empty iphone screen

Essential iPhone Productivity Tips For an Efficiency Geeks

Editorial Team

The iPhone can be a great tool, but most people use their phone as a distraction and life shortener. However, if you take the time to follow the steps in this article, you'll be more productive, more focused, and, I'm not kidding, you'll live longer.

Use your keyboard as a trackpad

Even if you're the fastest touch typist in the world, you'll probably agree that it's easier to type long documents on a computer. Indeed, desktop and laptop computers with a mouse or trackpad allow you to quickly position your pointer anywhere in the document. You can reposition the iPhone pointer in a document by tapping anywhere on the screen text, but sometimes the pointer doesn't get to the right spot. To make it more precise, you can turn your iPhone keyboard into a virtual trackpad.

Get down with dictation

Another iPhone productivity feature that I use every day is the dictation feature. It allows me to jot down my thoughts much faster than typing them. You can use iPhone dictation anywhere you can type in iOS. To do this, simply tap the microphone button at the bottom right of the keyboard and speak. Tap the keyboard icon that appears on the screen when you're done dictating.

Use Spotlight for searching

There's a better way to search all of your iPhone's locations and apps at once: just use Spotlight search by swiping down from your iPhone's home screen. Type any search term into Spotlight, like "meeting," and Spotlight will instantly search all the apps on your phone to find it. This makes finding important items almost instantaneous, even if you can't remember which app you used to create them. Powerful web and device search in seconds from the home screen of your iPhone or iPad. It's a convenient way to launch apps, search the web, perform calculations, and more.

Embrace Handoff

Handoff, a great feature built into iOS and macOS, allows you to start a task on one device and quickly resume it on another. For example, when I get to the office in the morning, I might start writing an email with story quotes to my editor, then finish it later on my Mac. I don't even need to remember to save it or go through my drafts. As soon as I sit down in front of my Mac, I see the email or document I just used on my iPhone on the left side of the Dock. To enable Handoff on your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Handoff.

Keep an eye on Screen Time

You can use Screen Time to get information about how you and your family members spend time on your devices—which apps and websites you use, how often you pick up your device, and more. You can use this information to help you make decisions about managing the time you spend on devices. You can also schedule time away from your screen, set time limits for app use, and more. You can view a report of your device use with information including how much time you spend using certain kinds of apps, how often you pick up your iPhone and other devices, what apps send you the most notifications, and more.

Go to Settings > Screen Time.

Tap See All Activity, then tap Week to see your weekly usage summary, or tap Day to see your daily usage summary.

Turn on Do Not Disturb

With Focus you may use Do Not Disturb to silence calls, alerts, and notifications which you get at the same time as your tool is locked. You also can timetable Do Not Disturb and permit calls from positive people. When you've got got a Do Not Disturb grew to become on, a crescent moon icon seems withinside the reputation bar and in your Lock Screen. To activate Do Not Disturb, comply with the stairs under your software program model. Not positive which model of iOS or iPadOS you've got?

Go to Settings > General > About and appearance beneath Software Version.

Turn on Do Not Disturb with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 Go to Settings and faucet Focus. Tap Do Not Disturb.

Keep Notes one tap away

Sometimes I can lose an idea as quickly as it pops into my head. That's why I've learned how to open the Notes app as easily and as quickly as possible. Here's how to set things up so you can always access a new blank note from your lock screen. In the Settings app, tap Control Center > Customize Controls, then make sure Notes is listed under "Includes". If not, look for it in the "Add command" section and hit the plus sign. This will place the Notes button in your Control Center, which remains just a swipe down from the top of the screen, even when your iPhone is locked. Tap that Notes button in Control Center to instantly launch a new blank note on your desktop. Now start typing.

You don’t need to scroll anymore

Want to scroll through web pages, documents, or anything else with just one hand? Try using a feature called Back Tap introduced in iOS 14. It lets you set up commands that can be performed by double or triple tapping on the back of your iPhone.

Open Settings > Accessibility > Tap
Scroll down Tap Back and tap it
You can now choose an action to trigger when double-tapping and triple-tapping the back of your iPhone. There are dozens of options you can choose from, but I use double tap to scroll the page and triple tap to scroll back. If you`re a little more adventurous, you can set the tap for specific Shortcuts routines, such as emailing what you are looking at to yourself or sharing a link and title on social.

