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Internet, iPhone, Data: How To Check Your Usage

Internet, iPhone, Data: How To Check Your Usage

Today, the idea that mobile phones once managed to do without the Internet seems almost amusing. After all, what’s there to do with a phone if it doesn’t have an Internet connection, right?

Nowadays, the ability to access the web from anywhere we go feels like a natural thing – which, of course, brings about the issue of data usage. Most of us use a limited data plan while trying to tap into Wi-Fi hotspots whenever possible, but how much data passes through your iPhone, exactly? When is it time to limit your usage? How can you make your usage limit last longer? Follow these steps to make it happen.

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1. Checking Your Data Usage

Nothing can be simpler – just open the Settings and find the Cellular Usage tab, which stores all the information about how much data your iPhone used throughout a particular period of time and which apps are responsible for which percentage of this usage. You may also read more about how to check data usage on your device, as well as some advice on how to make it more efficient.

2. Set Your Apps for Manual Updates

Automatic updates are one of the most notorious culprits when it comes to data usage, especially if you have a lot of apps “just in case.” You may not use them on a day-to-day basis, and sometimes even forget about their existence, but they are still there, regularly downloading new versions, patches, and content updates, eating up your data quotas. Turning them off (Settings – iTunes and App Stores) will not only decrease your data usage, but prolong battery life as well.

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3. Turn off Auto Refresh

Again, most apps you have installed regularly refresh their content and don’t care how much you actually use them, devouring both data and battery life. If you want to use your iPhone in a more efficient manner, go to Settings – General – Background Apps Refresh and turn it off for apps you don’t need updated every couple of minutes. It may also give you a great insight into which apps you actually need – perhaps it’s time to clean up a bit?

4. Restrict Cellular Data Usage

If you don’t particularly care for battery life, you may limit the ability of particular apps to use cellular data. It’s helpful in the case that updating content for a particular app can wait until you get to a Wi-Fi spot, but you don’t want to turn it off altogether. This way you will make sure your apps use the Internet only when you can safely spare it.

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5. Turn off Mail, Calendar, and Contacts Sync

Unless you absolutely must have up-to-date data on all these fronts, setting synchronization to manual may be of great help. By default, iPhone automatically checks your emails, contacts, and calendar events, downloading updates as soon as they appear. This may not seem like much, especially if you download them later on anyway, but traffic adds up; and if you set it to manual, you may at least synchronize using Wi-Fi.

6. Use a More Data-Efficient Browser

Using a browser with a built-in data compression proxy, like Opera or Chrome, may help conserve traffic as well – unfortunately, Apple’s Safari doesn’t support this function, so you’ll have to do a bit of tweaking.

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As you can see, the ways to improve your iPhone’s data efficiency are numerous and diverse – you don’t have to waste money on unnecessary traffic if you simply take a few simple steps to prevent it. In most cases, it is more than possible to improve the situation enough to both save money and still comfortably use your device.

Good luck with your iPhones!

Featured photo credit: Laptop, iPhone, Notebook And Pen Neatly On A Desk/Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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