Mac Power Users 488: How We Communicate

RIP, phone calls… really though, it’s amazing how much of this stuff has changed in the last few years.

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I totally agree with you that it’s often better to just call and have anything solved in one minute than to message about that for an hour. And I am not even speaking about the importance of “tone” like someone can assume wrong attitude toward you if they can’t hear your voice and can interpret the information in a bad way.

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Another communication tool I use on a regular basis: TeamSanp

If you are not familiar with TeamSnap, from their site:

Manage your team or group with an unbelievably simple app for communication, scheduling, assignments, payment collection, photo sharing, and much more. Available on iOS, Android and the web.

With two kids in travel soccer plus my own hockey league this tool is invaluable for our family. It is basically Slack for team sports. As a member of one, I can indicate what games we can make, see schedule, location (great for travel soccer). As a manager of a team, I can set the schedule, see where we are short and easily message all / part of the team.

The “alert” that I find most annoying is a phone call. No matter what I’m doing on my phone, when a call comes in it INSISTS on taking over the entire screen. Very 2007.

I see there is a jailbreak solution for this (I don’t jailbreak), but I am assuming there is no legit way to route incoming phone calls to an alert instead of a full screen HEY IT’S A CALL!!! takeover.

I thought of using DND, but that also would suppress messages, which I don’t want to do.

Does this bother others? Or am I just a lone voice of frustration?

Thanks. Great show as usual.


I’d love to see an option for phone calls to come in as a regular notification, or at least not take over the whole screen.

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A bit brute force but not unlike DND, you could use call forwarding to your voicemail. This has the advantage that all calls are sent to voicemail without taking over the whole screen and you get a simple notification of the voicemail message, but it won’t interfere with texts and other notifications in the same way as DND would.

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Wearing an Apple Watch has made it slightly easier for me to deflect calls quickly, as I would with any other kind of notification, but that’s not nearly sufficient. We should be able to decide how much, and in what fashion, a call is allowed to disrupt us, including “none.”

“Hypothetically” using DND While Driving while at my desk might be the most useful tip I’ve ever heard on this podcast. Hypothetically.


Agree on the RIP part… except when I do get the occasional phone call I assume it’s an absolute emergency when I see it’s someone I know…

One thing that I hate is that when I am working on my Mac or even an iOS device and I receive a phone call, everything blocks so you pay attention to the call. In the case of an iOS device, it blocks all the screen with the call. In the Mac it blocks what you are doing with a notification at the right. I guess I can turn on do not disturb, but certainly I would like only to see a notification but not that my whole system becomes invalidated by the call. I am not sure if there is any way to do this, a notification will be fine and I decide if I stop to pay attention to the call, but I want to continue typing …

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Loved this episode, listened to it while doing my daily gym workout :smiley:.

A few random thoughts:

  • iOS 13 has a setting where you can automatically send calls from non-contacts to voicemail. I’ll be turning this on as soon as I update - I never answer calls from non-contacts!
  • Something that drives me nuts about communication like text message and Facebook messenger is that it’s so much harder to achieve Inbox Zero properly.
    • FB messenger has an “archive” function, where you can archive threads to remove them from your inbox and then retrieve them later if need be. The same is true for Whatsapp, but not text message.
    • However, none of these communication methods have anything like a “send to OmniFocus” function, where you can save a link to the message in OmniFocus.
    • (Thinking out loud) With FB messenger and Whatsapp (using its Whatsapp interface), it should be possible to have a URL link to the message thread. But I can’t think of a way to automate the creation of the link from the FB messenger or Whatsapp thread…

A few loose thoughts here. Something that I’ve been talking about lately with my parents and friends it’s about sleep hygiene. People say that you should have a cut off time when you don’t use your technology. My point in bringing this up is with the invention of Slack, some companies expect responses right away. Boundaries need to be had.

There needs to be a “mark as unread” in iMessages especially if I have it open on my Mac and it marks it as read even if I don’t mean it to. I also have friends who have changed numbers and would like to associate the contact instead as otherwise it’s separate threads.

Also for @ismh , I’d suggest Sanebox though maybe you’ve already tried it.

@MacSparky said he uses email with clients at their request. I wonder if any security issues were brought up or if encryption (like PGP/GPG) is used on the message content.

For years I was teaching I was not allowed to send grades to students via email because of FERPA requirements. I’ve always understood that email has all the privacy of a postcard.

I liked this episode. Made me think, and that’s GOOD. As far as my communication methods, I am very close to 100% digital. I know for sure that last month, I used 2 postage stamps, both to governmental agencies that would not accept digital.

Like MacSparky, and his constantly changing email apps :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::innocent:, I struggle with turning on DND. On one hand, I NEED the peace so that I can concentrate on my work. On the other hand, I NEED to know when a client is trying to contact me, (I am not as concerned about law enforcement calling as some seem to be). I HAVE made it a point to not look at emails and messages but a few times a day, but the DND…I don’t know.

Oh, and another thing. The other day I was sitting in a clients office, (very rare for me), and her cellphone kept dinging and ringing. Every time she would stop right in the middle of our conversation and look at the phone. Finally I said to her, Pavlov’s dog. She didn’t get it. :see_no_evil::upside_down_face:


When your phone reverts to being a phone. :slightly_smiling_face:

“Phone” is becoming a misnomer, but what would we call them?

It’s possible that she was waiting for an important call, or if a call came in from a particular number/person it would only be in case of an emergency that needed to be addressed immediately.

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That is something to be communicated beforehand.
“My mother is in the hospital…”

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It seems that my point was missed. We have become conditioned to when the bell rings, we respond. Absolutely NOTHING is more important than the human that is in front of you. When we respond to something, we are just that, a responder, ie, acting after-the-fact. :bellhop_bell::horse_racing:t3::horse_racing:t3::horse_racing:t3::horse_racing:t3::horse_racing:t3::horse_racing:t3:

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Maybe I’m being a bit pedantic, but this is not true for everyone, especially not me. There are a lot of things that happen in my life that are way more important than the person in front of me. Sick parents, sick pets, a direct-report going through a difficult time, etc.

I think some folks (not necessarily saying YOU) jump to conclusions when they see people on their phones or not doing something in the way they would personally. It’s ok for people to make different decisions or prioritize differently.