How The Passport Helped Me With My Cross-Country Move

How The Passport Helped With My Cross-Country Move

With the arrival of spring weather around here, I’m reminded that we are quickly approaching moving season. Ahhh, moving. There are few activities, if any, that people have such a strong love-hate relationship with. I’ve moved 13 times in my lifetime, across 5 provinces and states, and 2 countries and I’ve helped many others move. Needless to say, I’ve learned quite a few lessons along the way.

My last move was just a few months ago, just after getting a Passport. Not surprisingly, the Passport was a godsend. I was able to use it to do almost everything I needed to plan, organize and manage my move.

Before getting into specifics, I should mention that my move was made simpler by the fact that I lived alone in a downtown studio apartment, and I didn’t have any pets nor vehicles. However, it was also made more complicated by the fact that I was moving to another province on the other side of the country, which limits the feasible options for getting my stuff to my destination, not to mention requiring me to cancel services and apply for a new driver’s license and healthcare in my new province.

Here’s how I used my Passport for each of the major tasks:

Sell Items
There were several items, such as furniture, that I didn’t want to move. So I sold them. I posted ads for them on Craigslist, and I put up a poster in the lobby of my building.

Craigslist’s mobile site is pretty good. It’s what I used to post my ads. But if you prefer using an app, then you’ll have to go to Google’s Play store, since the Craigslist apps on BlackBerry World and Amazon don’t allow you to post ads — they’re just for searching. cPro is the best Craigslist app I found. The UI is awkward, but that’s expected from Android.

Creating a poster was really easy as well. I first took photos using the Passport’s excellent camera. I then used Effetica Pro to crop the photos and put prices and contact info on them — you could also use one of many paint apps to add the prices and contact info. I then used Mock It to put them on one page. Since I use a printing service, I just had to upload the final image to the service’s site. Alternatively, I could have copied the final document from the Passport to a flash drive and bring it to them in person.

Communicating with the buyers was a breeze thanks to BB10’s awesome messaging abilities and call clarity. If you’ve ever used a BlackBerry, then you know that no other platform or devices come close to BlackBerrys when it comes to messaging.

Pack Boxes
I’ve always been a very organized person. When I decided to leave my home province in 2007, I knew I might be moving around a few times, so I didn’t want to bring everything with me until I settled down. That raised the question of what happens if I need something that I’ve left behind, and how would I know which box it was in. The best thing to do was to number each box and create a spreadsheet listing all the items in each box. That way, when I needed something, I just had to look in my spreadsheet to see which box it was in, and tell my parents to ship me that box number.

Thanks to Docs To Go, which comes with BB10, it was super easy to create the inventory spreadsheet. I had heard that Docs To Go was easy to use, but I didn’t know it was that easy.

Ship Boxes
Since I lived alone, I didn’t have too many belongings. So the best way to get my stuff to my new home on the other side of the country was to simply ship it. Well, there were some complications. Speaking with the independent shipper near my place — they ship using many different shipping companies — we concluded that the best choice was to ship with Canpar. But, my snowboard gear was too heavy for Canpar. So I had to ship that with UPS. Also, I also had to ship one box the day that I moved, and the shipper was closed at that time. So, I had to ship that with Canada Post. That meant I had to track packages with 3 different shipping companies. Fortunately, there were apps for that.

Track a Pack is a BB10 native app that can track packages shipped with FedEx, UPS, USPS and Canada Post. It allows you to enter the tracking numbers by simply pointing your BlackBerry’s camera at the tracking barcode, which is really handy.

Canpar doesn’t have a BB10 app, but it does have an Android app, which installed and started up with no problems. However, every time I entered the tracking numbers, it told me it wasn’t a valid tracking number. So I had to use their web page, which ended up not being so bad, because once I entered one of the tracking numbers, it listed all the tracking numbers in the shipment. Still, I would have preferred if Track a Pack supported Canpar too.

Book Flight
Shopping for a flight and booking it was easily accomplished with the BB10 Browser. I didn’t have to find, install and configure any app. When I received the confirmation e-mail from the airline, BlackBerry Travel automatically scanned it and added it to my calendar as well as BlackBerry Travel. Later on, I decided to change the flight to a later date. Again, I did it easily with the Browser, and BlackBerry Travel automatically figured it out when I got the confirmation e-mail, and updated itself. BlackBerry Travel will also notify you if the flight has been changed or cancelled, so I didn’t have to check the status manually, which is really great when you’re busy.

Checking in was a breeze. I used the Browser again, but since my flight was with Air Canada, I could have used the Air Canada app for BB10 to check in too. And the personnel at security check really appreciated seeing the QR code on the Passport. When I showed the agent my electronic boarding pass on my Passport, her eyes opened wide as she said “Oh wow. very nice !”. Some people just know quality when they see it.

Coordinating With My Landlord
When it came to notifying me that she was bringing apartment seekers to see my apartment, my landlord was texting and calling me at the last minute. Since I was spending some time in the garage and basement, I needed good reception so that I wouldn’t miss a call or message, and so that the call was clear with no dropouts. BlackBerry’s famed superiority in reception and call quality truly shined. I never missed a call or message, and the call quality was excellent.

Cancelling, Changing and Signing Up For Services
Thankfully, cancelling services and changing addresses can be done online these days. So I was able to easily do all of that, as well as sign up for mail-forwarding service, using the Browser.

On the other hand, signing up for a new driver’s license and healthcare is not offered online, so I had to show up in person to do that, but at least I was able to use the Browser to find all the info I needed to apply, and I was able to use the BB10 Maps to guide me flawlessly to the offices where I had to apply.

So there you have it. BB10 isn’t just an awesome tool for professionals, it’s an awesome tool for everybody. Now that I’ve used a Passport to help with moving, I can’t imagine every moving again without it.


I'm programmer with 13 years experience, and a former electronics technician. My first BlackBerry was a Z10, and I'm now rocking a Passport.