Brendan McKeegan

SmartCompany /

A 24/7 email existance isn’t intrusive, it’s a deliverance.

Emails on the run

Let me start by saying that until recently I was a firm believer that Blackberrys (or Crackberrys as the addicts prefer to call them) would provide nothing but an unnecessary intrusion to my life as an entrepreneur.

My life is busy enough, and I wasn’t convinced that having email pushed to me wherever I was in the world would make my life easier.

My preference has always been to deal with email in small focused bursts. I also have a philosophy that if a matter is urgent, pick up the phone and call me – don’t send me an email.

Another issue for me with Blackberrys was the form factor. The wide body, full keyboard device didn’t appeal to me. A phone or PDA has to fit neatly in my jeans pocket.

Then fate intervened during a visit to my local phone dealer to return my O2 Atom – a PDA phone with wireless internet – for the third time! At the time I was using a Wi-Fi card for my laptop as a means of accessing email on the run.

A small amount of research however indicated that Wi-Fi is such an overkill if my only requirement was to access email. There was also the issue of global access, which is not provided by many local carriers.

So in a moment of weakness I inquired about the Blackberry 7130, which is comparable in size to my O2. Based on this smaller form factor and my lingering frustration with my O2, I decided to take one for a spin.

Three months later I am a convert. For me, my attachment to my Blackberry is about two things – maximising downtime and convenience. I find it particularly useful in my dealing with international clients.

I no longer have to check email on my laptop early in the morning or late at night to see if there is anything urgent to attend to in the US or Britain. I simply flick my Blackberry wheel and scan my inbox.

I must admit my perception of a Blackberry as an intrusive rather than a productive business tool was completely unfounded.

Although I must provide a warning – make sure you keep the default setting of no audible beep when an email is received. The flashing red indicator is perfect, because I choose when to view new email rather than being alerted to them the instant they arrive.

Now all I need is an email to voice converter so I can check my email while driving!

Oh by the way, I have hardly used the O2, which has had its internals completely replaced for sale.


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