Getting a brand new BlackBerry smartphone can be a life-changing experience. But how do you transfer the loads of personal information on your old device to that shiny new Pearl Flip? Fortunately, you can complete the process quickly.

I've covered various aspects of the BlackBerry Desktop Manager in the past, including how to use the program to load, update or remove applications; back up and restore handheld data; add media files to a BlackBerry microSD memory card; and determine the amount of smartphone memory you're using at any given point.

This BlackBerry Tip o' the Week explains how to use Desktop Manager to quickly and easily transfer all or some of the personal data and applications on an existing BlackBerry smartphone to another. All you need to get started are two mini USB sync cables (like the one that came with your BlackBerry,) the Desktop Manager software and the two BlackBerry smartphones. (Note: If you're transferring data to or from a device with a micro USB port, like the new Pearl 8220 Flip, you'll also need a micro USB sync cable.)

Step One: Get BlackBerry Desktop Manager

First things first: You'll want to download or install RIM's BlackBerry Desktop Manager software, if you haven't already. To do so, either insert the BlackBerry user tools disc that shipped with your device and then install the software, or visit RIM's website and download it manually. The latest version of Desktop Manager is 4.6., though earlier versions should do the trick, as well. (Note: BlackBerry Desktop Manager only works on PCs, though RIM has promised similar tools for Mac users in 2009.)

After installing BlackBerry Desktop Manager, launch the program by clicking on the desktop icon created during installation. (If you chose not to create a desktop icon, locate the application in your computer's program files and then launch.)

Step Two: Connect your existing BlackBerry, and select device switch wizard

Next, connect your existing BlackBerry smartphone - the one storing your personal data and applications - to your PC using the USB sync cable, and then close any unrelated dialogue boxes that appear. You know your device is connected when your BlackBerry PIN appears in the bottom left corner of the BlackBerry Desktop Manger screen, next to Device connected (PIN).

When the BlackBerry is connected to your PC and Desktop Manager, choose the Device Switch Wizard option. On the following screen, click Switch BlackBerry devices.

Step Three: Configure BlackBerry device switch wizard

The Switch BlackBerry devices screen displays three columns: Current device ; New device ; and Options . The first field below the Current device heading should be labeled PIN and the value within should match the PIN digits in the bottom left corner of the application screen. If not, open the drop down menu beneath Current device and select the PIN associated with the connected BlackBerry. If your device is password protected, you'll also need to enter your passcode.