June 23, 2011

How To: Set Up Viira Outlook Suite Sync Via USB

Filed under: How-To, Viira Outlook Suite, gtd — dev @ 7:09 pm

[UPDATED 14 Sept 2012 to include updated screen captures]

All BlackBerry devices come equipped with software and tools that make it syncing your BlackBerry and Outlook quick and easy. If your BlackBerry is not powered by the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) and you are like many BlackBerry owners out there who use a regular, non-corporate BIS plan, instead of synchronizing wirelessly the Viira Outlook Suite can also sync via USB as well. This post provides step-by-step instructions on how to do this.

Warning! Pay careful attention at step #4 and step #5 as clicking the wrong option there can negatively impact the Viira Outlook Suite’s syncing capabilities.

First, you will need to have the BlackBerry Desktop Software installed on the same computer on which you have Outlook running. The BlackBerry desktop software enables a lot of key BlackBerry-unique capabilities like backup, restore and software updates and is available for both Windows and Mac. The current version is 7.1 although earlier version like 6.1 look pretty much the same.

The screenshots below show how to set up synchronization between the Viira Outlook Suite Outlook plugin and BlackBerry client by using BlackBerry Desktop Software 6.1. Using BlackBerry Desktop Software 7.0 and later provides pretty much the same steps and all the screenshots except the first one are the same.

Step 0: Connect Your BlackBerry To Your PC With A USB Cable

Step 1: Start Setup: Device->Sync By Type->Organizer

Selecting Device->Setup By Type->Organizer will initiate the setup for what data you want synced between your Outlook and BlackBerry.

Step 2: Configure Synchronization - Setup Two-Way Sync

At a minimum you need to select Tasks from the lists for the core functionality of the Viira Outlook Suite to work. However selecting MemoPad and Address Book for synchronization in addition to Tasks will enable the Viira Outlook Suite to successfully resolve Contact Tasks and Memo Tasks after sync.

Or you may want to select the other checkboxes if you like the rest of your data to sync between Outlook and your BlackBerry as well.

Step 3: Configure Synchronization - Setup Two-Way Sync Part II

Step 4: Configure Synchronization - Setup Two-Way Sync Part III

Step 5: Configure Synchronization - Select Transfer All Items

This is a very important step! Selecting Transfer all items ensures correct and timely sync. If this option is not properly set up you will very likely notice new or updated items not getting propagated between your Outlook and your BlackBerry quickly enough or sometimes not at all.

After this, click finish and your synchronization should be properly set up. You are now ready to start using the Viira Outlook Suite!

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February 16, 2011

How-To: Launch The Viira Outlook Plugin

Filed under: How-To, Viira Outlook Suite, getting things done, outlook — Tags: , — admin @ 7:14 pm
Viira Outlook Add-In: Quick Launch Buttons

Quick Launch Buttons

The quickest way to launch the Viira Outlook Plugin is by clicking on the green checkmark button that you will see in your Outlook toolbar after installing the Outlook plugin. This will launch the plugin in a separate window that you can then minimize or keep open at all times. Clicking on the green checkmark with a red ‘+’ sign will open the New Task form so you can quickly enter a new task. The quick launch and quick add buttons are available in any area of Outlook, including Mail, Calendar, Contacts and Notes.

Things work slightly different in Outlook 2010 where you will see the Viira Outlook Plugin quick launch and quick add buttons appear in the Add-Ins tab.

You can also start The Viira Outlook plugin embedded mode. In embedded mode, the Outlook plugin will stay embedded inside Outlook. To do this open the “Tasks” view in Outlook (Go->Tasks) then click on the area saying “Folder View” in the center-left of your screen (see image below). You will see an option for the Viira Outlook Suite below - click on it and the Outlook plugin will launch inside Outlook.

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February 3, 2011

Getting around the 500 Internal Server Error

Filed under: How-To, Viira, Viira Outlook Suite — Tags: , , — dev @ 5:22 pm

Are you trying to download Viira OTA and seeing a “500 Internal Server Error” right after you click the link to install Viira? Turns out this cryptic error is caused by a security setting on the BES server that manages your BlackBerry device. In effect this setting ends up preventing 3rd party apps like Viira or the Viira Outlook Suite BlackBerry client to be installed over-the-air directly from our site.

