6 ways to make your smartphone work for you

Published: 14 November 2016 By Harvard Business Review

6 ways to make your smartphone work for you Managing your task is a whole lot easier with the right tool

Making smarter use of your smartphone can make your life a lot easier

Making smarter use of your smartphone can make your life a lot easier

 

Whether you have an effective way of managing your tasks or if you’ve never been able to get the right tool for the job, making smarter use of your smartphone can make your life a lot easier. Here’s how.

1. Choose a dedicated reminders service that works across devices. Find an application that runs on your work computer and phone, and any personal devices (including your tablet, if you have one). Just as important, you need to be able to add new reminders from any device.

2. Always associate a reminder with a specific time. The whole point of a reminder is that it comes back to haunt you. So make sure that whenever you enter a reminder, you include a specific time when you want to be reminded.

3. Set reminders for the moments when they are actionable. When you’re choosing a time for your reminder, think about when you’ll have a chance to act on it.

4. Snooze liberally. Once you start using reminders to keep track of most of your bits and pieces, you’ll have reminders popping up throughout the day and evening. This is only tolerable if you cut yourself a lot of slack to hit the snooze button. The point is not to get each thing done at a specific moment, but, rather, to keep them from falling off your radar altogether.

5. Snooze smarter. If you’re dependent on snoozing to exert control over when you actually act on your reminders, you’ll soon find that two or three different snooze durations (like 15 minutes, one hour and one day) just don’t cut it.Customise your snooze options with add-ons that give you more granular snooze control: I love a little Mac utility called SnoozeMaster, which I’ve used to create 20 different snooze options for my Apple reminders, ranging from five minutes to six months.

6. Use “do not disturb” during presentations and conference calls. One hazard of the reminder-intensive lifestyle is that those reminders can pop up onscreen at the most awkward moments … like having a presentation interrupted by a reminder to pick up a particular medication at the pharmacy.

In association with Harvard Business Review

Previously published in The Irish Times.

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