bit. I took some time out to modify my sound settings and all, and I was up and running.
Well, that was quite an aside, and not really what I set out to write about. Where was I? Oh yeah, hi-tech stuff.
For voicemail, I use YouMail. I have a default greeting for Think Carton solutions consultants if they want to use it. I created it using the AT&T Text-to-Speech demo. It’s pretty nifty. I’ve used it to make a bunch of speech alerts for myself as well. YouMail also has voice transcription that can be sent via text message or email or both. Oddly enough the email doesn’t have the option to add in the carrier of the caller like the text notification does.
I Want Sandy is a great organizer. You email her with plain language requests. For example: “Remember that my social security number is 245-90-7492.” You can tag it with an @ symbol and recall everything that is categorized as such. I’ve filed away my program serial numbers and the email accounts related to any purchases I’ve made.
Then there’s Jott. You call the phone number Jott assigned to you and It transcribes your voice and emails you the transcript. Or anyone else that you’ve listed in your contacts. So I add Sandy to my contacts, and bam, I can call my secretary to remember and remind me of anything. One thing amazed me: I was playing GTA IV and used ZiT! to find out the names and artists of a couple of songs. When I Jotted them, it was correctly transcribed as, “Remember Alexander O’Neal – Criticize, and also David McCallum – The Edge.” The last names were surprisingly accurate. But even more amazing is that it was understood as the a “Artist – Title” format. YouMail needs to get this good, and then it’s a wrap.
I’d use Grand Central (now owned by Google), but they have their own voice mail system. I’m not sure if you can integrate it with YouMail, so I’m leaving that alone for now.