Off time

I’m not one for app reviews, because although I’m a nerd when it comes to technology I tend to be an indecisive nerd. I tend to switch things up, sometimes faster than I blogged. I also used to be an early adopter and a staunch Apple user. That combination especially the indecisive bit made tech reviews seem not part of my written “view”.

That will probably continue to be the case. Not just because of the aforementioned issues but because as with my handbags, my requirements seem oddly unique to the way my oddly unique body works.

This is not a sponsored post. However, I think that I found a solution to my earlier post about wanting a semi dumb phone. So I thought I’d share. The app is called (OFFtime). I’ve paid for the android pro features and have been using it for a few weeks. It’s working very well for me.

I needed (ok wanted) a way of having access to some of the online features of my phone (for example banking or google maps) without having to either turn other “sometimes useful but not now” notifications off or try and ignore them. I didn’t want it to be so fiddly. Putting it on silent, just made me hyper vigilant to every vibration and or I’d look more often so I didn’t miss the one person I might want to hear from.

For me this is the answer.

I have set up a few different profiles. Within each profile you can determine which apps you might want to use during that activity. The app will “let” you use those apps with no difference. Depending on the settings you choose, when attempting to access other apps you are met with varying levels of resistance, with snarky-ish comments. The trick is that you need to think ahead enough about what you want to do. Therein lies just enough self discipline to make it both workable (the phone can be a tool) and a challenge (I find myself looking over at it still way more than I want to admit, seeking distraction)

Same principle applies with calls and SMS. Rather than double check each vibration in case it’s so and so, or disconnect entirely, I can determine who I want to hear from whilst doing what. My parents and my dr are pretty much it for the vacuuming my head profile, a slightly expanded group can interrupt me if I’m using my writing profile for example. For the “lucky” ones, text or call will make whatever noise is “normal”. Otherwise you have silence, no change in LED and the option to send an SMS to the texter explaining that you’re busy, with an expected return time of whatever time you specified at the start of your off time. It includes a link to the website of course. Again you can do anything you want during your off time as long as you’ve planned for it.

At the end of the time, or if you have given yourself an option to opt out early (and taken it), the app will give you a run down of how long you were off time for and who said what in SMS and anything else that happened so you can reply when ready.

The only thing that I’m less than keen about is that it monitors your use seemingly all the time.

Remember when phones rang when people actually want to talk to you?

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