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How to Use the Calendar with Your BlackBerry Playbook

Like nearly all of the various standard apps on the BlackBerry PlayBook, the calendar is simple and to the point. At its most basic level, you navigate to a date, click a time slot, and then add the details of an appointment, meeting, or event.

When you tap anywhere on any day, you can fill in the details of an appointment. You will have an opportunity to set the date and time for the event further down on the screen; this small matter of design is actually quite helpful since it saves you the time and trouble of navigating to a particular date in order to enter an activity.

Adding an attendee to the event will automatically draw details from contacts (if that person is included in that list). After you save an appointment, an e-mail or text message automatically goes to all attendees whose contact information you have; the invitees can accept, tentatively accept, or just flat-out decline your kind invitation.

The calendar on the PlayBook offers three views:

  • Day view is all of your appointments for one selected day. The default setting is for a work day of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., as if that is something any of us pays attention to anymore.

    On your BlackBerry smartphone, you can press the Menu button and then select Options to adjust the standard working day. Changes that you make to the time period on the phone are reflected in the display shown on the PlayBook.

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  • Week view shows a seven-day summary view of your appointments. Again, you can adjust the way the week is displayed by changing the options shown on a BlackBerry smartphone. For example, you can choose any day to be the start of your week; that would work well with people who work Sunday to Thursday, for example.

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  • Month view shows every day of the month, but only indicates that there’s an appointment for individual days; you have to tap a particular date to open the Day view.

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Switch among the three views by tapping any of the three icons below the main screen. They all show a calendar, but the one with a single green box means one day, the one with seven days of green boxes indicates a week, and the one that is fully green means a display of the entire month.

The calendar on the BlackBerry smartphone includes a fourth view, called Agenda, that isn’t tied to a particular day, week, or month. Instead, it presents your upcoming appointments in a list. This view wasn’t carried over to the PlayBook in BlackBerry Bridge mode, although that may happen in future updates to the operating system.

Changes you make on the tablet are saved to your smartphone. (Remember: the calendar resides on the BlackBerry, not on the tablet.)

Here are your calendar essentials:

  • To create a new event, tap the icon at the bottom left. Then enter details (name, subject of event, location) into the New Appointment screen.

  • To specify the duration, tap the All Day check box or enter a specific time for Start and End. The system will assume that the time zone for the event is the same as currently set for your BlackBerry phone; if it is not, you can change the zone.

  • To set a reminder alarm, choose amongst a number of advance notification times.

  • To send a notification message, click Email All Attendees. When you enter the names of attendees, the system assumes they’re in your contact list; if it finds a match, it puts the name on the list.

  • To modify an event, tap the edit symbol at the bottom right, alongside the X for delete. (It’s a somewhat unfortunate design to have the edit button next to delete, but then again, you are prompted with an “Are you sure?” message if you accidentally tap the delete icon.)

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