Single-Task Like A Boss With Isolator

August 27, 2012 § 1 Comment

There are a million and one things happening on the internet and we want to be a part of it all. We have multiple tabs open on our browser, apps running in the background, email that keeps pouring in, and various other odds and ends beeping endlessly.  Follow, comment, like, share, update, refresh, subscribe…explode.

In my previous blog post, I talk about a writing app that helps address the distraction problem. But distraction-free working, I realize, isn’t just for writers. This technology-borne attention deficit is an equal-opportunity vexation.

Enter Isolator.

This tiny slip of an app is a wonderful addition to your arsenal of distraction-free solutions for today’s distraction-filled desktop. Isolator sits quietly on your menu bar until you need it. Set the background color, set the transparency (I recommend setting it opaque, otherwise it just defeats the purpose), and you’re good to go.

Turn it on when it’s crunch time and watch the world wide web melt away. Ah, glorious. That’s what it feels like when the voices stop.  Revel in that for a moment, then get to work. It’s time to let the magic happen.

Isolator isn’t on the Mac App Store yet, but you can download it here for free: http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/24052/isolator

Requires PPC/Intel, Mac OS X 10.4 or later

WriteRoom: A Writing App That Lets You Write

August 20, 2012 § 2 Comments

Every writer needs time to let their mind roam. Ideas are often found where you least expect them, so going off-leash is highly encouraged. But once you have to sit down and do the actual writing, you gotta lock that imagination down and focus.

Distraction is the enemy of every writer. Lock yourself up in a room, turn off your phone, travel to a secluded spot, get the best noise-canceling headphones ever — do whatever you can to give your muse a fighting chance.

One of the tools I’ve found very useful in keeping the ADD at bay is an app called WriteRoom. I’ve been using it for years and have never been happier.

WriteRoom takes the bells and whistles of most writing apps and throws them out the window. No more worrying about how big your margins are, wrestling with an ungainly chart, or fiddling with your list-formatting. WriteRoom lets you focus on the task at hand so the words can spill out onto the screen. Just write. Worry about the formatting later.

The highlight of this app is its full-screen feature that blocks out everything on your monitor, freeing you from the bells and whistles of the entire internet. So it’s just you and your words. And you can finally complete a thought without any 140-character disruptions. You can set your background screen to whatever color you want too. You know, in case you feel like matching it to your mood. (Okay, that was a teeny bell. Or whistle.)

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WriteRoom is available on the Mac App Store or at http://www.hogbaysoftware.com/products/writeroom

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