You Don’t Need No Stinking Badges

Badges, Sounds, Banners.

Fantastic in theory. Total disruption in practice.

Badges kill your productivity and they most likely make you feel like a lazy piece of crap.

If you have an iPhone or iPad or even an Apple computer, you know what badges are. (I’m assuming other products have the same.) Maybe not by name but they are in your face all day, every day.

The most common badge that people know is the one that shows the number of new emails that you have. I recently saw a friend’s email badge that had 5 digits.

5 digits.

That’s 10,000 plus.

Don’t read any further. Just look at that number for 10 seconds.

How is that not a recipe for disaster? If this was my inbox, I would probably quit life.

The crazy thing is that I see this ALL THE TIME.

When I ask people about it, I usually get one of a select few common answers.

“I hate it”
“Is that what that’s called?”
“Whatever”
“Can I turn it off?”

For this post, I’m going to offer up one quick and simple solution.

Turn off ALL badges, especially your Email badge.

On your iOS device, follow these steps:

  • Go into Settings
  • Click on Notifications
  • Click on Email
  • Click on Badge App Icon to toggle it off
iPhone homescreen
Doesn’t that look nice?!

The reason why you should do this is so that you don’t constantly have ANY number staring you in your face that will compel you to look at it.

If you have a large number, it’s going to make you feel miserable. It will be a constant reminder that you are behind – that you have a lot of emails that you need to look at (that you probably never will).

Seeing a large number will negatively affect you.

As I’ve written previously, you have to manage your email so it doesn’t manage you.

Hopefully, at your own designated time, you will look at your emails. It will be on your own terms. That shouldn’t change whether you have 2 or 10 or 50 emails.

Ask yourself, what purpose does seeing your email count serve?

Earlier, I mentioned that you should turn off all your badges. I would say that keeping your Phone badge on is probably a good thing so you know if you missed a call. But even keeping the Calendar badge on is debatable.

And if you don’t believe me, believe these people.

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