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Apps notifications and managing your time with IT

By Jean-Claude Elias - Jul 22,2020 - Last updated at Jul 22,2020

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Managing your time with the large number of digital devices and apps around you has become an issue per se. There is no one to teach you how, you have to figure it out for yourself. Technology claims that it is here to save you time. This is true to a great extent — provided you have the system under control and are not controlled by it.

We love it when online banking lets us cut transportation cost and avoid traffic jams, or when Google maps nicely and quickly takes us to a location we have never been to before. We hate it when the latest and major upgrade of Windows 10 takes four hours to complete and then forces us to reinstall some software applications that otherwise used to work smoothly and never asked for reinstallation in the first place.

Notifications that are sent from various apps or subscriptions to your smartphone or even to your computer, are now taking more than their share of our time. Netflix, your bank, your phone operator, your supermarket, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Messenger, Careem taxi, the list goes on and on… they all have something important to tell you, almost every day, when it is not several times a day.

They like to do it by sending you a notification, these short messages that come with a sound, pop up on your screen and reach you immediately, but are more invasive than emails.

Of course you can set the notification to come to your device without a sound, which somewhat alleviates the pain. Or you can programme a sound of your own, one you like and find less invasive, though this would take extra work, time and effort. You can also naturally turn off the notification completely, which probably is the best thing to do, but then you have to do it for each app, one by one. For annoyingly enough, apps come to you with their notification setting turned on by default.

Moreover, each time you have a major upgrade of your operating system, be it Windows, Android or iOS, and each time the app itself receives an update, the notification setting may turn itself on again, without asking for your kind approval. You have to restart all over again the process of disabling them one by one.

Unless you like receiving notifications from your beloved apps. There is no law against it, and it certainly is not the worst thing that digital technology can do to you.

Taming apps notifications and making them work to your liking is but one example of learning how to better live with technology in general, and with software and online applications in particular. Optimising time is the key issue here. Some of us have more time than others, and others do enjoy playing with their settings more than the common mortal. You just have to make things work the way you like in the end.


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