It always amazes me how many people don’t know how to use the one device that they carry with them everywhere they go.
I am talking about your phone.
It is the one item that you never leave home without… and if you do, you go back to get it.
Today, I want to share 7 lesser known settings and features that you should be using to maximize your productivity with your iPhone.
Do You Know Your iPhone?
There is no reason to be embarrassed about operating your iPhone.
Many iPhone owners don’t even know how to silence their device when it rings in a meeting. (Single tap the on/off button. Double tap to send to voicemail.) Or how to put their phone in silent mode in the first place. (Yes, that’s what that switch is for…)
Today, I want to point out some lesser known features that you may not know about on your iPhone. And if you do know about them, are you using them?
Here are 7 iPhone Productivity Tips You Probably Aren’t Using:
- Create Custom Vibration Alerts – OK, let’s start with one that most people don’t know. You can create “custom vibration” notifications for your iPhone. (Say what?) Yes, you can set custom patterns of vibrations for your contacts. Why would you want to do this? Well, I have a custom “Knock…knock knock knock… knock knock” pattern set for my spouse. When my phone makes this distinctive buzz, I know it is my wife texting me. This makes it easier to know when I need to look at my phone or not.
- Use “Do Not Disturb” Mode When You Don’t Want to be Interrupted – Tired of your phone buzzing in the middle of the night? How about if you want to ensure that your phone doesn’t interrupt you during an important timeframe? Use “Do Not Disturb” mode to silence all of those rings, dings, and more. You can set it from Settings to auto turn-on at night and off in the morning. You can also turn it on quickly from the Control Center. (See Tip #4 below) Just don’t forget to turn it back off or you will have a very uninterrupted day.
- Back up Your iPhone to iCloud – Everyone knows about iCloud, but are you actually using it to back up your phone? You are one drop away from losing all of the information on your mobile. I almost dropped my phone in the pool the other day. How long and how much hassle would be involved in trying to reconstruct your digital life? (And which parts would be irreplaceable?) Take the few minutes to set up iCloud for auto backup. Yes, you might need to upgrade your iCloud storage plan, but the peace of mind is worth it.
- Access Control Center and Notification Center from the Lock Screen – Few people realize that you can launch the iPhone’s camera from their lock screen with a single swipe upward of the camera icon. Fewer still realize that you can open the Control Panel from the lock screen, as well. Simply swiping up from the bottom of the screen reveals the iPhone Control Center where you can quickly access commonly needed actions like WiFi, Bluetooth, music control and more. You can also reach your Notification Center by swiping down from the top of the lock screen.
- Caller Block – Getting wrong numbers and telemarketers calling your mobile phone can be very annoying, and of course, non-productive. Did you know you can block phone numbers with one touch? This will prevent them from calling or texting you in the future. Wrong numbers and telemarketers only ring my phone one time… then they get blocked.
- Respond with Text Message to Call – Do you answer your phone just to say, “I am busy, can I call you back?” Instead of interrupting your conversation or meeting, you can respond to the incoming call with a text message with only a couple quick taps. There are standard responses (Such as “Can’t talk right now… In a meeting”) and you can create your own custom responses by going to Settings.
- Search – The other day I watched a colleague turn on their phone, swipe several screens and open the Contacts app. He then scrolled down until he located “Susan” in the list of contacts. This individual was amazed when I showed him that he could have simply “searched” for Susan with a couple of taps. The search pane on the iPhone has always been a little hidden. In iOS 7 and beyond, it is found by pulling down from the middle of your home screen and app pages. You can then simple type a few letters to find what you are looking for on your device. You can quickly locate contacts, launch apps, find notes, and more. This is much more productive that hunting for where you hide that rarely used app or manually searching for that note you took many months ago. (I actually used the Search feature to quickly locate a note from 2009 the other day. Found it in seconds!)
How is Your iPhone Productivity?
You may have heard of a few of these, but how many are you using on a daily basis to increase your productivity?
I would love to hear your best iPhone productivity features and tweaks. Please share in the comments below.
Question: What is your best iPhone productivity setting? You can leave a comment by clicking here.