I have decided that peace and quiet is a value of mine, but so is staying connected to friends. I want my phone to work for me instead of against me. I am an Android user, since literally the day after the first Droid was released in 2009. I know nothing of iPhones.

Do Not Disturb

I use a third party app for this. Unless I need to get a call quickly from a big complicated organization with a bunch out outgoing phone numbers, I usually have my do not disturb on. Here’s how it works. During the day, it blocks all calls from people who aren’t in my address book. At night, it automatically blocks all calls and texts from anyone except my starred contacts in Google. Those starred contacts are generally people who walk my dog and might need to be in touch early in the morning, and people who are very close and could need to contact me in an emergency. It excludes some folks I love dearly, but don’t fit in those two categories and randomly text late at night.

Ring tones

For those calls I do let through, I have two different ringtones: one for people I like, and one for everyone else. If I’m in another room, this helps me decide if I even want to expend the effort to see who’s calling. I have done this for a decade and it works really well for me. One or two people also have their own dedicated ring tones.


I use a third party texting app. It has customizations that I enjoy, but more than anything i love it for one feature: the ability to schedule texts in advance. Let’s say it’s 11:20 at night, and I suddenly realize there’s something I need the dog walker to know before she arrives in the morning? I schedule the text for 8 am. I’m afraid I’m going to forget to text a friend for their birthday? Schedule the text.


Pushbullet is a third party app that can send texts and other phone alerts to me computer. Sometimes it a lot easier to use a real keyboard.

Facebook Messenger

I know there are security concerns, but Messenger is essentially free messaging with my friends who live oversees, and FB connections who aren’t super close. The new group chat feature for FB groups is interesting, and I’m not yet sure what I think about it.

Turning off the phone/silent

If I really need to rest, I just turn it all off. I sometimes let someone know I’m doing that, and I sometimes don’t.

Signing up for text-driven services

I hate making tons of phone calls. Wegmans has a service for text-driven automatic refills for prescriptions. If they need you to authorize the refill, you just text back. Otherwise, they send text alerts when prescriptions are ready, or if there’s a delay or other problem