The #MyWorkflow series is where I share fun and/or useful little ways that I’m using technology that may or may not be unexpected. Full disclosure: I use Apple devices so I apologize if my posts occasionally ignore all the great things Android, PC, Chromebook, Ubuntu and other devices can do. Please post your own #MyWorkflow, tag me on it, and I’d be happy to share with others. See the rest of my posts in the series here.
Have you ever tried to get some work done while your child pokes at your side, pulls on your shirt, or insists that she is “booooooooooored” (my daughter literally did this to me while writing this and after I just spent time drawing with her #parenting)? I feel like modern technology’s notifications are like that child. If you’re struggling with all the bells, whistles, and pop-up messages on your iPhone/iPad and Mac devices (that’s what I use), I hope these little tips help you.
Almost any app you download these days prompts you early on to turn ON notifications. We often do so without thinking because we’re in the habit of complying with our digital overlords. Take back your freedom by going here in your settings:
You’ll now see a list of all your apps.
Make yourself a nice warm cup of tea and systematically modify the notification settings on each app. I have a strong preference for “Badges” as they alert me to new action when I look at my phone, but not at other times.
Unfortunately, there may be other settings to tweak in the apps themselves, and they can, at times, be frustrating to find. Just touch everything you can until you find a gear or adjustment symbol. For instance, in my Slack and Pocket Casts apps respectively:
But wait, there’s more. One of my favourite little settings adjustments for my own mental well-being lies in Do Not Disturb scheduling. I love the fact that I can turn off notifications entirely at certain times of the day/night:
macOS (MacBook Pro/Air/etc.)
And now for your Mac. In some ways, getting control of your notifications on your computer is even more important as you’re often:
- Working on your computer and there’s nothing more intrusive than a notification literally appearing over your work; and
- Projecting on to your screen in front of others and, well, no good can come of a notification then.
So, just like your iPhone’s Settings, go into your Mac’s System Preferences:
Again, systematically adjust the settings of each app to allow for as little intrusion on your life as possible (note the option to schedule Do Not Disturb once again):
Now go into the preferences of specific go-to apps to reign them in as much as possible:
Please let me know if there’s anything I’ve missed!
Yours in attention,