45 tips for using your iPhone as a tool, and not a distraction device

Photo by Hilthart Pedersen on Unsplash

I had a very busy weekend traveling to Toronto, socializing hardcore and having a grand time. Unfortunately, that meant I didn’t have time to follow my blogging schedule and post an article yesterday.

Luckily, I stumbled upon a wonderful article today and thought I would share it here. It is a list of How to Configure Your iPhone to Work for You, Not Against You, which includes what to do, how to do it, and why.

The iPhone could be an incredible tool, but most people use their phone as a life-shortening distraction device.

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The article is a really long read, so much so that the author wrote it in a way to make it easier to skim.

If you are interested in any of the tips and would like to read more, simply click on the link and it will send you to the appropriate section.

I made sure to read the full article. Okay, I skimmed through suggestions for switching to Google ’cause that ain’t gon happen, and other tips that didn’t apply to me, or I just wasn’t interested in.

I’ve applied the tips I found relevant or useful as I went through the article and have bolded them below.

45 tips for using your iPhone as a tool, and not a distraction device

1. Turn OFF (almost) all notifications

Winners check their notifications on their own schedule.

2. Hide social media slot machines
3. Hide messaging slot machines
4. Disable app review requests
5. Turn on Do Not Disturb 

Your phone is a tool, not your boss.

6. Be strategic about your wallpaper
7. Turn off Raise to Wake
8. Add the Screen Time widget
9. Add Content Restrictions
10. (Optional) Use Restrictions to turn off Safari
11. Organize your Apps and Folders alphabetically 

We want to set your phone up so that your rational brain is the boss, and your emotional, addictive, worst-decisions brain is asleep or blocked.

12. Choose GMail
13. Choose Google Calendar
14. Replace Apple Maps with Google Maps
15. Install the GBoard keyboard for faster typing
16. Switch to Google Photos
17. Use Evernote for all note taking, to-do lists, everything
18. The Case for Calm as your go-to meditation app
19. Install the right goal tracker for you
20. Store all your passwords in a password manager, probably LastPass
21. Use Numerical as your default calculator
22. Put the Camera app in your toolbar
23. Use this Doppler Radar app
24. Use this Pomodoro app
25. Use Brain.fm for background noise
26. Subscribe to these podcasts
27. Install the Kindle app but never read it in bed
28. Use Safari this way
29. Organize your home screen for deep learning over shallow learning
30. Track steps this way
31. Prefer Time Restricted Eating Over Calorie Counting
32. Schedule Night Shift
33. Set up Medical ID
34. Change Siri to a man
35. Change your phone’s name
36. Turn off advertising tracking
37. Set auto-lock to the maximum time
38. Set your personal hotspot password to a random three word phrase
39. Turn on control center everywhere
40. Turn on Background App Refresh
41. Delete Garage Band
42. Develop verbal memory for talking to Siri
43. Set up these text replacement shortcuts
44. Set your address
45. Backup this way

Bonus tip (from the comments section because that is always where the real Life Pro Tip is at): Dig out an old phone, wipe it, install your meditation/story/sleep music apps, anything that helps your nighttime/sleep routine. Remove everything else. don’t put in a sim. Take to bed, leave other phones elsewhere to charge. No chance of waking up and just having a quick look on facebook.

Hope this list is as useful to you as it was for me!

Published by Mehret Biruk

(re)discovering the pleasures of the offline world.

2 thoughts on “45 tips for using your iPhone as a tool, and not a distraction device

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