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5 Myths About Phone Charging Debunked

5 Myths About Phone Charging Debunked

Most people in this day and age have a smartphone. This means that the majority of us have access to our social media accounts, mobile games, news, e-mail, and more pretty much anywhere or anytime we need it.

The problem with smartphones is that, because we use them so much, they usually run out of battery fairly rapidly. This means we all carry around extra chargers to bring to work, plug into our cars, and so on and so forth. All of this charging has, quite unexpectedly, led to the emergence of several charging-related myths. I am sure you are already familiar with a couple of them.

All that said, what is the truth about the Lithium-ion batteries powering our pocket computers? What battery-related advice should you believe, and which should you forget about? Find out below.

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1. Never Charge Your Phone Overnight

We have all likely heard this one before, and it probably emerged at a time when battery technology was nowhere near as advanced as it is today. The truth, according to experts like Shane Broesky, is that “leaving your phone plugged in overnight is okay to do.”

Apparently,the technology regulating smartphone batteries has advanced to the point where it knows exactly when to stop feeding a charge into your device. In other words, there is no risk of you “overcharging” your phone and causing damage to the battery, as there are safeguards in place to prevent that from happening.

What you do need to worry about, according to Broesky, is overheating. So, if you are going to leave your phone charging overnight, make sure you place it in a relatively cool area. Also, remove any case you may have put on it so that heat from the battery can escape in a timely fashion.

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2. Let Your Phone Go To 0% Before Charging

I don’t know where this myth came from, but I’ve seen this repeated constantly. What makes this particularly egregious is that completely draining your battery before a charge actually causes it to become more unstable.

Shane Broesky suggests instead that we keep our devices charged “between 50 and 80 percent.” In other words, you should charge your phone intermittently throughout the day instead of waiting to perform a “deep charge” from 0 to 100 percent.

3. Any Charger, Even An Off-Brand Model, Will Work

While it may be tempting to try and save money by purchasing an off-brand charger for your phone, the damage it can do over time might make you think twice. The fact of the matter is that it is always best to use the charger that came with your device, even if you can find another cheaper model that still technically works.

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Experts caution against off-brand chargers for one simple reason: they are “not built with safety in mind.” This means there is a far greater chance of these chargers causing a fire, or harming your battery, than there is with your phone’s proper charger.

4. Turning Off Your Phone Is Useless

While it might seem like an inconvenience to physically turn off our phones from time to time, experts suggest that we do exactly that. Indeed, one Apple Genius employee stated that “in order to maximize battery life, you should [definitely] turn off your phone from time to time.”

This does not mean that you have to always shut down your phone before bed, or do it on a daily basis. That would defeat the purpose of having an always-ready-to-use smartphone. You should, however, try and shut down or properly restart your device at least one a week, as this has been proven to conserve your device’s battery life over time.

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5. Don’t Use Your Phone While It’s Plugged In

As long as you are using the charger that came with your phone, or a certified replacement made by the same company, it is perfectly fine to use your phone while it is charging.

This myth does have a bit of a chilling origin, however. While it is safe to use your smartphone whilst charging it with its proper charger, it is not recommended to do so when using a third-party charger, as that may lead to the phone exploding, or worse, electrocuting the user.

While there is only a slim chance of that happening, you still shouldn’t risk it. Off-brand, third-party chargers might be cheap, as mentioned previously, but they don’t work as efficiently with your phone’s battery, meaning there’s a much higher chance of it overheating and possibly injuring  you or others during periods of extended use.

Well folks, that is about all I have when it comes to charging myths. Were you familiar with any of these? Were you fooled by a few of them previously, like I was? I’d love to hear your comments below!

Featured photo credit: Gray #3/Phil Roeder via flickr.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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