40 nuggets of valuable advice on getting the most from your BlackBerry, including shortcuts, email tips and phone functions.

Margaret Genet, operations analyst at Aflac knows BlackBerrys inside out. In fact, she's nicknamed ‘technology concierge' because she can teach anyone how to be more efficient with mobile devices and applications.

See also:

The six best free BlackBerry downloads

Most of her tips and tricks can be found by trawling BlackBerry websites and reading user manuals from cover-to-cover. But who has the time? Not me, that's for sure. Instead I opted for a 15 minute chat with Margaret, and discovered 40 nuggets of her most valuable advice.

Typing shortcuts

  1. To capitalise a letter with one click, hold down the letter key
  2. To insert a full stop, click the Space Key twice
  3. Turn CAP Lock on by pressing the ALT key followed by the right Shift key. Turn it off by pressing either Shift key
  4. Turn Number Lock on by pressing the ALT key followed by the left Shift key. Turn it off by pressing either Shift key
  5. Type an accented letter or special character by holding the corresponding letter and scrolling left or right with the trackball
  6. Insert the current date into a message or document by pressing the L key followed by D and the Space key
  7. Insert the current time into a message or document by pressing the L key followed by T and the Space key

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Messaging (email and SMS)

  1. In email inbox, press the S key to search for a sender or a word within a subject line, and any mail folder regardless of message was sent or received
  2. Within inbox, access the complete list of messages sent by hitting the ALT key followed by the O key
  3. Within inbox, access the complete list of messages received by hitting the ALT key followed by the I key
  4. Within inbox, access the complete list of SMS text messages received by hitting the ALT key followed by the S key
  5. Within inbox, access phone log by hitting the ALT key followed by the P key
  6. Within inbox, access the voicemail log by hitting the ALT key followed by the V key
  7. To delete all messages sent or received before a specific date, highlight that date with the cursor, hit the BlackBerry Menu key, select Delete Prior and confirm selection
  8. To enable automatic spell checking of e-mail messages, click the Options icon on BlackBerry home screen. Then click Spell Check and select the Spell Check E-Mail Before Sending option.
  9. To do a manual spell check, click the BlackBerry Menu key within a composed message and select Check Spelling
  10. When a message is being spell checked, suggested fixes to unrecognised words can be ignored by clicking the escape key

Next page: More top tips for saving time when using your BlackBerry including reviewing spreadsheet and presentation attachments and browsing the web.

  1. Typing shortcuts, email and SMS
  2. Reviewing spreadsheet and presentation attachments, and browsing the web

For news and reviews on the best technology on the move, visit Mobile Advisor.

Margaret Genet, operations analyst and technology concierge' at Aflac continues her top 40 BlackBerry shortcuts.

Spreadsheet attachments

  1. Change the size of a column by pushing the W key
  2. Go to a specific cell by pressing the G key
  3. View contents of a cell by pressing the Space key
  4. Search for text by clicking the F key, then type the desired word
  5. Switch to a different worksheet by pressing V and selecting the desired sheet

Presentation attachments

  1. Skip to the next slide by pressing the N key
  2. Return to the previous slide by clicking the P key
  3. Start slideshow by pushing the S key
  4. Stop slideshow by clicking the Escape key
  5. Switch to a new view of the slideshow by clicking the M key

Phone functions

  1. Multitask while on phone calls by hitting the BlackBerry menu key during a call and then selecting Home Screen. You'll then have access to email and other documents. However, most BlackBerrys don't allow for simultaneous voice and data transfer, so internet access is unavailable while on calls
  2. Find specific contacts from your BlackBerry home screen by pressing keys for first and last initials, with a space between them. If more than one contact has the same initials, scroll to the appropriate contact

For news and reviews on the best technology on the move, visit Mobile Advisor.

BlackBerry Browser

  1. Bring up the Enter a Web Address field from any web page by pressing the G key
  2. Insert a full stop in a web address by clicking the Space key
  3. Insert a back slash in web address by clicking either the left or right Shift keys and then hitting Space
  4. Add an item to bookmarks list by clicking the A key
  5. Bring up your bookmark list by clicking the K key
  6. Refresh a web page by clicking the R key
  7. Display a list of the last 20 pages visited by hitting the I key
  8. Open browser options with the O key

Back to basics: starts and stops

  1. To put device into Standby Mode so keys cannot be pressed while it's not in use, hold down the Mute key for a second or two. Undo Standby Mode by holding Mute for another couple of seconds
  2. If BlackBerry slows down, starts malfunctioning or freezing, always try removing the battery and SIM card, if the device has one, and waiting a few seconds before reinserting it. According to Genet, 95 percent of the issues BlackBerry users experience, are resolved by simply removing the battery

  1. Typing shortcuts, email and SMS
  2. Reviewing spreadsheet and presentation attachments, and browsing the web

Visit Business Advisor for reviews of the best IT products for your business.