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We try out ways to use your smartphone to boost productivity

by RetiredModerator Felicity_YC (1,523 Views)
Posted by (RetiredModerator)
11th Oct 2018, 11:11am
Felicity_YC

I love my smartphone. It’s pretty, it keeps me entertained on public transport, it helps me when I get lost, it organises food deliveries for me when I am hungry. But before I started writing this blog I can’t say it helped me be productive.

 

Last month, I explored two celebrated productivity tactics. I wanted to see if my phone could help me work smarter, not harder. Here’s how they went.

 

Home screen optimisation

 

One of the methods that is often recommend is to optimise your home screen. In basic terms, this is setting up your home screen so it only has the most essential apps, not those you check mindlessly.

 

The idea is to put all other apps on another screen and turn off nearly all notifications. Then if you want to go to extremes, you can delete any timewasting apps and disable your web browser.

 

Did it work?

 

I found the first step really useful. On my home screen, I now have travel apps, my alarm and calendar, the Optus widget, banking, recent emails and a weather app (I live in Melbourne so I need to check that regularly). I also have podcasts and music.

That takes care of where I’m going, what I need to bring, how I’m getting there, staying connected and my to do list.

 

I also turned off a bunch of notifications that directed me to open apps when nothing had really happened (shopping apps are bad for that, as are quite a few social networking apps). But I kept my browser and didn’t delete the majority of my apps.

 

Despite only following some of the advice, I did find that I wasn’t mindlessly scrolling nearly as much as I was. So this gets a big tick.

 

Using grayscale

 

Another method is to turn your home screen grey, thereby avoiding the call to action that little red notification provides.

App designers know that bright colours catch our eye, so they’re designed to capture our attention with colour. But you can control that.

 

On an iPhone, you do this by going to Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Colour Filters and then switch Colour Filters on. Select Greyscale. On androids it can differ between models, but have a dig in your accessibility settings.

 

Did it work?

 

Not as well as optimising my home screen. In fact, switching to greyscale made me want to check my phone more often in case I had missed something. I missed all the colour in my phone for a day, and then switched it back.

 

So there you have it. I now have a great home screen and I’m getting a bit more done.

 

Do you have any tricks up your sleeve when it comes to using tech to stay productive?

Comments
Yeldarb
by Esteemed Contributor
‎2018-10-11 11:33 AM

The most productive aspect of a mobile phone to me is the fact that I can use other peoples data when out and about. Smiley LOL

Davelew
by Crowd Champion Davelew
‎2018-10-11 11:49 AM

I'm not the most organised or productive but one time saving tip I was taught is when you need to go to the same address on your browser repeatedly is to pin it to your home screen. Might be over months or could be just for the day and importantly when you are finished with that link remove it from your home screen.

@

Davelew
by Crowd Champion Davelew
‎2018-10-11 11:52 AM

@Yeldarb I now know who's stealing all my data and because of this making me less productive.

Felicity_YC
by RetiredModerator Felicity_YC
‎2018-10-11 11:54 AM

Oh dear @Yeldarb

 

That's a really good idea @Davelew

Paddylee
by Valued Contributor
‎2018-10-11 12:00 PM

One way to boost productivity is getting a good sleep.

 

Use functions such as:

"Blue Light Filter" before bed (blue light bad when trying to sleep etc)

"Do Not Disturb" while sleeping (can add excluded numbers to this for emergencies etc)

Yeldarb
by Esteemed Contributor
‎2018-10-11 01:23 PM

Somewhere stuck in the rear end of the forum software is 5 or 6 attempts at me repling to this thread. Smiley Sad

Davelew
by Crowd Champion Davelew
‎2018-10-11 01:27 PM

Yes, always seem to have the same problem, or similar, when commenting on blogs. Try to click on the narrative box and get sent back upto the top of the blog.

Doesn't help my productivity.

Yeldarb
by Esteemed Contributor
‎2018-10-11 01:32 PM

Ah yes true. It mainly happens to me on blog posts as well.

Felicity_YC
by RetiredModerator Felicity_YC
‎2018-10-11 03:19 PM

Hey @Yeldarb and @Davelew, I didn't realise that was happening. 

 

Mobile or desktop? 

 

Can you shoot @Ray_YC a PM? We'll try to get to the bottom of it. 

Megan_YC
by RetiredModerator Megan_YC
‎2018-10-11 03:58 PM

 @Paddylee I could really use the Blue Light Filter! Great suggestion Smiley Very Happy

Ray_YC
by Online Community Manager
‎2018-10-11 04:42 PM

Testing on my Android Mobile with Chrome browser.

