When you’re relaxing at home or answering calls at work, is your smartphone chillin’ in your pocket or charging on your desk?
When I’m sitting at my desk, my phone is usually sipping electrons via the USB cable but after returning from lunch its back in the claustrophobic confines of my pocket.
Now, wouldn’t it be nice, if I could see whose calling and texting without removing my phone from its cozy abode?
I know I sound indolent but I’ve often wanted a means of replying to text message, sending files to my phone and knowing who to ignore without digging in the crumb-filled abyss of my pocket.
Because even when I force my lazy fingers to fetch my phone I still have to unlock it.
Yeah, yeah, it only takes a few seconds to type in my security pin but it’s still annoying.
Say hey to PushBullet
PushBullet solves my quandary by pushing specific phone notifications to my desktop.
All I had to do was get the free app and sign in with my Google Account.
When Pushbullet politely asks for notification access tap your approval so you can mirror notifications from your phone to your PC.
Back on my PC, I installed the nimble Chrome extension.
When Pushbullet asks you to Sign up on Pushbullet.com, don’t bother.
Just click the big green button and login with the same Google account you used on your phone.
Notifications will pop in the lower right corner of your screen near the system time.
Here you can see that someone is calling me from the 212 area code and I currently have 3 voice messages I need to check.
Now when I’m in my office, I just keep my phone on silent.
Amid the cacophony of New York City’s pissed pedestrians, crazy cabs and jarring jackhammers, it’s nice to know that my vibrating phone won’t be joining the dissonance.
The neat thing about Pushbullet is that you’re always in control of your notifications.
For example, I can disable mirroring of my phone by simply by clicking the titular notification on my desktop.
Furthermore, clicking Dismiss on device does the deed on both the desktop and smartphone.
If you right click the Google Notifications icon in the system tray (the little bell graphic) you can pause notifications indefinitely, for just an hour or for the entire day.
But keep in mind this kills notifications for all Google properties.
Therefore the sagacious thing to do is to right-click the green Pushbullet icon in the upper right corner of Chrome, go to Options and hit the lime green Snooze notifications button.
If you poke around in the Notifications tab you’ll see the full gamut of options ranging from making the message body private to changing how long the notification remains on the screen.
Pushbullet in reverse
Not only can Pushbullet send notifications from your computer to your phone but it can also do the reverse and let you send data to your phone.
Let’s say you’re sitting with your laptop in a meeting with two affluent investors.
Both graduated top of their class from Yale, understand economics better than Adam Smith and got kicked out of MENSA for being too smart.
These brilliant billionaires want to meet you at Milos in NYC to discuss series A round funding for your start-up.
Do you want to look intelligent in front of these guys?
So instead of emailing yourself the address or writing it down on a perishable post-it, you quickly Google the address and paste it into Pushbullet.
And BAM! it’s instantly on your phone as a notification.
Another cool thing is when you click the Pushbullet icon in Chrome it automatically fills in the URL and page title of the active page.
Here, I just found a super cool article on Distractify showing the sublime connection between nature and noise.
I want to take it with me on my phone so I clicked the green Pushbullet icon and chose Push it!
Just make sure your phone is selected in the device list. In the graphic below you can see my Samsung SCH-1545 is selected but I had to explicitly invoke this action by clicking it.
You can also send files up to 25MB, send to-do lists and even reply to text-messages from your computer with a little help from Mightytext.
The Bottom Line
Many PC apps have tried to ape Apple’s intuitive notification center but have failed abysmally. Conversely, Pushbullet is a new contender in the ring and does a pretty good job keeping you informed.
Sure it’s not perfect. I mean, on the one hand, using Pushbullet may become a distraction because you’ll become cognizant of more issues, involved in more problems and therefore less able to focus on your work.
But on the other hand, Pushbullet makes you more productive and unifies your life because you don’t have to keep switching back and forth between your PC and phone. Also, since Pushbullet gives you the power to stop monitoring specific apps there’s really no reason to not install it today.
Now the next time you’re at your desk, try leaving your phone in your pocket while you work because you’re still connected to the world with Pushbullet.
If you’ve used Pushbullet or something similar please share your experience in the comments!