Smartphones aren’t just a great way to stay in touch with family and friends, take professional-grade photos or check in with social media; they can also be an effective tool for working and studying. The iPhone, in particular, has a wide range of features that can increase your efficiency and maximize outputs, but are you making the most of them?

To streamline your workflows and increase your professional success, take a look at these five ways to use your iPhone to increase productivity:

1. Customize the Control Center

The Control Center of your iPhone is where you can manage a range of settings with just one tap, including putting your phone in airplane mode or turning on Bluetooth. However, you can also access your most-used apps in a single tap when you customize the Control Center.

To choose what you want to appear, go to Settings and tap Control Center, before selecting Customize Controls. For any apps you want to appear in the Control Center, make sure they’re listed in the ‘Include’ area. If they’re not, you can access ‘More Controls’ and select the apps you want to make available in the Control Center.

2. Use Spotlight Searches

Later models of the iPhone offer an impressive amount of storage space, with 256GB and 512GB models available. When you combine this with cloud storage, you can access a virtually endless number of files and folders right from your smartphone. Of course, the downside of this is that you could spend ages searching through various apps trying to find the content you need.

Fortunately, you won’t have to waste your time trying to find a specific document or file when you use Spotlight searches. From the top of the home screen, swipe down and a search bar will appear. Input a relevant keyword and it will scour your phone and apps for content before displaying them in a handy list. From here, you can simply tap on the document or file you’re after and the relevant app will open to display it.

3. Enable the Handoff Feature

An iPhone can be a great tool for working and studying, but most people use a variety of devices at any one time. With the Handoff feature, you can create a virtual workspace that offers cross-device functionality and a seamless user experience (UX).

If you start jotting down ideas in the Notes app, for example, and want to develop your thoughts when you sit down at your desk, the Handoff feature ensures you’ll be able to pick up where you left off on your laptop or computer. As well as working with iMacs, Handoff also ensures that iPhone users with Windows 10 devices can enjoy flawless cross-device connectivity.

To streamline your virtual workspace, just go to Settings, tap General and then Handoff and switch the feature to On.

4. Start Sharing Files

Filesharing makes it easy to access the content you need at any time and from any location. Furthermore, you can share content in real-time with colleagues and clients, which makes it ideal for remote working. You can share content from an iPhone via AirDrop but other options are available too. iCloud offers free online storage, for example, and enables you to share folders with specific recipients. However, you don’t have to stick solely with iPhone’s native features when it comes to sharing files. If you already use an alternative filesharing platform, like Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive, you’ll find there are free apps in the App Store that enable you to access the software directly from your iPhone.

Installing apps is probably something you’re very familiar with but, if you run into problems, there is always help available. The following linked post from Setapp will tell you everything you need to know if apps won’t download on new iPhone, for example. As well as providing you with the solutions you need, Setapp makes it easy to identify the most useful apps to download. When you can search for solutions-based content and access a range of curated iPhone apps, maximizing your productivity becomes easier than ever.

5. Customize Notifications

Notifications can be an effective way of keeping you up to date, but constant alerts will distract you from your work and reduce your productivity. If you have a large number of apps installed on your iPhone, you might be receiving notifications every few minutes, which can have a big impact on your work outputs.

The easiest way to deal with this is to set your iPhone to ‘Do Not Disturb’ or put it on silent mode. However, there’s a good chance that some of your notifications will be related to work and, therefore, necessary. Putting your phone on silent and picking it up every few seconds to check whether an urgent email or important iMessage has arrived defeats the purpose, but customizing your notifications can solve this problem.

Head to Settings and tap Notifications to select when or if you want notifications to appear and, if so, what format you want to receive them in. You can also group certain apps together and set notification rules for all of them, which can make it easier and faster to customize your alert preferences.

However, you don’t have to stop there. The rules you implement via the Notification Center can be overridden by the notification preferences you set in individual apps. If you want to receive notifications when a colleague messages you on Slack but not when a friend sends you a WhatsApp, for example, you can adjust their individual settings via the respective apps too.

Increase Your Productivity with an iPhone

A smartphone can increase or decrease your productivity, depending on how you use it. While games and social media can be a distraction, adjusting your phone’s settings makes it easy to turn your iPhone into a powerhouse of productivity. By doing so, you’ll complete your tasks more quickly and at a higher quality, as well as making more time to use fun and recreational iPhone features!