Switch Tips & Tricks – Task Filters

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.

Once you have accumulated a sizable list of tasks, it may become cumbersome to scroll each time to locate a desired task to switch to. To make it easier to locate a task, Switch provides a “Find” feature which can be used to quickly filter the task list. Simply start typing a word that you expect to be in the title of the desired task. Switch will automatically filter the task list to include only those entries containing words beginning with the letters you typed.

Even if you have over a hundred tasks in your list, the “Find” feature can reduce the list to less than a screenful with only a few letters typed. Use the BlackBerry back button to clear the “Find” entry and return to a full task list.

Another way to filter the task list is through the use of Category filters. When a task is created or edited, one or more categories can be associated with the task. Categories are simply names that can mean anything you wish. For instance, you could use the category “Business” for work-related tasks, and the category “Personal” for other tasks. Another possible use of categories would be to represent different clients.

Once you have associated your tasks with categories, you can use the Category filter to only show those tasks associated with that category. To change the Category filter, press the BlackBerry menu key and choose Options. Find the Category option and change it to the desired category. Note that at least one task must be associated with the desired category in order for it to appear in the set of possible choices.

There are also two predefined Category filters that may be used as follows:

  • ::Any:: – matches tasks associated with any category, including none. This will display an unfiltered task list.
  • ::Uncategorized:: – matches those tasks which are not associated with any category.

If the Category filter is set to a specific category, then any new tasks created will automatically be associated with that category.

Task filters are a great way to keep a large task list manageable and to keep groups of tasks separated. Use the “Find” feature to quickly filter a large task list, and use the Category filter to better organize your tasks.

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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