How To Customize the iPhone Notification Center for Productivity
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How To Customize the iPhone Notification Center for Productivity



Notifications are a helpful feature of the iPhone that keep users alerted with important messages. But too many notifications are unnecessary and more of a nuisance than are helpful.

By default many notifications are in notification center, which is the best place to receive alerts. While notification center is a great tool, it loses its utility when overrun with too many pointless alerts.

By fine tuning which alerts go into notification center, it will decrease the amount of times your iPhone buzzes, and keep the important notifications at the top.

How to Customize Notification Center.

Tap Settings.

Tap Settings


Select Notifications.


On the next screen are the notification settings for all the apps installed on the iPhone. The first option to choose from is how to sort the apps.

Sort Apps

By choosing to sort manually, it is up to the user to decide how the apps will appear in notification center. For the most control use manual because notifications appear by your choice.

Sorting by time places notifications in order of the time that they occur. While this has its perks, the manual sort offers greater control and customization of the two sorting options.

Tap Manually.

Next are two categories of apps, those that are In Notification Center and those that are Not In Notification Center.

In Notification Center

Apps under the In Notification Center group appear in the pull down menu from the home screen. The advantage of this is the quick access to messages, reminders or any other alert that occurs on the phone. While this is convenient, the disadvantage of this is that if too many apps are in this menu it becomes cluttered and unusable.

Not In Notification Center

Apps that are Not In Notification Center do not display in the drop down menu. Although you may not want all of your apps in notification center they can still alert you other ways.

Under the In Notification Center list, notifications will appear in the order they are in the list. To change this order, tap Edit in the top right.

Tap Edit

Tap and hold next to the app you would like to move.

Tap and Hold

Continuing to hold down, drag the app where you would like it in the list.

Tap and hold

Once finished, tap Done in the top right.


Besides just organizing how apps appear in Notification center, there are many other options to consider changing. Some of these include sounds, alert type, and badge icons.

To view these settings, tap on any app.

Tap App

On the next page are the settings for the selected app. While most of these are the same for all apps, they may or not all be available.

Notification SettingsThe Notification Center option determines whether that app is in notification center. Show limits the number of notifications an app will show, which is handy for apps that tend to send a lot of alerts. Alert style is how an app will tell you when a new update is available. Banners are the most popular because they don’t need the user to select an option, while alerts make the user select an option. Badge App Icon is the number that appears on an app when there are multiple updates available. An example of this is on the messages app, a 1 appears in the top right corner when there is a new message. Sounds decide whether an app can play a noise to alert the user.

View in LockScreen

One last option is whether an app can send a notification to the lock screen. This is convenient, but for sensitive emails and messages it is better to disable this feature.

Other built-in notifications are Government alerts.

Emergency and Amber Alerts

AMBER Alerts are notifications when there is a child abduction and the public can help. Emergency Alerts are for weather updates and other emergency related events in your local area. While it is up to the user whether they take advantage of these alerts, it’s recommended that they stay on.



  1. Larry

    05/26/2013 at 8:26 am

    Troy frommer damn dude your really a apple fan boy Mac book iPad 3 iPhone 5 dude?? Are you serious?? Too much!!

  2. Jeff

    06/03/2013 at 12:44 am

    I would like to recommend “Must Do Today”. It’s a great app for Productivity and Time Management

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