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How To Prolong Your Battery Life

How To Prolong Your Battery Life

Short battery life of modern smartphones has long ago become a byword. Manufacturers seem to be fixated on making their devices thinner, and battery capacity is one of the first things that gets sacrificed. There are dozens of ways to improve your battery life, and while most of them won’t make dramatic changes, their effects add up, so it is always helpful to read more tips on how to save battery charge.

1. Dim the Screen

One of the primary culprits is also the most mundane one. The worst consumer of your battery charge is none other than the display of your smartphone – when set to maximum brightness, it chews through your battery at a really alarming pace without your realizing what causes it. Most phones have a function that changes display brightness depending on how strong the ambient light is, which already improves energy efficiency when compared with the always running top-brightness mode. You can further improve it by manually setting brightness at the lowest tolerable level.

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2. Shorten the Screen Timeout

In most cases, you need the screen to work for as long as you keep your phone in hands. Once you lay it down, it continues to shine in vain, eating up precious battery charge. Consider setting its timeout to a minimum, and then experiment to see which timeout is still comfortable while being shorter than you are used to.

3. Cancel Automatic Email Checks

If your phone constantly checks your mailbox for new messages, it wastes a considerable amount of energy. Do you really need these notifications that urgently, or can they wait a little bit? You may either cancel them altogether and only check for new emails manually (which is a good way to save your time as well), or set a more reasonable interval between checks, like 30 or 60 minutes. Most likely, it won’t drastically hamper your ability to react to events in time.

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4. Turn off Vibration

If you regularly turn your phone to vibro (e.g., to prevent it from blaring at a full voice during an important meeting), consider changing your habits. The reason is simple – vibration eats up much more energy compared to playing a ringtone. It may not seem like much, but if you are constantly receiving calls when set to vibro, it adds up.

5. Use Black Wallpaper

If your phone has an AMOLED display, you may noticeably improve its battery life by opting for a black wallpaper. As a matter of fact, AMOLED displays only illuminate the colored pixels, which means that the more black or dark pixels are displayed, the less energy is being used.

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6. Set a “Do not Disturb” Schedule

Most phones have a “Do not disturb” function or something similar that blocks incoming calls and turns off the Internet and Wi-Fi. In addition to eliminating a fair percentage of your daily distractions, this mode conserves battery charge, so if you have periods when you don’t or cannot use your phone anyway (at work or during sleep, for example), it may be a good idea to create a habit of using this mode.

7. Cut Down on Widgets

Look through your phone and ask yourself: do I really need this widget? And this? And this? If you don’t absolutely need a widget, better get rid of it, especially if it is always connected to the Internet (like weather widgets). If you have multiple widgets that constantly update their info, it will severely hit your battery.

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Tired of charging your phone every night or even more often? Take matters into your own hands! I hope these tips were useful for you and now you will know how to save your battery life. Good luck!

Featured photo credit: iPhone Plugged Into Laptop On Wooden Desk/ Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Melissa Burns

Entrepreneur

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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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