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How to Stop Unwanted Calls By Blocking Them on Your Phone

How to Stop Unwanted Calls By Blocking Them on Your Phone

Let’s face facts; there are numerous reasons why you would want to block a number on your phone. Unfortunately, almost all of these are unpleasant, whether they pertain to persistent ex-partners, scammers or telemarketers who refuse to take your silence as a hint that they are being obtrusive.

While having to block a number is never nice (especially if it belongs to someone that you know), it is relatively easy to achieve this regardless of which mobile service you use. So, here is a breakdown of how to block numbers across multiple device types and operators.

How to Block a Number on iOS, Android and Windows

Before you seek to block numbers on your smartphone, you can look to impose a general ban by adding your number to the National Do Not Call Registry[1]. Ran by the FTC, this registry is updated every 24-hours, while it can lead to the cessation of nuisance calls within a month.

This does not help when looking to block private numbers, however, such as those that relate to former friends, partners or colleagues. This is where the below guide will come in handy, as it will help you to block all unwanted incoming calls to your handset.

iOS

There are various ways to block numbers on Apple’s iOS, whether you are responding directly with a call or browsing your contacts list. You should also note that, when blocking someone from sending texts, making a voice call or selecting FaceTime, the individual in question will automatically be banned from all three channels of communication.

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When responding to a recent all, visit the ‘Phone’ app and select recent. Then locate the number and navigate through the circle next to it. This will bring up a screen with information pertaining to the call (see below), and you need to scroll down before selecting ‘Block this Caller’.

    When blocking an existing contact, you need to navigate through Settings > Phone > Call Blocking & Identification > Block Contact. This will bring up a list of your contacts, enabling you to block one or even multiple numbers as you wish. You can also achieve this goal by clicking through Settings > Messages > Blocked > Add New.

    Android

    When dealing with Android, the course of action that you take will depend on the age of the operating system that you are using (this is not the case with iPhones). So you will need to determine the precise iteration of Android that you are using before blocking numbers, as this will ensure that you make the right choice.

    For Marshmallow or above (Nougat is the most recent version), open Dialer and go to your recent calls list. Then find the offending number and select ‘Block / Report Spam’. You should not that you can block a number without reporting it as spam (when dealing with a person rather than a telemarketing company, for example), but you will need to uncheck the prior to confirming the block.

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    When using Lollipop or below, go to the Phone app and select Call Settings > Call Rejection > Auto Reject List. You then have to manually type in the number and search for it (make a note if it is unknown to you) and then confirm.

    When using Messenger (across all Android operating systems), you will need to directly tap the number that sent you the original message, before selecting Block / Report Slam once again. The same principle applies here as before, so don’t forget to uncheck the box if don’t want to report spam.

    Finally, if you wish to block a number belonging to an existing contact, go directly into Messenger and select Menu > Blocked Contacts > Add a Number. Then enter the number you want to block and confirm, taking care to ensure that you selected the right one of course!

    Windows Phone

    Windows Phones are increasingly popular in the modern age, as along with the Samsung Galaxy S range they provide viable competition for Apple and Android. They also utilise a different operating system, so it is important to recognize this when blocking numbers.

    With Windows Phones, you can block calls and messages from a single number in one fell swoop. Simply head to Settings and navigate through Call > SMS Filter, before accepting the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and switching Blocks Calls to On.

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    Then visit the Phone app, hold down the number that you want to block and select Block Number to confirm. This will prevent all forms of communication with the chosen number, helping you to avoid any unwanted correspondence.

    A Look at the Best Apps for Blocking Numbers

    Of course, we also live in an age where apps can be used to block numbers. The benefit of using these apps is that they tend to work across all iterations of specific operating systems, meaning that users can become familiar with them over time while they also provide a comprehensive and one-stop blocking service. Here are some of the best apps:

    The Hiya App (for iOS): Available to iOS 10 users, Hiya is the single most advanced phone spam protection engine in the mobile market. This not only intuitively detects and blocks robocalls and telemarketers, but it also highlights potential fraudsters who are seeking your personal data. It also provides a personalized block list, helping you to manage your contacts more seamlessly.

    Sync. ME (for iOS) : Apple have clearly made a concerted effort to enhance its call blocking features in iOS 10, and the free app Sync. ME is a prominent example of this. It includes numerous features for blocking unwanted calls, including the identification of unknown numbers (which can prevent you from blocking numbers that may ultimately add value), alerts you to spam communications and adds caller photo’s to your social contacts on Twitter, Facebook and Google +.

    The Safest Call Blocker (for Android): This is Android’s supported call blocker, and one that comes with a premium (paid) version that removes ads. It is quick to access and easy to use, while it also helps you to establish automated settings for blocking calls and managing contacts in real-time.

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    Mr. Number (for Android) : This is an initially free app that immediately offers 20 free caller look-ups, at which point every subsequent look-up is paid. It has a tool that automatically blocks spam messages, however, without the need for you to blacklist specific numbers. This can save time and help you to block numbers more seamlessly.

      Calls Blacklist (for Android) : Then we have Android’s Calls Blacklist, which will ban both voice calls and SMS messages from an offending number in one-feel swoop. This is so long as you use the default SMS app on Android 4.4 or above, however, as otherwise you will need to block communications separately. Regardless, the call blocking feature is fast and efficient, while it also allows you to select suspicious starting digits and intuitively block all related numbers going forward.

      So there you have it; a selection of the best ways to block numbers regardless of whether you use an iOS, Android and Windows device. The modern range of apps also makes this process easier than ever, so look out for the best tools online.

      Reference

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      Last Updated on October 16, 2019

      11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

      11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

      Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

      Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

      Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

      In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

      1. ScheduleOnce

        ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

        ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

        ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

        Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

        Available on Web

        2. Calendly

          Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

          You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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          Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

          3. Assistant.to

            For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

            From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

            While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

            Available on Web

            4. Acuityscheduling

              Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

              It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

              Available on Web | iOS | Android

              5. Pick

                Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

                At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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                Available on Web

                6. X.ai

                  For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

                  This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

                  Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

                  Available on Web

                  7. YouCanBook.me

                    is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                    They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                    Available on Web

                    8. Doodle

                      Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                      It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                      You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                      While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                      Available on Web | iOS | Android

                      9. WhenAvailable

                        WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                        Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                        Available on Web

                        10. Rally

                          Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                          Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                          Available on Web

                          11. NeedtoMeet

                            Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                            NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                            While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                            Available on Web

                            Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                            In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                            To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                            Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                            A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                            Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                            If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                            Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                            With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                            The Bottom Line

                            Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                            Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                            Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                            Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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