Daily tip: Disable iOS Mail sounds

emailsounds

One of my most effective productivity tips [1. You could also, as reader Kit Pierce points out, switch it to manual check.] is to disable email alert sounds. Few things are as distracting and demanding as that little beep. Fortunately, it’s easy to switch them off on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Here’s how.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Sounds.
  3. Tap New Mail. A new screen appears. Select None.

That’s it. Now you can keep your push mail account active without hearing that little “Ping!” every time a new message arrives. While we’re at it, let’s disable Mail notifications, too:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Notifications.
  3. Tap the appropriate email account, then move the slider to the Off position.

That’s it! No more pestering sounds or messages every time a new email arrives.

This post is part is one of 31 tech tips I published in March, 2013You’ll find the rest here.

How to create custom iPhone vibration patterns

Apple debuted customizable iPhone vibration patterns with iOS 5. It lets you create your own vibration pattern and assign it to a contact or alert. It’s easy to do and more useful than you might think.

For example, assign your custom pattern to important contacts, so you know if you should bother to look at your phone during a meeting or other important activity. Or, get really creative and use a little morse code to spell out your wife’s name, for example, or “GOD NO” if it’s your in-laws. I like to use a brief vibration followed by a long pause, giving me time to get to my phone. Custom vibrations let me create that exact pattern. Here’s how to create a custom iPhone vibration pattern and assign it to a contact.

Continue reading →