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Interview: The BlackBerry 10 Challenge with Christopher Dewdney, Financial Planner

FEATURE / 04.23.14 / wpcoreybb

Below is part of an ongoing feature series on Inside BlackBerry – Donny H.

Chris Dewdney, Toronto, BlackBerry, BlackBerry Z30

We started this project just over a month ago with a few goals in mind. First, I wanted to disrupt the work environment of those interested. I also wanted to introduce a few people to the powerhouse that is BlackBerry 10 ahead of the BlackBerry Classic (formerly BlackBerry Q20) launch later this year. Finally I wanted to discover what it takes a professional to power through their busy workday. The results so far have been outstanding. As you’ll discover throughout the series, our subjects, have really enjoyed their new phones. This takes us to todays interview with well-known Toronto-based financial planner and social photographer extraordinaire, Christopher Dewdney. When Christopher is helping his clients achieve their long-term financial goals, or he’s posting inspiring/uplifting quotes on his social feeds, he now uses a BlackBerry Z30 to be productive. I caught up with him for breakfast at his stomping grounds in downtown Toronto to get some insight into what moves him throughout his day.

Holding a BlackBerry Z30

CH: Chris, thank you so much for sitting down to talk!

CD: Honestly, I feel privileged to have been included in this program.

CH: So, Chris, let’s start the questions off light. Anyone who knows you knows you’re a notorious multi-tasker, balancing a busy schedule and social life. Having officially exiled yourself from your previous smartphone, what are the biggest differences, productivity-wise, that you’ve noticed since going 100 per cent BlackBerry 10?

CD: Let’s say it’s been an experience and an adjustment, but in a good way – following? For me, the BlackBerry Hub is the biggest advantage. It offers a snapshot of what’s going on at any given moment and allows me to prioritize what needs to be addressed. I also like the flow of BlackBerry 10 and being able to easily maneuver around. The screen is phenomenal, and that keyboard is next level! I think I have about 7000 contacts; the address book polls all the social media information into their profile so I can see everything in front of me. This battery is the first of any device that can last the entire day. I relied heavily on a juice pack for my other phone — I’ve never had the BlackBerry Z30 run empty on me. I don’t even need a car charger, I unplug it in the morning and it runs the entire day… I wish my other phone lasted until lunch! I do sometimes yearn for a few key apps, but for the most part, it runs everything I need.

CH: Being a financial planner means you are bestowed with a lot of trust from your clients. How important is mobile security to you? Do you feel safer using BlackBerry 10?

CD: In regulated industries, security is very important. Like, one of the biggest features. When a client enters into a fiduciary relationship with me as their advisory, it means everything relies on trust. The trust transcends everything we do together, especially the access I have on the go. I feel 100 per cent confident and secure now. It’s always been the go-to for my line of work in financial services and I understand why.

CH: With the introduction of BlackBerry 10.2.1 BlackBerry has increased compatibility for Android developers to bring their apps to the BlackBerry World storefront. Do you see any app-gaps in your day-to-day use?

CD: I’m a productive person, so I don’t tend to play a lot of games. But, like I said, there are a few I rely on and I have found most of what I need.

CH: On average, how many emails do you get a day? Do you find that the BlackBerry Hub helps you stay on top of things?

CD: I have two main addresses that I use, combined I get about 200 emails a day, and that doesn’t include SMS or BBM messages. Again, I can’t stress this enough, the BlackBerry Hub helps shave off so much time because I can glance, see a text, and know to whether to ignore a buddy or address a critical email.

CH: You’re constantly on the go. How do you measure your personal productivity throughout the day? How do you know when you’ve hit your peak efficiency?

CD: I consider myself a pretty happening young professional. It’s difficult to keep entirely focused throughout the day when you’re heavy on social media. The way BlackBerry 10 organizes information and notifications, I don’t get pulled away from tasks over every single notification. I notice myself getting a lot more done now, without the distractions. For me, distractions are mostly coming from social media engagements, and I can cut through it now. Facebook is my biggest distraction, but I spend a lot of time snapping and sharing photos as well.

CH: A month in, to using BlackBerry 10 do you have any regrets? Do you see yourself going back?

CD: Nope. I am actually selling my other phone. Work and efficiency are my number one priorities and I’m coming out ahead on both fronts with the BlackBerry Z30. Side note: the accessories that came with the phone, and the presentation, were fantastic and I want to give a huge nod to the team for it.

CH: Any closing comments for #TeamBlackBerry?

CD: I know BlackBerry has customers around the world and, for me; it strikes a “Canadian Pride” cord. BlackBerry does make a great product and they know their market. The value-add I offer my clients is that I go see my clients. Each meeting is about an hour and half, plus travel. Further, my car doesn’t have GPS, so I rely on my phone for GPS as well. I can take calls, emails, and use maps and not be at risk of my phone dying out on me. The value-add that BlackBerry offers me is that I can focus on my clients and put them first.

Corey Herscu is a paid contributor to Inside BlackBerry and has been compensated for his work on the program. BlackBerry provided participants with devices.

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