Yeldarb
by Esteemed Contributor
‎2018-10-11 07:36 PM

It was on my desktop win 7, chrome and ie. It has done it many times on all my Android phones. I do recall the problem only happens when I tag someone in the post. This morning I was tagging Felicity_YC and it wouldn't let me do it.

Yeldarb
by Esteemed Contributor
‎2018-10-11 07:39 PM

Test post  

Davelew
by Crowd Champion Davelew
‎2018-10-11 08:06 PM

@Yeldarb@lt seems like a different issue than I am experiencing. I send you a PM with a copy of my pm to Ray

Yeldarb
by Esteemed Contributor
‎2018-10-11 08:15 PM

No worries mate, still down the lake fishing and doing the drone thing so I will have a look when I get back in front of my PC.

Davelew
by Crowd Champion Davelew
‎2018-10-11 08:17 PM

Can you fish and fly your done at the same time? Sounds like mi. Multitasking to me.

Yeldarb
by Esteemed Contributor
‎2018-10-11 08:43 PM

and do the forum thing. How productive Smiley LOL

 

productive.jpg

Yeldarb
by Esteemed Contributor
‎2018-10-13 03:58 PM

I have worked out where the error is Ray.

 

 

 

Yeldarb
by Esteemed Contributor
‎2018-10-13 04:11 PM

I must say on another note it's a real pain that you can't edit blog post and the fact that no blog posts show up in my own profile makes it even more difficult. Smiley Sad

Withy
by New Contributor Withy
‎2018-10-13 04:30 PM

I agree @Yeldarb. Shows up all my spelling errors by not being able to edit comments. I can't even spell your name correctly, I keep going back to front.

Also often think of something I missed and have to post another comment instead of editing original.

 

Dave

Davelew
by Crowd Champion Davelew
‎2018-10-13 04:36 PM

Just shows I need to delete previous comments as I posted under my wife's login.

I agree @Yeldarb. Shows up all my spelling errors by not being able to edit comments. I can't even spell your name correctly, I keep going back to front.

Also often think of something I missed and have to post another comment instead of editing original.

 

 

Dave

Yeldarb
by Esteemed Contributor
‎2018-10-13 05:12 PM

Lmao. Just so happens the spell check is bloody hopeless as well. Might have to start doing what Dan does and copy and paste from a word processor in super small fonts so nobody can even see the words let alone the spelling mistakes.  Smiley LOL

Davelew
by Crowd Champion Davelew
‎2018-10-13 05:20 PM

Oh no, you shouldn't criticise Dan, I just get the magnifying glass out when reading his posts on my wife's phone with a 4 inch screen.

Yeldarb
by Esteemed Contributor
‎2018-10-13 05:50 PM

Do you know how long I have been waiting to throw that comment into a post? Smiley LOL I figured he must never use a desktop or he still has a monochrome monitor running at 800 by 600 if he doesn't notice the font size.

Ray_YC
by Online Community Manager
‎2018-10-15 11:34 AM
Ray_YC
by Online Community Manager
‎2018-10-15 12:08 PM

Hey @Davelew & @Yeldarb thanks for providing more detail.

It remains a mystery as I still can't replicate the issue myself and when it comes to permissions for commenting on blogs, the admin settings for tagging are no different to regular users. I have forwarded both of your findings to our IT team to investigate further.

As for being unable to edit comments in blogs, there is no setting I can tweak for this I'm afraid, it's all set for the author of the particular blog to own/manage.

Yeldarb
by Esteemed Contributor
‎2018-10-15 01:21 PM

Hmm and here I was thinking this Lithium forum software was advanced  Maybe its time to swap over to phpBB and let the anarchy begin....

Ray_YC
by Online Community Manager
‎2019-01-08 02:21 PM

Hey there @Yeldarb and @Davelew

Firstly, Happy New Year!

So I'm a little embarrassed to say that our IT team just contacted me today asking if this commenting on blogs / being unable to tag the blog author is still an issue. Could you please kindly let me know? I didn't have any trouble on our latest phone review blog just posted by Kara.

Davelew
by Crowd Champion Davelew
‎2019-01-08 02:42 PM

Happy New year to you @Ray_YC

 

Still occasionally happens on Android when I  go to post a comment, I click on the comment box and it seems me back to the top of the blog.  Not sure on iOS as I mostly use my android phone.

 

Dave

Ray_YC
by Online Community Manager
‎2019-01-08 02:57 PM

Thank you, I will tell them they have work to do!