At one point, a phone was used to make calls. Today’s advanced technology allows us to do a lot more with our phones than just that. There’s an app for everything, and updates happen frequently.
With updates, notifications, and reminders occurring constantly, it can be hard to keep track of everything. On the flip side, keeping track of everything might entail enough pings, dings, and beeps to drive you insane.
Since notifications are crucial to one’s communication, it’s important to adjust the settings until they’re just right. You don’t want them to be overly distracting, but you still want to receive the ones that matter. Here are seven tips that will help you perfect your phone’s notification settings.
1. Stop notifications before they start
When you download an app on your phone, it’ll typically ask whether you want to allow notifications. Be picky about which notifications you allow on your phone. Some apps may just want to send you promotional alerts, while others actually want to send you important information.
By disabling notifications from the get-go, you’ll save yourself time and trouble. This is especially important for a kid’s first phone. Teaching children how to disable notifications and monitor their notifications will help minimize distractions.
2. Delete apps you don’t use
Before you can perfect your notification settings, you should delete any apps you don’t use. Sure, you can adjust things in Settings, but there’s no reason to have an app you don’t want (even if the notifications are hidden).
If you no longer care about certain apps, or there are preloaded apps you never use, get rid of them. This action alone will help reduce the number of notifications you receive by a lot.
3. Manage all alerts in one place
Managing your phone’s notification settings may sound like a huge headache and something you don’t want to deal with. It’s actually not as hard as you may think.
You can manage alerts in your device’s Settings menu. Just look for “Notifications” or “Apps & Notifications.” You’ll see a list of all the apps on your phone. Go through the list one by one and decide how you want each app to bug you.
This is one of the more difficult parts of perfecting your notification settings, but you’ll feel so much better once it’s done. When cleaning up your notifications, it’s time to get brutal. This means giving each app its own unique notification settings.
4. Adjust how notifications appear on your device
In your device’s Settings menu, you can also adjust where and how notifications appear on your device. You can even customize notifications for each individual app. Do you want notifications to appear on your lock screen, in your notification center, or in the form of a banner? You can choose sounds or badges to alert you to more important notifications.
In addition, you can specify when you want previews to appear: always, when the device is unlocked, or never. By customizing your notifications settings to meet your unique needs, you’ll feel less distracted by your phone. It’ll feel more like a useful tool.
5. Take control of your email notifications
Emails can be one of the most distracting things on your phone. On average, millennials spend 6.4 hours checking email every day. If you’re seeing emails pop up every hour on the hour, it can become stressful quickly. In your phone’s Settings, you obviously have the option to turn notifications on or off, but you can customize things even further.
For example, on an iOS or Android device, you can adjust notification settings in the Gmail app. Choose a sound for email notifications, where alerts appear and how often banners appear, and how often you see previews. In Android Settings, you can even change notification settings for certain labels. This way, you only see emails that are important or marked as high priority.
6. Schedule “do not disturb” periods
It’s wonderful that our phones allow us to be connected to close friends, family, and co-workers. Just because it’s possible, though, doesn’t mean we want it all the time. Let’s face it, notifications can distract us from real life (even when those notifications indicate messages from people we care about). For this reason, it’s smart to schedule “do not disturb” periods.
A lot of people don’t even know that their phone has this capability, but it does, and it can be extremely useful. On an iPhone, simply open Settings and scroll down to “Do Not Disturb.” Toggle the “Scheduled” switch on. From there, you can choose times when you’d like your phone to silence all notifications.
If you’re worried about missing a critical work email or a message about a family emergency, it is possible to tweak your settings. You can allow messages from certain people or permit repeated calls to go through.
7. Control location-based alerts
Today’s phones are smart, and they can send you push notifications based on your location. For example, you might receive a notification from a retailer when you visit one of their stores. Constant alerts about deals and promotions can become annoying when you’re just trying to get things done.
Likewise, certain apps can use your location to send you relevant alerts. If you don’t want to see these types of notifications, you can turn them off. Here’s how to turn them off on an iPhone:
- Open Settings > Privacy > Location Services
- Turn on Location Services
- Tap specific apps and select whether or not you’d like to share your location while using that app
This simple step can cut back on the amount of notifications you receive by a good deal more than you’d think.
Your phone should be a helpful piece of technology, not one that causes endless distractions. By taking the time to perfect your phone’s notification settings, you’ll be doing yourself a favor. Start by paying attention to what’s most distracting about your phone and adjust from there. You’ll start to notice big differences over time — not just in your phone, but in yourself as well.