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A Faster Treo With Shortcuts

I am always trying to increase the overall speed with which I access applications on my Treo and I use a few simple tricks and specific third-party programs to help me do this – particularly ones that allow me to use the buttons and keyboard which I have found to be amont the fastest to use.

Built-In Options
For starters, there are two built-in options on your Treo 650 which allow you to create button or keyboard shortcuts to your most frequently used applications. 

There are 6 shortcuts using the navigation + side buttons (image below left) which can be set in Preferences > Buttons as well as up to 27 additional shortcuts using the letters on the keyboard in Phone > Edit Favorites Button > Quick Key (press and hold).  Thus there are a total of 33 button or keyboard shortcuts but you’ll evidently need to be endowed with a terrific memory to remember them all...


Third-Party Programs
While the 27 possible keyboard shortcuts in your Favorites (above right) are great this functionality nevertheless suffers from one major drawback.  Namely the shortcuts can only be activated from within the main Phone screen when it would evidently have been more practical to enable the Quick Key (press and hold) shortcut from within _any_ currently open application.

Thankfully, as is often the case, third-party developers have come up with workarounds to this that enable the Quick Key shortcut from within any application.  Two of my preferred applications are Central below left ($14.95) and Butler ($14.95) on the right which simply require you to tick either ‘Launch Favorites Anywhere’ (Central) or ‘Enable Keylauncher’ (Butler) to begin launching your Quick Key applications from within any screen on your Treo and saving you from at least 3 or more now redundant clicks.


Another small tip if like me you happen to have many screenfulls in the Applications screen is that typing the first letter of the name of the application you want to launch will automatically bring up the first listing under that letter.  In the image below right for example I typed the letter ‘L’ which brought up my frequently used ListPro ($29.95).

At the same time, last week I came across an excellent, elegand and simple application called McPhling5 which interestingly and intelligently makes use of a ‘Button Press and Hold’ functionality to bring up a list of up to 14 of your favorite and/or ‘recently used’ applications from within any other application.  In the image below right I have my McPhling favorites pop-up within the Phone screen.


Using all or a combination of these built-in and third-party options will undoubtedly make using your Treo on a daily basis a great deal faster and even more enjoyable.

[Finally, a quick reminder that you can use the code Top100 to receive a 20% Off Coupon valid across all applications in the Treonauts Software Store until 26 March.]

Treonauts are always looking to become better and faster

Posted by Andrew on March 16, 2006 at 03:00 PM

Treo 650 Tips , Treo Software | Utilities

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» Using shortcuts with your Treo 650 from Treo Today
The Palm Treo 650 smartphone is quite intuitive and very easy to use. For advanced users, you may want to make common, repetitive tasks faster by using shortcuts. Treonauts looks at the various methods of using shortcuts on the Treo. Andrew takes... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 16, 2006 9:50:55 PM


by dodgerfan | Mar 16, 2006 6:09:34 PM

I'm not sure how to create 11 customizable shortcuts from the standard buttons pref page. There are three buttons that also have an "option+button" option, so that brings it to 6 (although the phone button is not customizable so technically it's 5). With the "press & hold" option of the side button, that makes it 7. Where are the other 4?

by Andrew | Mar 16, 2006 6:53:55 PM

Ooops... Thanks Dodgerfan, I kind of 'double booked' that one but have now updated the post...

Cheers, A.

by Chan | Mar 17, 2006 4:08:57 AM

Hi Andrew,

I was wondering how on earth you forgot the CoLauncher form Mapletop Software.


This is by far the best Key Launcher for Treo. Works likes a charm. Forget about the Favourite button assignments on Treo which only can be activated while you are on the Phone application. The best part of the fun comes when you can configure Colauncher to use Treo’s Option+(any key) and Shift+(Any Key) combinations apart from the A-Z keys. This makes CoLancher can launch (or other function assigned) separate apps for Capitol (A) simple (a) and 1–9 number combinations.



by Pao Pow | Mar 17, 2006 7:53:28 AM

The very customizable Zlauncher also allows you to set up QuickLaunch which is accessible from any application. You may set up to 20 Favorites (user customizable apps), 10 Common (most launched) and 10 Recent (Last 10 launched). There is also an expandable Extension menu for common actions such as Backlight and turning off the device. I set it to display when the Web button is pressed and leave the "Allow Duplicates" box unchecked.

The instructions warn that this feature slows down the device and may be incompatible with some apps... I've not run into any problems.

by macrophage | Mar 17, 2006 2:26:37 PM

Those are all cool. But Hi-launcher still has a good reason to stay top. Every person has some applications which he doesn't want to show for others. One way to do it is make it hide in freeware Filez, then use Hi-Launcher to run it.

by Jeff Donovan | Mar 21, 2006 3:38:13 PM

Andrew, you could also use Zlauncher to tab your programs so they are easier to scroll through

by Jeff | Mar 23, 2006 6:07:47 PM

I notice you have removed messaging, versamail , real player etc from the phone favourites keys.

I would love to do this but they seem to be locked in to my 650. How do you get rid of the default apps in the Phone favourites?

by Arnd | Mar 26, 2006 5:23:57 PM

Andrew, looking at your screenshots I realized, that your scrollbars in green colour and your menus in green are really nice. What software are you using to get this cool appearance?

by Nick | Apr 10, 2006 8:17:41 PM

These shortcuts are great for accessing apps. . .but that's not the kind of shortcuts I'm looking for. I've just upgraded from a Tungsten E to the Treo 650 (which I adore, and feel like I'm in heaven with. . .) but I miss the old "shortcuts" which were customizable, and accessed by writing a "ribbon" in graffiti (the shape of an upside down Greek gamma, or the shape of a ribbon worn by those who support fighting AIDS (red), or breast cancer (pink).) You could program the Tungsten to write out any words in the your memo app or calendar app, or any word processing app. E.G., you could put in the ribbon sign, and me, and it would print out "meeting" or enter the ribbon sign and put in dts, and it would enter the date and time (dts = date time stamp). Is there any application like this for the Treo?


by Andy | Jan 30, 2007 9:02:57 PM

You don't need an extra application for that. Just type an S and then hit the "alt" key. The last option, which looks sort of like a person's head and shoulders (it's actually the shortcut stroke, although it took me a minute to recognize it the first time!), is the shortcut stroke. Select it, and then type "dts" or whatever, and you're in business.

I haven't found a built-in way to add/edit your own, though, although I have seen a third-party program to do this. There might be a file you could snag off an older Palm to add it back in, although I wouldn't know what/where!

by Jimmy Cordova | Oct 2, 2008 1:22:51 AM

I am having trouble opening the phone dialer on my TREO 650. When I press the green phone button, it goes to the main menu and highlights the ""take tour" icon. Calls and text messages come in , but I can't launch the phone dialer screen. I would appreciate any help with this....thx

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