Switch Tips & Tricks – Calendar History

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™.

Did you know that Switch™ integrates with the BlackBerry® Calendar app? As you switch tasks throughout the day, Switch™ optionally records your work activities as events in the calendar. This provides a nice time-based view of how your time has been spent. Following is an example of how these work activity events appear in the calendar (Day View is shown).

You can open any of the events to view further details such as the comments you entered while working on the task. Switch™ records these calendar events with the time marked as “free” so they will not interfere with meetings or appointments you have scheduled.

If you would prefer not to have Switch™ record your work activity in the BlackBerry® calendar, simply disable the “Calendar History” setting under Program Options.

Using the BlackBerry® Desktop Software program, you can synchronize the task list used by Switch™, as well as the calendar events created by Switch™ with your desktop organizer (like Microsoft® Outlook). This is a great way to leverage the benefits of a desktop computing environment for managing and viewing your Switch™ tasks and work history. For instance, you may find it easier to create tasks in your desktop organizer program, and then synchronize them with your BlackBerry® smartphone so you can record work on them in Switch™. Also the larger screen of your desktop computer may be more suitable for viewing and analyzing your work history in your organizer’s calendar function.

If you are already using the BlackBerry® Desktop Software program, it may already be set up for synchronizing your Calendar and Tasks. If not, or if Switch™-created events are not being synchronized, then the following steps may help guide you with setting this up. These instructions are for the most current version of BlackBerry® Desktop Software for Windows at the time of this writing. The steps may vary somewhat on different versions of this program, or on other operating systems.

After installing the BlackBerry® Desktop Software program and configuring it to work with your BlackBerry® smartphone, you can begin to configure synchronization of organizer data by selecting “Organizer” from the list on the left-hand side of the screen. You should see a screen similar to this:

Press the “Configure settings…” button. You should then see a screen like the one below. Select the “Calendar” item and click the “Setup…” button.

Next, you will need to select the desktop organizer application that you would like to synchronize the calendar with. Choose the desired application from the list and press the “Next >” button.

For the synchronization options, in most cases, the “Two way sync” option is the best choice. If you wish to view Switch™-created calendar events in your desktop organizer, then the only two viable options are “Two way sync” or “One way sync from device”. Pick the desired synchronization option and press the “Next >” button.

If synchronizing with Microsoft Outlook, then you will have a few additional options to set. Other organizer programs may have different options available. Since Outlook can support multiple users, you may need to choose which user’s calendar that you would like to synchronize with.

The most important option on this screen is the “Calendar date range”. This must be set to “Transfer all scheduled items” in order for all Switch™-created events to be synchronized.

Once the options are set as desired, press the “Next >” button to continue. Then click the “Finish” button to complete the setup of calendar synchronization.

If desired, continue to setup Tasks synchronization. The steps to do this are very similar to those for the calendar synchronization, so I won’t cover them in detail here. Once the synchronization options are all set, return to the main screen of the BlackBerry® Desktop Software program. Test the synchronization by pressing the “Sync” button in the lower right corner of the screen. You may be prompted several times to confirm synchronization changes. Use the “Details” buttons to view information about the pending changes, and then use the “Accept” and “Reject” buttons to approve or decline the changes.

Confirm that the calendar synchronization worked by opening the calendar view in your desktop organizer program.

The calendar history feature of Switch™ provides yet another great way to view how your time is spent, while desktop synchronization further expands the viewing possibilities.

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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