Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How to set multiple alarms on your BlackBerry

Back in the day, when I still had a crappy flip phone, I used to take advantage of the multiple alarms it offered. When I used an actual alarm clock, rather than my cell phone, I was apt to shut the thing off rather than hit snooze. This did not please my bosses at the time. My old phone, however, offered three different alarms, and I took advantage by setting all of them. So even when I silenced the first alarm, the second and third were waiting to go. When I got a BlackBerry I lost this functionality, at least natively. There are tons of alarm applications, but who wants to spend money on such a simple function?

Even as RIM has upgraded their operating system, we still haven’t seen support for multiple alarms — at least within the clock application. By navigating over to your calendar, though, you can create as many alarms as you need.

Daily alarms

If you need to set multiple alarms, head to your calendar and scroll to the necessary time. Click the menu button and then select New Alarm. You’ll see a screen where you can create an alarm and name it. You can even change the time to any one you need, down to the minute. As you can see on the right, I created an alarm to wake me from my post-lunch nap at 3:40. Scroll down to the recurrence field and select Daily.

From there you can select from even more options. For instance, if you only want that alarm to ring every other day, you can select 2. If this is an event that only goes on for a certain period of time — say you’re on a different schedule because you’re at a business convention — you can select an end date as well. Once you have that all set up, press menu, save it, and you’re set.

Weekday only alarms

The main drawback of the above method, as you might have thought by now, is the lack of a weekday-only option. There’s no reason for a post-lunch nap on the weekends, for instance, because I can sleep in. I only want that alarm to sound on weekdays. Thankfully, the calendar system takes care of this as well.

Instead of selecting daily from the recurrence menu, select weekly. You’ll see the same fields for every and end, and in addition you’ll see the a place to mark which days of week you want the alarm to sound. As you can see in the screenshot, I selected Monday through Friday, leaving my weekends afternoon alarm free. It works just as well as the Weekdays option in the clock application.

Other alarm options

You can also select monthly from the drop-down menu, and can even set an alarm to go off every 15 months if you ever needed such an alarm. The best part about the monthly alarm is the relative date feature. By checking the box you can set an alarm to go off on the X Xday of every month. For instance, if I set one for today to recur monthly, I could choose for it to go off on the third Monday of every month. You’ll have to scroll to the proper date, obviously, in order for this alarm option to work properly.

There is also a yearly option, including relative date (third Monday of every March, e.g.). I’m not sure how useful it is, but at least it’s there.

Finally, you can edit your daily alarm through your calendar app as well as your clock app.

Just to be clear, you don’t see options for snooze or for alarm sound. The calendar alarm defaults to your clock settings. Also, you’ll notice on your clock that your active alarms are all displayed along with your default alarm.

This post originated at - home to all things Blackberry! Also a great source of info about AT&T BlackBerry.

How to set multiple alarms on your BlackBerry

This post originated at - home to all things Blackberry! Also a great source of info about AT&T BlackBerry.

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