Switch Tips & Tricks – Getting Started

Switch is a BlackBerry smartphone app for managing work-related tasks and for tracking the time spent on those tasks. It is geared toward professionals who need to track their time for billing or project management purposes. This article is part of a series providing tips & tricks for maximizing the power of Switch.

Switch integrates with the native BlackBerry Tasks app, sharing a common to do list. Unless you have already created tasks in the BB Tasks app, the first time Switch is started it will display a single task item named “Idle”. This special task represents activities that are not tracked by Switch. Effectively, when your current task is “Idle”, it means you are off-the-clock.

Typically, the first thing you will need to do after starting Switch for the first time is to populate your list of tasks. To do this, press the BlackBerry menu key and select “New Task”.  Give the new task a name, and optionally specify other details like priority, due date, etc.

It is up to you how general or specific the tasks are that you create. For instance, you may wish to enter tasks representing common, recurring activities such as “Reading e-mails”, “Weekly team meeting” and “Write daily status report”. Additionally, you may wish to create one-time or short duration tasks such as “Project Alpha”, “Create proposal for Widget idea” and “Pick up customer from the airport”.

Once the initial set of tasks is created, you are ready to begin tracking your time. To do this, select the desired task by tapping it on a touchscreen device, or by highlighting it and clicking the track-pad/track-ball. The selected task will become your current task, and will be displayed using a bold font to indicate this. At this point, you can close the Switch app until you begin working on a different task, or stop working. Then open Switch again, pick a different task and then close Switch. Repeat this process each time you start working on something different.

To see various views of your work history, check out the Summary Report, Task Switch History or look in your BlackBerry calendar.

Other articles in this series:

About Daniel Brannon

Daniel Brannon founded OSoSLO in 2009 to provide software tools and services for business and technology professionals.
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