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Blackberry with GTD - Is this workaround possible?

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  • Blackberry with GTD - Is this workaround possible?

    Blackberry with GTD – Is this workaround possible?

    I am getting forced to adopt a blackberry at my office. I am now using the GTD system and have my outlook 2003 all setup and populated with lots of tasks and have made some custom views for them.

    I use tasks a lot. I also use Outlook’s Task assignment system to assign tasks to my partner. I then filter out of my Task view in Outlook tasks that are assigned. I also filter out the completed ones.

    The biggest limitation, as I see it, it the BB’s lack of categories.

    But I did hear that the 2.x ver of the BB sync software (the enterprise edition ver, but it probably applies to both) had a filter. It can filter which tasks get sent to the BB.

    This would be huge. I have 200 task if you don’t filter them. But on my BB, I will only want @Calls and @ anywhere that are not completed, deferred, or assigned.

    I heard that the software wouldn’t let you filter by every property, but would let you filter lots of them. I wonder if it can filter out completed tasks and/or assigned task (in my case that would be tasks not assigned to someone else or owner=me).

    If it could filter both, that would be ideal. Then I could at least get my tasks even through they were not categorized.

    The best would be to filter out all tasks that mean these criteria:
    completed=no (anther way to do this is status = “Not Started” or “In Progress”)
    status = “Not Started” or “In Progress” (or status = “Differed” or “Waiting on”)
    category does not equal “@Call” or “@Anywhere”

    This way I could have my @calls on my BB which is also a cell phone.

    Is this possible? Does anyone have a BB and can check for me?
    Has anyone else been able to make a BB partially work for a GTD system.

    Any other ideas of possible workarounds?

    thanx in advance,
    Jim West

  • #2
    Blackberry with GTD

    I haven't really found much of a work around. We are required to use the BB 957 and I just preface each task with the context symbol, @c for calls, etc. BB really isn't great for GTD but this works as simply as anything else. I just try to do most of my updating on my laptop and use the BB for portability.


    • #3
      I think the Blackberry can be useful

      I took the jump and bought a Blackberry. In fact, we now have all our senior executives using them.

      You can’t use them for task management, so forget about that. I thought that perhaps a third-party vendor had created software that would transfer the categories from Outlook to the Blackberry. No such luck.

      However, this doesn’t mean that the Blackberry is useless. I am now using a TabletPC as a sort of “super PDA” (thanks to Michael Linenberger and Marc Orchant), so I usually have my lists with me any way.

      The value of the Blackberry is for quick e-mail and calendar reference when I am in the car or on a plane and pulling out my TabletPC is too much trouble. I don’t do a lot of e-mail processing on the Blackberry. As David Allen notes somewhere, this should be done on at least a laptop machine (or, for me, the TabletPC). But for the occassional quick e-mail, when business is flying at the speed of light, a Blackberry is very handy.

      Also, since it doubles as a phone, I’m not carrying any more devices than I used to carry. At any rate, I plan to blog on this in more detail when I get the time.

      One final note: we tested the black & white Blackberry. It was terrible in low light. The backlighting didn’t help much. However, once we made the decision to adopt them in our company, we ordered the 7750 color models. This is a much better choice. They don’t cost much more and they are much easier to read. The back lighting is terrific!

      Hope this helps.


      • #4
        The 7100t from T-Mobile and 7290 from Cingular both let you do Categories now.

        They are using 3.8 software, 4.0 is not out yet.

        At any rate, should be better now!



        • #5
          You can use keywords in your tasks...

          BB searches itself using a full text index. I have around 150 tasks in Outlook , and to filter quickly, I added the context to each one in the subject line. For example, in the subject line it lists Project First - then task.

          When on BB, in the task app, I just type in the Proj name and all related tasks show up.

          Not the best solution, but until I get my new 7100 (with categories) it has served me well..


          • #6
            emory here again -

            to blackberry users - you don't need to get a 7100 or 7290 to get categories. the new OS (bberry 4.0) is on its way Real Soon Now™ and will provide that functionality to all gprs/cdma bberries.

            those of you using the old-school mobitex models (9xx devices) not sure what to tell you.


            • #7
              downloaded v4.0 and still no categories...


              I just got the BB 7510 thru Nextel.

              I upgraded to BlackBerry Handheld Software v4.0.0.202 at


              but still don't see a choice for categories for the task section.
              Am I missing (Hope so.
              Well, hopefully soon...

              Also: I am using XP pro and the GTD Outlook add-in.
              Seems like using the BB causes some new weird messages re the add-in and potentially causes difficulties for it?
              Others' takes/ideas/solutions??




              • #8
                Ooops, just saw, that category option is there when I create a new task on BB... Cool!!

                It just didn't take my GTD add-in categories when I dumped my 120 tasks onto the BB... Mhhh, hopefully find a way to do this w/o touching every single one...

                Also: On my nextel BB 7510 the handheld version shows - but the desktop is still at Is that normal??

                Thanks again,



                • #9
                  emory again -

                  you need to upgrade BlackBerry Desktop.

                  there should be a link available online, check here: