How to Manage Notifications in iOS 6 for Better Productivity

How to Manage Notifications in iOS 6 for Better Productivity

With your new installation of iOS 6 in hand you may be wondering what all the cool extra features are that can make your more productive. One of the big “selling points” of iOS 5 was the new Notification Center, a way to manage and view your notifications for all of your apps. But, we quickly found there was some granularity that would have been nice to have for notifications; iOS 6 has added some of that and allows the user to manage their notifications in a more productive way.

Different Alerts for Different Email Accounts

One of the newest additions to Notification Center is that you can now control email alerts by email account, rather than control them for all email. This is a great way to be able to be alerted of something that you deem important (work emails at work) and not so important.


    Go to Settings > Notifications > Mail. You can then change the tones and vibrations, alert style, badge count, and Notification Center listing for each email account you have. For anyone that has multiple email accounts this is a great way to manage your notifications.

    One way that you could do this is if you are at work and you have to respond to emails promptly (forced to), you could turn on your notifications for your work account while at work and leave your personal accounts off. This may work for some, but if you don’t need to see emails instantly, then we at Lifehack highly suggest turning all email notifications off and make your email processing more deliberate.

    Do Not Disturb


      The new Do Not Disturb feature of iOS 6 allows you to block out a repeating time or manually flip a switch to block all incoming calls and texts from numbers that are outside of the ones that you have specified as allowed. For instance, you can allow calls only from a group in your contacts or people that you have marked as “Favorites”. You can even block all calls if you want to but still leave your phone on.

      This is a great way to control your inputs when you are working. You can just flip your Do Not Disturb switch while working on something important and then only the contacts you deem as “necessary” will be able to contact you. It’s a great way to manage your time and attention.

      VIP Alerts

      As I said before, we at Lifehack love to turn all of our email notifications off but use services like AwayFind to be notified when someone “important” emails us. Apple has included a sort of “AwayFind lite” in iOS 6’s in the form of VIPs.


        Go to Mail and in the list of accounts you will see your VIP list. When you tap on the list you will see all emails that have been marked as VIP. You can also tap the blue arrow on the VIP listing to see your VIP list contacts and settings. You can mark certain numbers and email address as VIPs and then control the notifications of those emails separately from all your other email. Also, you will get a nice, handy VIP choice in your email account listing.

        VIPs help you stay out of your inbox and keep you notified of emails from key people in your work and life.


        iOS 6 gives the user some great new features to control and manage their endless amount of notifications from apps and messages. It’s nice to see that Apple is recognizing that allowing the user to become granular with their notifications is the best for them to have control and become more productive with their devices.

        More by this author

        CM Smith

        A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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        Last Updated on September 25, 2019

        7 Best Project Management Apps to Boost Productivity

        7 Best Project Management Apps to Boost Productivity

        Project management doesn’t need to be a complicated thing, not if you have apps that make things a whole lot simpler. When you have project management apps, you can take care of your team, tasks and deadlines, without even being in the office. You don’t even have to spend a lot of money to get most of the apps you might need.

        Here are the 7 best project management apps to super boost your team’s productivity:

        1. Basecamp

          It’s probably the most well-known project management app out there. It allows you to organize projects that act as a central location for everything and contains such things as to-do lists, notes, events, files, and much more.

          It is user-friendly, and has a free 30-day trial period. After that, the plan is $99 per month.

          Find out more about Basecamp here.


          2. Asana

            If you are looking for something that is not difficult to use, check out Asana. This is a great task management app that can be used for managing projects as well.

            In a nutshell, Asana helps you create and share task lists with your team. The app is simple but smart enough and has got a lot of integrations. Teams with up to 15 members can use Asana for free. Teams with 15 members and up can choose plans that range from $10.99 per month.

            Find out more about Asana here.

            3. Casual

              This is a unique app that offers a different way of doing things. On Casual, you plan your tasks just by drawing them as a flowchart. The neat thing is that Casual helps you visualize and track dependencies between tasks.


              This app is incredibly intuitive and works great for personal projects, as well as for organizing projects for small teams. You can try it for free, and if you don’t like it, there is no obligation to pay for anything.

              Find out more about Casual here.

              4. Trello

                This app is incredibly user-friendly, and is based on Kanban boards. It actually works like a virtual whiteboard with post-it-notes.

                Trello is great for organizing your to-do lists, ideas, and is very easy to use. You can create several boards to use for various projects, and it’s free of cost. Trello is available to iOS and Android users as well.

                Find out more about Trello here.


                5. OmniPlan

                  This is an awesome app for iPhone and iPad users. If you love Gantt charts, this is definitely an app that you can get a lot out of.

                  You start out by creating a simple project outline. Then you can use the app to help you through every step of the project until its completion.

                  A standard plan for iOS costs just $99.99, and the pro plan is only $199.99.

                  Find out more about OmniPlan here.

                  6. Podio


                    This is a great app for medium and large-sized teams working on projects. The special point about Podio is that there are additional features such as CRM and social intranet.

                    There are four different packages: Free, which is free for up to five employees and five external users; Basic, which is $9 per month per employee; Plus, which is $14 per month per employee, and Premium, which is $24 per month per employee.

                    Find out more about Podio here.

                    7. Microsoft Project

                      This is one of the most commonly-used project management apps. However, it is also one of the most difficult apps to use. It does have a lot of features that are popular with project managers, which is why we have chosen to include in on this list. You can customize reports, track burn rates, and stay on track until projects are complete.

                      The basic plan starts with $7 per month, which allows you project team members to collaborate in the cloud, via web browser or mobile.

                      Find out more about Microsoft Project here.

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                      Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via

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