We love our iPhones. We surf the web on it, read entire books, play games, take pictures, watch videos, text our friends, and occasionally we even use it to make a call.

And we download apps. Lots of apps. And we get notifications. Lots of them. And the battery dies. Here are a few tips to make your Iphone less invasive and more productive.

1. Declutter

Our phones act as a closet to dump free and low-cost apps, deals of the day, and apps of the week. They go on for screen after screen, hogging memory and slowing down the device. Schedule a dumpster day every month and get rid of apps you don’t need or use, even the ones you paid for. Remember that the apps you download exist on your computer and in the cloud so you can reinstall an app without paying for it again.

2. Use folders to group apps

For the remaining 178 apps that you just can’t do without, group into folders. Drag an app into a related app and a group folder is created — like News, Games, Docs, and Social Media. Each folder can contain up to 12 apps. Now you’ve gone from over 10 screens to just one. Use the second screen for dedicated icons of frequently used apps.

3. Let Siri remind you

The iPhone now comes with its own native To-Do App called Reminders. It lets you organize everything you have to do by deadline, priority, location, or custom-made lists. But lots of cool apps do the same. Instead, use Siri to set reminders. Just say “Remind me Friday at 4PM to research vacation options”, and consider it done. If you add a location, “Remind me Friday when I get into the office“, you’ll get an alert as soon as you arrive at work.

4. Rev up security

With password breaches dominating the news headlines, we can never be too cautious about security. With a four-digit PIN, you can unlock the iPhone, but Apple allows for a longer passcode. Go to Settings > General > Passcode Lock. Set Simple Passcode to Off. Tap on Turn Passcode On and enter your longer numeric or alphanumeric code.

5. Trim notifications

Interruptions affect productivity and our phones are interruption devices. Just about every app you download asks for push notification permission. Why would you ever need an urgent notification from MyFitnessPal or Flixter? You don’t. I have five email addresses pouring into my iPhone and one of my biggest productivity boosts came from turning off all email notifications. Go go Settings > Notifications and tweak your notifications.

6. Power down when connecting IRL

That’s “In Real Life” for the acronym challenged. A pet peeve of mine is the incessant checking of email, Facebook, Twitter and other applications when meeting up with friends and colleagues In Real Life. Get to your destination, check-in on Foursquare and turn the phone off. Don’t put it on vibrate. See that glazed look halfway through a conversation? That’s the phone silently buzzing in his pocket diverting his attention. Turn it off. Rant over.

The iPhone is a very useful tool, a computer in our pocket that needs to be fine tuned constantly to maximize its productivity. Other tips to share?

RELATED POSTS:
9 IPad Productivity Tips
Dropbox Productivity Tips
Home Office Productivity Tips