Notification Management Tools (Built-in and Third-Party) for Apple Devices

Notifications have become an omnipresent and annoying part of the digital life. From news alerts and social media updates to app notifications and browsers pinging for attention, your devices are bombarded with a heavy onslaught of information. While some notifications and alerts are required, most of them disrupt the workflow and serve as a distraction. And despite Apple’s devices being at the top of the tech chain, they aren’t safe from these annoying notifications.

Fortunately, Apple hasn’t left you to fend for yourself. Both the Mac and the iPhone are packed with in-built features to tackle notifications and alerts. Additionally, there is a plethora of third-party notification management tools offering customization options and advanced features so you can fully focus on your work.

Built-in Tools to Manage Notifications on Mac and iOS

macOS and iOS offer various built-in tools for handling notifications and keeping distractions at bay. These tools are:

  • Do not Disturb: This mode keeps distracting notifications at bay by silencing them all, except the ones from prioritized contacts. You can manually activate this mode when required or schedule it to automatically turn on during specific times, such as sleep hours. You can mute notifications on a Mac using the Do No Disturb mode via the Control Center in the Menu Bar. Even on an iPhone and iPad, this feature can be accessed through the Control Center.
  • Focus: Focus is similar to the Do Not Disturb mode with a slight difference – users can create custom profiles that tailor calls, notifications, and messages based on activities, such as exercise, driving, swimming, personal time, work, etc.

Besides using these features and tools, you can also manage notifications on your Mac and iPhone by tinkering with the browser settings. For example, if you want to stop Safari from sending you excessive notifications and alerts, open the web browser > head to Settings > go to the Website tab > scroll down to find Notifications > click the dropdown for any website and select Deny.

It is also possible to turn off notification sounds so you are not overwhelmed by the constant pings and pops demanding your attention. On your Mac, this can be done via System Settings > Notifications > toggling off the sound for specific apps or all apps. On your iPhone, this can be done via the Settings app > Notifications > choosing None by going to Sounds after tapping any app.

Third-party Notification Management Apps for Mac and iOS

The built-in tools are more than enough to handle regular notifications and alerts. Focus even lets users customize and filter the notifications according to specific activities. When a Focus mode is enabled, the settings can be synced across Apple devices for uniformity.

However, these built-in notification management features are basic. If you are seeking advanced features with customization options, check out these popular third-party notification management tools:

  • Serenity: This is a menu bar application for Mac that makes it effortless to silence notifications. Simply click on the icon and go through the list of applications that are allowed to send notifications. Toggle off the ones you don’t want to disturb during your work. Once you have finished your work for the day, you can toggle those apps back on in a jiffy.
  • Quiet: This is yet another popular application for Mac computers. With this app, you can granularly control the notifications. Users are allowed to create bespoke rules based on time, app, and location.
  • Downtime: This is an iOS application that allows users to control their digital well-being by scheduling some much-needed downtime. You can choose when you want to block and silence social media access and notifications so you can concentrate on your work or enjoy some ‘you’ time.
  • Notify: This is a Mac application offering advanced features, such as prioritizing important notifications, snoozing notifications, and blocking notifications based on keywords.
  • Freedom: This application allows users to block distracting apps and websites, including preventing them from sending notifications. The app is available on both Mac and iPhone.

Helpful Strategies for Managing Notifications Effectively

Besides using tools to manage notifications, you can implement the following strategies:

  • Review and update the notification settings regularly. Since you might be constantly visiting new websites and installing new apps, it is essential to review the notification settings for each. Disable the ones you don’t need.
  • It is essential to identify and prioritize notifications from critical contacts and apps. Without this, you will miss out on important information.
  • You must schedule notification-free periods to maintain your mental health.

The Bottom Line

Excessive notifications and alerts can be counterproductive and extremely overwhelming. The constant pings can irritate and give you a headache. Hence, you must learn to use the in-built and third-party tools at your disposal to ensure a distraction-free digital workspace. The importance is to strike a harmonious balance where you don’t miss out on important notifications and keep the distracting ones at bay.