For all of you using a corporate BlackBerry and seeing this error message, here are a few ways to get around this:

  1. Install via BlackBerry Desktop Software. Both Viira and the Viira Outlook Suite provide a ZIPed installer which you can download and easily install by using the BlackBerry Desktop Software that comes with your device.  Just click on the Download tab above for a list of download options.
  2. Add kartamobile.com to your TLS. Under Options->Security Options->Advanced Security Options->TLS, add kartamobile.com and www.kartamobile.com to the list of trusted hosts. Then go to our mobile site www.kartamobile.com/bb from your BlackBerry and perform the download again.
  3. Use an alternative BlackBerry browser to download and install. On OS 5.0 and earlier BlackBerry devices like the Bold 9700 for instance, you have a choice of different browser configurations that you can use. Open your browser, select Options->General Properties and then select a different option under Default Browser. A good option would be “<Your carrier name> browser” or the Hotspot browser. Click save, close your browser then open it again and attempt to download OTA again.

We hope you find these tips helpful!

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November 30, 2010

How-To: Viira And Upgrading Your BlackBerry OS

Filed under: How-To, Viira, blackberry — Tags: , — admin @ 5:34 pm

This article describes what to do in order to make sure your Viira data is transitioned successfully when you upgrade the device software (OS) on your BlackBerry.

Many of you are “taking the plunge” and upgrading the OS on your BlackBerry devices. While there are many benefits from doing this, the steps below will ensure that your Viira data follows you along on your freshly-upgraded BlackBerry.

It is important to keep in mind that upgrading the OS on your BlackBerry starts with erasing all data from your device . A new OS version is essentially a fresh start, and the new OS versions require a clean blank slate to start from. This is why it is critical to perform a full device backup before upgrading your OS. Otherwise, your old data may simply be lost forever.

Here are the steps to take in order to ensure your Viira data is restored correctly on your upgraded device:

1. Backup Your Viira Data. The BlackBerry Desktop Software performs a quick, one-click back up of all your device data which will automaticlly back up your Viira data in the process as well. More information can be found from our Backup/Restore How-To Article.

Note that data backup/restore is only avaialable on the full version of Viira.

2. Perform the OS upgrade. We won’t provide much details here. You know what you are doing here.

3. Re-install Viira. After your OS upgrade is complete you will need to install Viira on your newly-upgraded device. The backup file contains only application data and not the applications themselves, so performing a data restore will not re-install Viira.

Restoring your Viira data (step 4) requires that Viira is properly installed on your device, otherwise the restore will not take effect.

You can download the latest version of Viira by pointing your BlackBerry to our mobile site www.kartamobile.com/bb, or by visiting the downloads section on our site.

4. Restore your Viira data. At this point your can either perform a full restore all of of your pre-upgrade device’s data, or select only to restore Viira’s data. It really depends on what makes most sense in your case. You can select to to restore only Viira’s data by using the advanced backup/restore tips we describe in our Backup/Restore How-To.

As version 6.0 of the BlackBerry Deskopt Software introduced significant changes to the backup/restore UI and workflow, below is a screenshot that should give you a good visual idea of how to perform selective, Viira data-only restore on BlackBerry Desktop Software 6.0:

With your BlackBerry plugged in to your computer via USB, open the backup file you created in step 2, clicking “Select device data and settings” then click on “Viira 2″.  Pressing Restore will restore your Viira data to your BlackBerry.

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February 2, 2010

More Ways Of Applying “Getting Things Done”

Filed under: How-To, Viira, getting things done, gtd — admin @ 8:28 pm

GTD is one of the world’s most popular work/life productivity systems, but despite all the examples in David Allen’s fantastic book, the system isn’t just for busy executives or creative entrepreneurs. Anyone can use Getting Things Done to help organize their lives, no matter if they are a stay-at-home dad or an on-the-go gal.

Don’t believe us? Well, the following examples may inspire you to apply the principles of Getting Things Done in ways that haven’t crossed your mind yet. With productivity tools like Viira and your BlackBerry, the multitude of ways to get things done is downright amazing.

@Book Recommendations - From Oprah to Arianna, everyone’s recommending a book. Keep track of the ones you want to read in their own Context. Adding a new book to the list is as easy as reaching for your BlackBerry.

@Travel Destinations - Make a note of the fantastic voyages you’ve seen in the newspaper’s travel section or on your friend’s slide show. When it comes time to plan the trip, just transform your notes into next actions.

@Supermarket - Manage your grocery list in Viira and you’ll always know what to pick up when you’re out and about.

@Resolutions - Write down your New Years resolutions. You will have them right on your BlackBerry to remind you - and then check them off the list one by one!

