Beyond turning off your phone completely, here are a few options for keeping your phone hushed, but still on for important (or not so important) notifications throughout the day. It could be the difference between being "that guy/girl" and being a polite phone user out in public.
1. Vibrate: I've set my phone to be quiet most of the time, with vibrate and flash as my primary notification system. Since I trained myself to be able to wake up by simply using the vibrating alarm, vibrate doesn't work as well for me. But vibrate mode can be extremely useful when your phone is in hands, but you don't want to impose a ringer on everyone else. Settings > Sounds > Vibrate on Ring.
2. Silent Mode: If you don't want your phone to vibrate at all, then just switch off the sound and ringers from the Settings > Sounds screen. Your phone will be eerily quiet until you reactivate it.
Some Android launchers and dialers include this, but it depends on the manufacturer. If you've upgraded to iOS 6, go to Settings - > Do Not Disturb. You can set up a VIP list, allowing your favorites' calls to come through. Also, if you enable the Repeated Calls mode, if someone calls you repeatedly, your phone will ring (helpful for those emergency calls).
4. Airplane Mode: If Do Not Disturb falters and you still receive notifications, or you want to just shut your phone up, but still use some apps, then just switch on airplane mode. When I'm on the go and running out of power, I'll switch this mode on to conserve juice. Just note, you'll be completely cut off from notifications and calls until you turn this off.
MORE ON PRODUCTIVITY AND SMARTPHONES ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
• Disabling Push Notifications = Disabling Distractions
• Living with Push Notifications Day & Night
• Making Your Smartphone Battery Last
• Slip On Additional Functions with These Sleeves
(Image: Gregory Han)