Notifications Show


Stephen and I are planning a show around notifications. What are your challenges, tips, and strategies when it comes to those pesky notifications?

Challenges would be the needless ones, automations that persist on lock screen when not used but they were promted. Example I have a BT shortcut to raise volume to 100% in car. I don’t always run it, short trip etc but the notification remains until I remove it. When I click the ‘x’ for chat all they still remain and need swiped.

Tip, following a suggestion I think from yourself, closed off all notifications and gradually bright bank in the ones I find beneficial, helped me up leave my phone in my pocket alot.

Edit - clarification of what I meant.

The challenge for me is which ones to leave on? I like to have as little distraction as possible and absolutely detest badges on app icons, but sometimes there are things I need to remember or do.

On all my iOS devices the only apps that are allowed to show notifications (not on the lock screen) are iMessage and Omnifocus. Nothing else.

On the mac it’s similar, with two extra apps: Keyboard Maestro and Growl (Hardware growler)

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My tip, what worked for me, was to buy an Apple Watch and then see how quickly you pair down the apps allowed to physically nudge you during the day :laughing:


I constantly use non-system alt-notifications that are repeatable, noisy and persistent with Due, primarily on iOS but also synced to the Mac. Great for repeatable tasks I need to deal with at a specific time while knowing that I too often miss the soft, anemic notifications in a calendar or even Siri’s reminders.

EDIT: And I have it watch-and-import anything in the Reminders list in Apple Reminders, so I can effectively use Siri with Due.

Only comment I have, beyond that most notifications really just aren’t needed, is that somehow an OS update of my watch turned notifications (and sound!) back /on/. Not set-and-forget, in my experience.

Is there a way to sync notification settings across computers?

I think Growl, Prowl and other notification utilities deserve a shoutout here!

Notifications are one of the key ways our devices can influence us. I use the above combo to pester me when I have disorganized items in my OmniFocus inbox. This helps me make sure my inbox is always tidy.

See also Pushcut, Pushbullet, and others.

I recommend Pushover.

A big challenge is getting only the right notifications from an app. Some have binary settings you can’t control beyond on/off; others like mail apps can be more complex. I think there’s some good potential discussion there.

Would also love to hear some discussion of how Face/Touch ID makes non-nagging notifications less useful. I think users are becoming increasingly blind to their lock screens. I often miss timely notifications from OF because I didn’t happen to see the one time it alerted me. When nagging notifications aren’t an option, what can we do to not miss one?

How do Face and Touch ID make any notifications less useful?

At least for me, it’s because I pay the lock screen/Notification Center almost no attention since drawing the phone from a pocket and unlocking is one smooth motion. There is nothing drawing you to it once you’ve unlocked your phone.

The Good Morning view also contributed to this. That’s probably the single longest look at my lock screen each day and it just displays weather.

These are good changes, but they make it harder to notice one notification received while away from the phone.

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I process most of my notifications on the lock screen after expanding them with Face ID. Messages, reminders, etc.

So it’s your habit here, not the feature, that’s devaluing the notifications.

This is very true. I often realize hours later that i had a silent notification that I could/should have seen several times.

That’s interesting. People must have different patterns for “opening” their phone. I always tap, then swipe up to go to the home screen. After tapping, the phone just sits on the lock screen. I review and act on/clear notifications then.

But if you have raise to wake active, you can easily skip the notifications by swiping first, as you describe.

Yes, I could change my lock screen habits and I have looked more carefully or pulled down the notifications center when I remembered to.

What I found interesting was that I did not realize the phone feature and UI change had occurred to now require deliberately checking notifications like that; it just happened as a consequence of a new phone and a new OS at some point and my old habits started failing me. I just started missing notifications I expected to see and being confused by it until I identified the issue.

That unintentional behavior change, how a power user can respond to it, and how apps could deal with it seems worth discussing, is all.

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I have Tap To Wake turned on in Accessibility, so I’ve gotten used to tapping and looking at my screen before swiping up; I always see all my notifications that way (and it saves a bit of battery too).

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I think it depends why you’re unlocking your phone. If you want to do something quickly, it’s easy to “lose” your place in notifications.

How many times have you opened your phone to be distracted by a notification, then forgetting why you opened it in the first place. Happens to me all of the time.

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With lift to wake on you only need to raise your phone to process notifications. If you unlock your phone you only need to swipe down. It’s a behavioural change is all. Every now and then we end up relearning part of the interface.

I think that’s easy to say for those who have that mindset, those of us who are (let’s say) a little more scatterbrained or Squirrel easily distracted want to do what we need to do at that exact second without distraction.

I often forget to go back to notifications once they’ve disappeared from the Lock Screen.