@Doctor – If you’re lucky, you only see your doc once a year. Make notes about all the items you want to discuss at your next checkup so nothing gets forgotten.

@Renovations – Anyone who’s tackled a remodel knows there are roughly five thousand details to keep track of, and Viira is the perfect place to do so. Just remember to always have one “kick-start action” to keep the project moving along, as David Allen recommends.

@Class – GTD isn’t just for working professionals. Students can also use it to take notes. Just create a separate context for each class and your notes will be at your fingertips during those late-night cram sessions.

@Take Notes — Next time you are at a seminar or presentation, instead of using pen and paper use Viira to take notes. Simply create a context, e.g. “XYZ Presentation” and write down points or follow-on reminders. You can review the presentation later, and even designate next actions for follow-up.

Remember, the guiding principle of Getting Things Done is to collect 100% of all your tasks and commitments, or “stuff,” as David Allen calls it. Your “stuff” doesn’t just live in the office—it’s all around you, and when you’re able to keep it all off your mind and at your fingertips with the Viira BlackBerry app, you’ll be free to focus on the bigger picture of staying focused in the new year and the new decade!

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January 8, 2010

Getting Started With “Getting Things Done”

Filed under: How-To, Viira, getting things done, gtd — admin @ 4:33 pm

Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to adopt GTD and install Viira on your BlackBerry, the perfect pair of tools to make your work and home lives more organized and productive. If you haven’t already done so, we highly encourage you to read David Allen’s fantastic book, “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.”  It goes into detail on the best ways to incorporate the GTD system into your life.

But what now?  You have the tools, but how do you start organizing all of your commitments into GTD via Viira?  Fortunately, the app makes it a cinch.

Step 1: Collect your Commitments

The guiding principle behind GTD is to collect and organize 100% of your tasks and commitments, or “stuff” as David Allen calls it.  This process gets the details out of your head, freeing your mind to focus on larger issues and bigger projects.

All this “stuff” may be in the form of sticky notes framing your computer monitor or scrap papers in a junk drawer.  Or, like most people, your email inbox might be the biggest culprit.  If so, Viira makes it simple to get your inbox to empty by transforming incoming emails into actionable items.  Since the app works seamlessly with the BlackBerry’s native email program, you can easily create a task directly from an individual email.

Step 2: Organize and File

All the “stuff” you collect needs to be acted on, and you can organize it all using Viira.  You may want to consider setting up your Projects and Contexts first. David Allen defines a project as “any desired result that requires more than one action step.”  Contexts, on the other hand, are groups of actionable items that all need to happen together, like @Computer, or @StaffMeeting.

Once you’ve got a handle on those, you can start adding actionable items into the system as Appointments (items with a due date) and Tasks (items that aren’t time sensitive).  These can be filed as a specific Project or Context…or nothing at all, if that’s your preference.

Step 3: Daily Review

David Allen warns of the danger of putting reminders out of sight, and suggests frequent reviews of your lists to make sure you stay up to speed on all your items.  To combat this, he recommends a daily review of your calendar, as it provides a “hard landscape” of what has to be done that day. Viira makes this a breeze with the Day View that stays seamlessly in sync with your BlackBerry’s calendar.

Once you get a handle on your daily schedule, take a look at your Tasks View to see what else you can accomplish.  If you’ve organized your next actions into Contexts, one look at the Contexts View will show you the items you can tackle in your current location.

Step 4: Weekly Review

Don’t forget about the bigger projects you’ve taken the time to add into Viira.  A weekly review of these areas in Projects View will ensure everything is up to date. David Allen recommends having at least one “kick-start action” for each Project amongst your Next Actions, to keep everything moving forward.

This is also a good time to empty your head of all the new projects, actions and appointments you haven’t yet captured in the app, along with clearing out actions that you’ve completed.  Remember, when everything is off your mind and at your fingertips on your BlackBerry, you’re free to focus on the big picture.

Step 5: Take a Shortcut

Now that you’ve got a handle on all your tasks and commitments, become a power user of Viira! Make the most of your BlackBerry and GTD by learning a few of the hotkey shortcuts: you can check them out at the Viira shortcut information page.

As you continue to use Viira and apply the principles of Getting Things Done with your BlackBerry you’ll likely find that your mind is clear and you’re able to consistently and effectively manage all your commitments.  As long as you continue to aim for 100% collection of all your “stuff,” and transform it all into actionable items using Viira, you’ll stay in this wonderful relaxed and productive state.

