Nine tips to help you manage the BlackBerry Hub

The Hub is a vital part of the BlackBerry 10 experience, and one you'll want to get the most out of.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

The BlackBerry Hub holds a lot of information and provides a unique way of managing all of your communication needs from a central place. But, with so much information being presented to you at all times, you're bound to want to tailor it to meet your needs. Below you'll find some great tips aimed to help you make the Hub work for you, instead of you working for the Hub.

View messages as a conversation

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
One way to help eliminate clutter from your Hub is to organize e-mail messages into a conversation view. Doing so will group related e-mails, showing only the latest entry in your Hub, yet allowing you to view any of the related messages once you open the conversation.

To have your e-mails grouped in conversations, launch the Hub and select Settings from the menu. Select Display and Actions at the top of the list.

The first item in this screen will allow you to change the display style from "Single Messages" to "Conversation."

Hide filed messages
While you're still in the Display and Actions settings, you might want to hide any e-mails you've filed from being displayed in your Hub. This will ensure you only see what's in your In-box, and not what's been stored away in folders; unless the message is part of a conversation, then you'll still see it when you view the conversation.

Toggle the switch to Off to hide filed messages.

Hide sent messages
Another feature in the Display and Actions section you want to pay attention to is the ability to hide sent messages. Your Hub can quickly get clogged up with sent messages you don't really care to see once they've been sent. As with previous BlackBerry operating systems, you can easily hide sent messages so you see only what you want to see when glancing at your Hub.

The sixth item down the list will be a toggle switch to hide sent messages. Swipe the switch to the Off position and all of the sent messages currently displayed in your Hub will be hidden.

Manage accounts
Even after hiding and arranging how messages are presented in the Hub, it may still feel a bit overwhelming, especially if you're busy on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook and receive a lot of notifications. You can easily disable any service -- be it an e-mail account, BBM, text messaging, or one of the aforementioned social networks from the Hub -- in the Hub Settings.

Make sure to follow this post to be walked through the steps required to hide an account from the main Hub list.

Reset the Hub

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
You may notice times when messages aren't showing up in your Hub. In my experience, e-mails always show up, but Twitter and Facebook messages are often delayed or missing altogether. If you've already refreshed your Hub (tap the menu button > Refresh) and your messages still aren't showing up, you can reset your Hub as originally pointed out by CrackBerry. Essentially this has the same effect as restarting your BlackBerry 10 device would, without having to actually restart the device.

What you'll need to do is launch the Hub. Then, starting from the top-right corner, swipe at an angle toward the middle of the screen five times. After the fifth swipe, the Hub will go blank and you'll see a "Preparing BlackBerry Hub" message. Once it's reloaded, with any luck you'll see your missing messages.

Peek at your accounts

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
When you're a few layers into the Hub, reading a conversation or an e-mail and the little red light starts flashing, it can take a few taps to get back to the Hub list to see what the notification is for. By the time you tap your way back to the list, you've lost your place in the message you were just reading, and frustration can set in.

Instead of tapping the back arrow a few times, you can peek at your Hub just by dragging the back arrow to the right. Once you do that, you'll see the icons for your various accounts, with the infamous red splat indicating new messages for a service. You can also drag over a bit further to see a list of messages in your Hub.

Mark as read or delete prior messages

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
There's no obvious way on BlackBerry 10 to mark all prior messages as read, or to delete prior messages for that matter. What you have to do is tap and hold on the date bar (which is far too small) until a menu pops out on the right side of your screen. From this menu you can quickly jump through your messages by day, jump to the top or bottom of your list, mark all prior messages as read, or delete all prior messages.

Customize your e-mail signature
Default e-mail signatures -- no matter the device -- need to be changed to something more personal. Instead of advertising what type of device and carrier you use, change your mobile e-mail signature to be more personal.

I've already laid out how to change your e-mail signature on BlackBerry 10, simply follow this post to change it on an account-by-account basis.

Remove Facebook notifications, Twitter direct messages

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
Seeing alerts for new comments on a Facebook post, or a mention on Twitter in your Hub is a convenient way to stay in the know. But receiving your Twitter direct messages and Facebook messages in your Hub may not be what you want. Whether it's a privacy concern, or simply something you don't want to look at each time you launch the Hub, you can opt out of having messages from either service being displayed in your Hub.

Instead of launching the Hub and going to the Settings to turn it off, you'll need to launch the BlackBerry 10 Settings app and select the "Accounts" option in the list.

From there you can select your Facebook or Twitter account, then turn off the appropriate setting for syncing direct messages or syncing Facebook messages.

If you have a preferred method or feature to help you tame the Hub on your BlackBerry 10 device, let us know in the comments below.

 

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