RIM BlackBerry Tips and Tricks: More Keyboard Shortcuts for Power Users

Always looking for new ways to do more with your RIM BlackBerry? Learn the following tips and tricks, including two from the co-CEO of RIM himself, and take your smartphone prowess to a whole new level.

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Mon, June 16, 2008

CIO — For such a tiny little device, that BlackBerry smartphone of yours has an amazing amount of functionality packed in behind the scenes. But, unfortunately, realizing the true potential of a Research In Motion (RIM) device isn't always as simple as opening up a user guide or surfing on over to Google.

That's where we come in.

For months now, we've been offering up weekly BlackBerry tips, tricks and shortcuts for the novice, the seasoned expert and everyone in between. We've provided lists of our favorite BlackBerry software downloads--the majority of which are free, and some of which are open source. We even asked the bigwigs at RIM for their third-party application suggestions, and delivered smartphone battery-life advice, memory optimization methods, and innovative uses for your BlackBerry's Bluetooth.

This week, we bring you our favorite set of tips and tricks yet. After learning these techniques, you'll wonder how you ever got by without them. Two even come directly from Mr. BlackBerry himself, Mike Lazaridis, RIM president and co-CEO. A couple more originated from CIO.com readers who commented on our earlier Five Essential BlackBerry Keyboard Tips and Tricks article.

So sit back, whip out that BlackBerry and pay attention.

Three Can't Miss Messaging Shortcuts


Navigating Message Threads

We already covered the basics of BlackBerry messaging and keyboard shortcuts, after an informative chat with insurance company Aflac's smartphone guru. But these two lesser-known tricks are sure to lighten the load of any BlackBerry power user. (Thanks go to Sjaak Koole and another anonymous CIO.com reader for pointing them out!)

Heavy BlackBerry users know the pain of trying to catch up on an e-mail thread with multiple responses. You may have received the first response an hour ago, the second and third 15 minutes later and a fourth and fifth could have landed in your inbox just as you get to the first. Without a shortcut, you have to sift through the tons of messages that arrived in between the thread's various components. A much simpler way is to open the first message and then hit the J key to jump to the next response, and so on. You can also return to an earlier message in the thread by hitting the K key. (Note: If the subject line of the thread has been modified, you may not be able to find all responses using this shortcut.)

Bookmarking Messages to Return at a Later Time

Scenario: You're reading an important--and long--message from the boss when you're called away from your device by a coworker or family member in need. Have no fear, there's no need to scroll through paragraphs you already read when your return to the e-mail--at least if you use this shortcut. You can simply close the message, and when you're free again, just hit the G key after reopening it, and you'll be brought to the exact spot where you stopped reading.

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