Owen Williams (via The Tech Block):

When trimming down your notifications, ask yourself these questions: Am I willing to let this interrupt me at any given moment during my day? Is this information critical to my life?

Glancing in my iPhone’s system settings at the apps which I’ve granted permission to send me push notifications, I see a lot listed in there. However, most of them don’t actually send any push notifications. The notifications I do get on a regular basis are:

  • ESPN: Injury / projection updates for my Fantasy Foobtall league
  • Email: Emails from my VIP list (which is just my CPA and my wife)
  • Twitter DMs
  • Slack mentions and direct messages
  • Flickr comments
  • Dark Sky weather updates
  • Calendar alerts
  • Reminders: (time / location)
  • Deliveries: when a delivery status changes
  • Overcast: new podcast episodes are available
  • Circa: breaking news alerts
  • The Magazine: new issues available

I’ve decided to turn off notifications for Overcast, Deliveries, The Magazine, and Flickr.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’d wager that most of you have a pretty conservative approach to push notifications as well. But what I just realized after reading Owen’s article and then thinking about what push notifications I have on, is that there’s a difference between needing to be informed of something and wanting to be informed.

With notifications from Overcast, Deliveries, and Flickr — yeah, it’s great to know when a new podcast episode is available or to know that my recent order is on the truck for delivery, but those are also bits of information that I seek out on my own anyway. And so the push notification is superfluous.

Treating Push Notifications as Sacred