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How To Improve Your Typing Speed On A BlackBerry

Updated on January 16, 2012

BlackBerry is a business phone. You can get a lot of work done. Most of what we call "work" required a lot of text entry. Whether it is composing or replying to an email, it is crucial that we type fast and efficient. Typing long text on a BlackBerry takes some time getting used to but once you get the hang of it, words can fly onto your tiny screen and it becomes intuitive. Let's say you are already a pro BlackBerry typist. Do you want to text message faster? Do you want to type long emails comfortably? How about term papers on your BlackBerry? Do you want to learn how to improve your typing speed? This guild will show you some of the tricks BlackBerry users take advantage of in order to type faster.

Getting used to the button layout is the first thing a new BlackBerry user has to go through. The keyword keyboard makes excellent use of the real estate that RIM has to work with and throughout the years, RIM has improved the design close to perfection.

Unfortunately, the small portrait smart phone has limitations. The keyboard is good for it's size but there are other smart phones with superior keyboards. The main advantage of RIM's competitors is that they've adopted a more forgiving landscape layout. RIM has decided to keep what works for them which have been a very popular design that is copied by many cell phone manufacturers.

A simple technique to easily improve your BlackBerry typing speed is to rock your keys. A good example of an easy word to type using this method is the word "there". You simply type "t" and "h" like you normally would and leave your left thumb between the letters "e" and "r". Then, simply rock your thumb left, right, and left again to finish typing the word.

BlackBerry Curve 8530
BlackBerry Curve 8530

Another tip to increase your BlackBerry typing speed is what I call the "slide". It become apparent the more I use my BlackBerry that I type slow when I lift up my thumbs. This got me into the habit of sliding my thumbs over the keys. This way, I will always be ready to instantly press the keys. Another thing I noticed while doing this technique is the pressure of each key press is now consistent. I now am able to make less errors. Before I practice the "slide" technique, I would press some keys harder than others which resulted in me pressing two keys and giving me errors. I've also noticed while using the slide technique, typing long blocks of text is now much more comfortable. In fact, I am typing this on my BlackBerry as we speak!

Combining the rock technique with the slide, my productivity has increased dramatically on my BlackBerry. There's one more trick you can do if you want to improve your speed even more. It is call Auto Text and it is built into your BlackBerry. If you type in the word "threes", you have probably noticed that BlackBerry automatically changes it to "there's". Pretty cool right? You can take Auto Text a step further and add your own. This is where you have to think a bit. You have to ask yourself, "which words do I type often and how can I make it easier?".

Everyone is different and I can't answer that question for you, however I can give you some suggestions. The most obvious Auto Text people add are usually common phrases. Below is a list of phrases I use. Feel free to add them to your list.

omw - on my way

brb - be right back

nm - nothing much

np - no problem

You are not limited to phrases. You can add slang or computer shorthand to your list. Here are some of the computer slang that I use.

u - you

ur - your

ull - you will

bb - BlackBerry

b - be

cya - see you

comp - computer

cut - because

dis - this

ex - easy

ight - alright

k - okay

pig - picture

pics - pictures

y - why

These are a few slang I use on a daily basis that gets cleaned up a lot. Sometimes you get so caught up in writing to your friends that you forget you need to be professional especially if you write to an important business client. Not only can they clean up your language but it also improves your speed!

My next example of how you may want to use Auto Text is purely for speed! With this next trick, I will show you how you can improve you BlackBerry typing speed if you ignore vowels.

Let's say you want to type the most commonly used word in the English language. "The". Let's ignore the vowel "e". If you type "t" and "h" and hit space there is no other word I can think of other than "the". So instead of typing 3 letters, why not just assign Auto Text to complete the obvious word choice? Let's look at the list below and see what other vowels we can ignore.

th - the

cn - can

the - there

thes - these

the - them

thn - then

the - this

tht - that

thy - they

who - when

whr - where

at - what

These are most of the shorthand words I use. As you can see, eliminating some of the vowels can save you some time. I've noticed that the "t" words are used so often, that I fee so productive when I assign them to Auto Text.

Another reason why I use AutoText is typing distance. This one is very easy to explain. Imagine you want to type a question. In order to type the question mark "?" You must hit "alt", then "v". You also have to put a space after the question mark so there is actually 3 keystrokes you must press. How about pressing "space", "v", then "space" again? Notice how much easier it is to do that? Why? It's the same number of keystroke but the distance is much shorter. Keys that are adjacent to each other is easier to press especially if it is a sequence like " space, V, space".

Okay, so you're sold. How do you actually accomplish this trick in Auto Text? You must assign the letter "V" as "%b?". The "%b" means backspace. So now that you've got a faster way of inserting the question mark, can you see another symbol that takes the same amount of frustration to type? The comma! You can also assign this cool trick to the comma. You will be amazed at how much you type commas and question marks.

If you feel pain typing too much, stop! There is a condition known as "BlackBerry Thumb" that affects millions worldwide. It is a form of carpal tunnel syndrome that may require devices like this, "The Extensor" to reverse it's affects.
If you feel pain typing too much, stop! There is a condition known as "BlackBerry Thumb" that affects millions worldwide. It is a form of carpal tunnel syndrome that may require devices like this, "The Extensor" to reverse it's affects.

There is one more trick you can do to type in long text strings. That is to use the lone "$" as a prefix to variable. For those of you that don't remember algebra, a variable represents something. Remember when your math teacher kept nagging you to find the value of X? Who knew it could come in handy one day?! Okay, let me walk you through it. Assign $e to your email. Assign "$n" to your phone number. Assign "$ssn" to your social security number (although I don't recommend doing this). Do you understand the possibilities now? It is a really handy trick especially if you dread typing your AIM handle "kutebaybegurl1543" that you've had since high school and don't want to give it up. typing "$aim" will be a quick way to input that long string. Thank you for reading! I hope this article helped you be more productive on you BlackBerry!

Remember, stop using your BlackBerry if you start to feel hand pain. Safe usage ensures that you prevent carpal tunnel syndrome aka "BlackBerry Thumb".

Do you use AutoText?

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    • nikitha p profile image

      nikitha p 6 years ago from India

      Great tips thanks for sharing this.

    • kushalashok profile image

      kushalashok 5 years ago from New Delhi

      Nice one. Sure gonna help in speeding up.

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