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September 3, 2009

Moving Viira To Your New BlackBerry

Filed under: How-To, Viira, blackberry — admin @ 9:55 pm

The full version of Viira allows the easy move of all of your Viira data from one BlackBerry to another - for example, if you are upgrading to a new BlackBerry. This can be done very quickly with the help of the Desktop Manager software, and you will be getting things done on the go with your new device in no time at all!

To migrate your Viira data, all you need to do is back up Viira from the old BlackBerry and restore it to the new one.

We talked in a previous post how the full version of Viira offers the ability to save all your data off the device and to your computer - and get a peace of mind that your trusted GTD system is easily recoverable in case something happens with your BlackBerry. It is exactly this functionality that makes the Viira data migration to another device possible.

First, you will need to create a backup of your Viira data that is on the BlackBerry from which you want to move Viira - let’s call it the old device. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to backup the entire device in one quick step by selecting Backup Device in the Desktop Manager.

Our backup walkthrough contains more detailed instructions on how to create a backup for those not familiar with the process. We have also included some useful tips on what to do if your device happens to need some coercing in order to complete the backup process trouble-free, so make sure to read those as well.

Once you have completed the backup, disconnet your old BlackBerry and plugin in the new one to your computer (via USB). In the Backup and Restore area of the Desktop Manager, select Advanced and open the backup file that you created moments ago.

Using Advanced Backup and Restore to move Viira’s data to a new BlackBerry.

Using the arrows, move the Viira data and your Calendar entries from the backup file to the connected BlackBerry. It is important to bring the Calendar appointments and events from the old BlackBerry as well because Viira’s database keeps Appointments in sync with events in your Calendar. If Viira does not find those in your BlackBerry’s calendar it will assume that they have been deleted - and you don’t want that to happen!

Once this is complete, you are good to go and get things done on the go with Viira on your shiny new BlackBerry!

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February 27, 2009

Getting Started With Viira

Filed under: How-To, Viira — admin @ 1:42 am

Viira’s feature set has grown a lot over the last little while, and so has the need for a how-to manual to establish a set of effective and productive best practices. This is the first post in a series of many and is intended to help you jump-start your implementation of GTD on your BlackBerry and get the most out of Viira.

0. Get David Allen’s Getting Things Done

It goes without saying that Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity is an excellent and inspirational read. For those of you that don’t have a personal copy of the book I highly recommend you get one as the timeless principles inside are invaluable and make a great reference at all times.

1. Explore Viira’s Views

Viira offers 4 views: Projects View, Contexts View, Tasks View and Day View. Quickly explore each one and familiarize yourself with the capabilities that each view provides by examining what is available in the screen context menu. You can go from one view to another by pressing the context button (the one to the left of the trackball, with the BlackBerry logo on it) and clicking on the view you want to go to next.

2. Learn Viira’s Shortcuts

Viira offers a variety of shortcuts since version 1.0. The goal of the shortcuts is to make the basic operations faster, save you a few keystrokes and ultimately make Viira more intuitive to use.

Here is what you can do in Viira with shortcuts:

  • ALT-N creates a new item. When in Tasks View, Day View or when viewing the tasks associated with a particular project or context, ALT-N creates a new task. In Projects View and Contexts View, ALT-N creates a new project or context, respectively.
  • ALT-A creates a new appointment. Available in Tasks View, Day View and when viewing a project or context
  • Enter or trackball click opens an item for viewing.
  • Del, the delete button, triggers the deletion of an item (it always prompts you first to ask if you are sure about the deletion).
  • Space toggles a task or appointment between complete and not complete

Each one of these operations is also available within the corresponding screen or view that you are in. As a reminder, the shortcuts are also displayed next to the list of available operations.

For a full list of available shortcuts, check out the Viira shortcuts page.

Viira Settings Screen

3. Set Your Startup View

Viira offers you the ability to customize which view gets loaded first when Viira is launched. Personally I like keeping a close eye on the appointments and tasks I have set to complete for the day ahead, so my Viira starts in Day View.

You can set the view that Viira starts in from the Options screen. Simply select “Options” from the context menu of any of the 4 views.

4. Set Up Your Projects and Contexts

Before going ahead and entering a lot of tasks and appointments, it is wise to first set up your projects and contexts, or at least enter enough of them to serve as a foundations on which to build the rest of your mobile GTD system.

5. You Are Ready!

Now that you have explored Viira’s capabilities and set up your initial projects and contexts, you are ready to go ahead and start using Viira. So go ahead, enter all those tasks that need to get completed into your new portable organizational system and start getting them done, one by one.

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