Share screenshots fast

We came across a web page or part of a document that you need to share with a colleague. The fastest way to do this is to take a screenshot, then tap, hold, then drop the preview at the bottom left of the screen. You will then be taken directly to the Share menu. This way, you don't have to open the entire caption screen and then tap Share, because you're already in the Share space.

One-handed keyboard

Speaking of typing, typing on a small smartphone screen is not as convenient as typing on a physical keyboard. This is especially true when you're moving around with your iPhone and trying to type with both thumbs.
But iOS 12 and later includes a really handy feature that makes typing easier and lets you do it with just one thumb. First, go to Settings  then tap General > Keyboard > One-handed keyboard. On the next screen, choose Left or Right (choose the option depending on whether you're left or right-handed).
The next time you use the keyboard, you will find it pressed to the side of the screen. This means you can press every key with just one thumb, making your typing much faster and allowing you to use your iPhone with one hand, regardless of its screen size.

Disable App Review requests

You open an app that intends to do the job, and then the app prompts you to leave a review. This is an unwanted interrupt and it is your job to remove as many interrupts as possible. Disable these unsolicited review requests; If you really like an app, you can always manually go into the app store and add reviews or share your favorite apps directly with your friends.
Go to Settings > Apple ID > iTunes & App Stores.
Search for reviews and ratings in apps > Off

Automatically close all Safari tabs

Are you a person who finally ends up with dozens of still-open websites in Safari tabs on your iPhone? You`re dropping the precious battery, reminiscence space, and time while sorting for the only you need.

Open Settings > Safari and scroll right all the way down to the Tabs segment
Select Close Tabs.
You can pick to shut tabs manually or have your smartphone robotically delete tabs after a day, week, or month with no usage.

Sign Documents with Mail App

Using the markup tool, you can place your signature on any document emailed to your Mail app in a valid format.

  1. If the document isn't emailed in the Mail app on your iPhone, forward it to your address. For more information, read our article "How to Add Any Email Account to Your iPhone".
  2. Open the email and attachments you need to sign. You may need to tap the document first to download it.
  3. If there are lines set up for editing in the document, tap them and your iPhone will let you enter the information (print name, date, or address).
  4. To sign the document, tap the checkmark icon (circle in the upper right corner).
  5. At the bottom, you'll see a type of pen, followed by a plus sign ("+"). Click the plus sign.  6. Click Sign.
  6. This will take you to a new screen with a signature line where you can draw your signature with your finger. When you're done, tap done. This will also save your signature for the future.

Scanning Documents in Notes App

Place the document(s) on a flat surface in a well-lit area. Open the Notes app and create a new note or open an existing one. I've created a folder called Scanned Documents where I can easily store and find everything I've scanned.
With the note open, tap the camera icon, then tap Scan Document.
Your iPhone or iPad opens the camera with a shutter button near the bottom of the screen. Don't push it yet; Instead, follow the instructions on your screen. For best results, hold your device directly over the document.

or, Just ignore the Phone
Honestly, notifications are your number one enemy when you're in a productive workflow. In fact, studies show that it can take more than 23 minutes to get back to your original work after being distracted by a notification. Even though you can turn your phone off, you always have a nagging feeling that something big is about to happen while you're at work and you just can't wait any longer. Here's how to close everything while you're trying to focus but still be alerted in case of an emergency. Swipe to open your Control Center (swipe down from the top right for iPhone X and later, swipe up from the bottom for older iPhones) and tap the half-moon icon to activate "Do Not Disturb". This feature mutes calls, alerts, and notifications until you tap to unmute them. Better yet, since you can forget to exit Do Not Disturb mode, press and hold the Do Not Disturb icon, then choose how long it takes to be quiet.

  • For 1 hour.  
  • Until tonight.
  • Until I leave this place.
  • Your own programming


"But what if there's an emergency?!" Don't worry, you can customize which calls  come in even with Do Not Disturb mode  on.

Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb > Allow Calls From, then select "Favorites".

Use this guide to set, manage, and delete favorite contacts. Now you can focus on your work without worrying about missing an important call but ignoring the distracting notifications from other apps.