How to use Notification Summary in iOS 15 to escape distraction

Apple's iOS 15 has some tools to help you keep on task.

Getting distracted is very easy, but it’s even easier when you’ve got a phone, 17,000 apps, and the subsequent deluge of push notifications that come with them. Luckily, if you’re in Apple’s iOS ecosystem, you now have at least one tool to help free you from the shackles of constant notification distraction and it’s called...

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Notification Summary

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Notification Summary is a new feature in iOS 15 that lets you control when and how you get notified by apps. Instead of receiving updates in a continuous stream, you can opt to aggregate notifications in daily reports that are instead sent at a (hopefully less distracting) time of your choosing.

If the idea of being able to banish notifications until a later date appeals to you, we’re going to tell you how to enable and use Notification Summary on your iPhone right now.

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If you haven’t already, you’re going to need to download iOS 15. Keep in mind, the update is still currently in beta, so before you go rushing off to download it, remember that it will be buggy, and you should definitely back your phone up first.

To learn how to download the public beta, reference this guide on downloading the developer version, which is essentially the same process.


Once you have iOS 15 downloaded, the process is fairly straightforward. All you need to do is go to “Settings,” tap, “Notifications,” then, “Scheduled Summary” and tap the toggle to turn the feature on. Notification Summary will not be activated by default in iOS 15.

Now that you have the feature activated you can begin choosing exactly how you’d like to receive notifications reports. By default, summaries will come twice per day at 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. but you can choose different times.

You can also schedule up to 12 reports per day, though that seems to actually defeat the purpose of using Notification Summary in the first place.

After you decide when you’d like to be notified, you can begin choosing which apps you’d like to receive notifications from within those reports. Tap, “Apps in Summary” and review your apps either in alphabetical order or by which sends you the most notifications.

Which apps you choose here will obviously be dependent on your preference, but if it’s distractions you’re worried about, dumping all of your non-professional social media apps into one summary might not be a bad starting point.

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If you’ve completed all the aforementioned steps, you should start receiving notification summaries immediately. They’ll appear on your lock screen like you see here and can be browsed whenever you see fit.

Though there’s a fair amount of granularity with Notification Summary, you’re not yet able to select which apps appear first in the summary. Instead, they’re chosen intelligently by iOS depending on your usage habits and notification type.

How Apple categorizes notifications in iOS 15.

That’s pretty much it...

While Notification Summary might now keep you 100 percent on-task, as far as productivity is concerned, it’s hard to see the harm in actively avoiding social media throughout the day.

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