How can I remember to always put my mobile phone on silent before meetings and turn it back on afterwards?
October 1, 2009 5:10 PM   Subscribe

How can I remember to always put my mobile phone on silent before meetings or seminars? And to turn the sound back on when the meeting is over? Any useful tricks? I don't seem to have a problem remembering this in artistic environments, only in work environments.
posted by grouse to Technology (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What type of phone do you have?
posted by purephase at 5:14 PM on October 1, 2009

I am trying to get myself into the habit of setting my phone on the table/desk in front of me as the meeting is starting... that usually reminds me to silence it.
posted by jmnugent at 5:20 PM on October 1, 2009

Windows Mobile phones have an "automatic" ringer setting that can put your phone in vibrate/silent for the duration of meetings that are noted on the phone's calendar or within Outlook. I believe Blackberry phones also have this function.
posted by biggity at 5:26 PM on October 1, 2009

When you arrive at your work put a rubber band on your wrist. Assign its purpose for "phone-off/phone-on."
posted by ericb at 5:34 PM on October 1, 2009

When I needed this, I simply used visual differences – every sound/vibrate profile was also a color profile.
Within a few days I would automatically glance at the phone when walking into a 'silent' place, and change my phone to red. On the way out, I'd glance at it and realize it should now be blue (outdoors). I also had green and yellow settings for quiet (as opposed to silent) and regular volume. It worked for me.
posted by mhz at 5:37 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I have a Nokia candybar phone. It is usually in my pocket.
posted by grouse at 5:51 PM on October 1, 2009

Get in the habit of taking your phone out of your pocket when you go into meetings. Taking it out of your pocket will serve as the reminder to turn the ringer off.

When the meeting concludes, you'll put the phone back into your pocket — but not before you turn the ringer back on.

By making a habit of taking the phone out of your pocket and then putting it back in again, you'll also get in the habit of toggling the ringer as needed.
posted by lexfri at 6:07 PM on October 1, 2009

fwiw, I was gonna write that I did this on a Nokia candybar-style phone, but I figured it doesn't matter, as these features should be available on all phones. But since you mention it, I would recommend trying the profiles with colors, and setting one of your directional presses, or other main screen shortcut, to the profile settings.
posted by mhz at 6:09 PM on October 1, 2009

If your scheduling system has an option to send an email reminder, set an appointment for the end of the meeting and have it text you 'Turn Ringer On'.
posted by mattholomew at 6:11 PM on October 1, 2009

Response by poster: mhz, my phone model does not appear to couple color themes with alert profiles. But, while investigating this I realized that the phone does allow me to easily set a timer on any profile, so that it will revert back at a particular time. That probably solves one half of the problem.
posted by grouse at 6:24 PM on October 1, 2009

My Nokia isn't a particularly recent model, but it has an option for setting a timed profile. I use it because I often forget to set my profile back to normal after it's been on silent. Check in your profile menu whether you have that option. On my phone, it's in the profiles sub-menu and comes up in the same menu which allows me to activate or personalise a profile. If your phone has this option, then set a reminder to change the profile and then set a timed profile when entering the meeting - it will revert to your previous profile at the end of that time.

Another option with Nokia mobiles is to set an alarm and turn the phone off. Even if your phone is off, the alarm will go off at the set time and the screen will ask you whether you wish to turn it back on after the alarm has gone off. If you know how long the meeting will last, this is an option for you. Just set the alarm for a little after you anticipate the meeting ending.
posted by Lolie at 8:30 PM on October 1, 2009

Is it integral to leave your phone in your pocket for meetings? I leave stuff like that in my messenger bag in my desk (locked if necessary) during meetings.
posted by desuetude at 9:24 PM on October 1, 2009

Do you take anything else to meetings? A notebook, maybe? A pen? Associate the action with one of these things, for example a bit of masking tape on your notebook that you must remove before opening.

Personally I'd try to associate the phone with an action or place instead of a thing, training myself to check my phone every time I got up or sat down for example. Or putting my phone in my hand if I remember before the meeting, and not allowing myself to set it down until it's set correctly.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 9:50 PM on October 1, 2009

Do you really need to ever turn the ringer on? I just ended up converting to vibrate-only, 24/7. I miss calls occasionally, but not as often as I feared. If I'm expecting an important call or want a phone call to wake me up, I'll turn the ringer on just for that.
posted by mullacc at 10:12 PM on October 1, 2009

Response by poster: Yes, I really do, the vibrate on this phone is really weak, and I almost always miss calls when the ringer is off. And I have missed important calls that way.
posted by grouse at 11:40 PM on October 1, 2009

Repeat, in your mind, something like "The show is about to begin, you theatre lovers do know what to do with your mobiles right?!", pronounced in some funny tone at the same time as you are taking a seat for the meeting.
posted by Jurate at 5:36 AM on October 2, 2009

My fairly basic phone has the option to vibrate for 2 rings or so, then start ringing. I keep it on that setting in meetings and out. The vibration is pretty weak, but if I'm in a quiet place I can hear the soft buzzing sound it makes, and I have enough time to reach into my pocket and silence the call.
posted by pocams at 9:14 AM on October 2, 2009

Seconding desuetude. I leave the phone in a carrier bag or coat pocket (if I have one) before heading into a quiet work environment, usually a library. The coat pocket trick keeps it out of sight yet easy to retrieve. Do you have an electronic scheduler? Add the word "phone" to the end of the mtg details until habit kicks in. Authorize a colleague to remind you the first few weeks. I don't mind admitting that I'm absent-minded about small things, and the colleague doesn't want a phone disrupting everyone, either. You're probably just too busy thinking about the substance of the mtg to focus on something like turning the phone off. At an artistic venue, on the other hand, 'phone off' is a welcome reminder that you're stepping away from everyday life, and you don't have to do anything but enjoy the experience. But maybe you enjoy meetings, too. Some people are weird like that.
posted by woodway at 6:23 AM on October 3, 2009

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