7 Tips to Maximize Your Smartphone for Productivity
When you buy a smart phone, online or otherwise, you’re investing in a multipurpose device that’s great for both entertainment and productivity. You probably already know how to maximize it for the former so how about the latter? Are you able to make use of your smartphone to boost your productivity? Here are some practical tips to achieve more at work using your smartphone:
Keep Your Phone Updated
You can’t be productive using your smartphone if it’s frustratingly slow and the apps often crash. To prevent this from happening, you should make sure that you have the latest software and firmware versions. Fortunately, most smartphones nowadays have automatic alerts so you can immediately install updates once they’re available.
Do note that most smartphones only get up to 3 to 4 years of software and firmware updates. After that, you can still continue using your smartphone but expect it to perform poorly over time. Be sure to replace it as soon as possible, especially since the updates are not just for optimization but also for security.
Make the Home Screen All About Productivity
Check your smartphone right now. What’s on the homescreen? It’s probably full of all your favorite apps, such as streaming services and social media platforms. There’s nothing wrong with these, of course, but if you want to be more productive then it’s time for a change.
Fill the main screen (the one you immediately see after unlocking) with productivity tools such as note-taking apps, your calendar, and email. You can also place knowledge-based apps, such as language tutorials and e-readers. Relegate your “for fun” apps to the second page.
Turn Off Notifications
The internet is a useful tool, but it can also cause a lot of distractions. The constant rings and pings of your smartphone’s notifications can definitely make you lose focus. Thus, it’s a good idea to turn off these alerts so you don’t feel the compulsion to check your phone every so often while you’re working on your desktop or laptop computer.
The only notifications you should keep on are phone calls, in case of emergencies. Let those who are close to you (e.g., spouse, family members, trusted friends) that you’re turning off your notifications; if there’s anything urgent, they should give you a call. For text messages, unless you’re expecting someone to contact you, give yourself an assigned time to check your inbox.
Get the Right Accessories
If you often use your smartphone for phone calls and video conferencing, then you’ll benefit from high-quality accessories like Bluetooth earphones or headsets with built-in mics.
Other accessories you might want to invest in are a phone stand, a phone grip, and a compatible stylus. If you’re always on the go, you should also get a powerbank and a power cable that’s at least 1 meter. (Let’s face it, the charging cables that come with smartphones nowadays are getting shorter and shorter.)
Uninstall Apps You Don’t Use
You probably have a couple of apps in your smartphone that you don’t actually use, like a game that you don’t play anymore or a quirky face editing app. Whatever they are, they’re just taking up space in your phone and bogging down the system. Get rid of these apps immediately to increase available storage and speed up your phone at the same time.
It’s also a good idea to perform a smartphone app check every so often so you can later delete or update when needed. If there are any apps that you can’t remove, such as those that came built-in with your phone, check if you can put them in deep sleep or any equivalent status.
Monitor the Apps You DO Use
On the other hand, for your most-used apps, monitoring the time you spend on them can help you with staying productive and efficient. There are tracker apps that can help you do this, although some smartphone models come with this type of feature already included.
If you notice that you’re spending too much time on social media, for example, make it a commitment to cut down on your usage. This can help you manage your daily hours better, not to mention give you a sense of accomplishment when you’re able to achieve your personal goals.
Take Care of the Battery
Last but certainly not least, you won’t be able to use your smartphone to boost your productivity at all if it’s always running out of juice. Thus, taking care of the battery and conserving power are essential to make the most of your device.
Some tips to keep your phone’s battery in good shape and extend its day-to-day life include the following:
- Activate power-saving mode
- Turn down the screen brightness
- If you’re able, use WiFi instead of data
- Turn off background apps or close them if you’re not using them
- Keep the battery charged between 20 to 80 percent to avoid battery stress
- Use compatible chargers and cables