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7 Tools That Help Writers Eliminate Distractions to Focus Better

Tools That Help Writers Eliminate Distractions to Focus Better As a writer, you would be able to relate to this: as easy and rosy as it sounds, it isn’t that easy after all. You decide to start writing one day, you are facing a block, you start pondering what to write [or you have just completed a few words], and you receive a notification from a social media site, and Bam!
The next thing you know is that you are scrolling through the Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram feeds. You blow up your writing time, and then you might have umpteen other priorities like office work, household chores, picking up children from school, playing with your pets, get-togethers to attend, communicating with friends/relatives over calls or messages. Or you might end up endlessly browsing or watching YouTube Videos.
You have lost the writing time for the day, but you recall a quote that says, “There is always a tomorrow” [Don’t know if any such quote exists though], and you feel relieved of the guilt and commits to taking up writing with seriousness the next day. What happens the next day? History repeats! :D Happens? Don’t worry! You aren’t alone.
Data by Statista shows that the average amount of time spent on Social media by internet users worldwide in 2020 is 145 minutes/day that is nearly 2.5 hours/day.

Procrastination, sort of, becomes a friend. Isn’t it? But what if there was a way to beat those distractions? Would that help in increasing your productivity while writing? I presume the answer is a Yes!

Here is a list of 7 Tools that can help you put your distractions away and stay focused on writing.

Cold Turkey:

Tools That Help Writers Eliminate Distractions to Focus Better

Created by Cold Turkey Software Inc., Cold Turkey claims to be ‘The Toughest Website Blocker on the Internet’; rightly so. In addition to blocking the standard distracting websites,
Cold Turkey enables you to block distracting applications, the whole internet, or even the complete computer. If you want to be strict with yourself and focus on achieving your writing goal, and you would not mind shutting yourself from any possible distraction while writing, Cold Turkey is for you.
It supports the blocks on all the major browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Brave, Opera, and Vivaldi. It certainly helps you go ‘cold turkey’ with your distractions.


Tools That Help Writers Eliminate Distractions to Focus Better

Created by Taiwan-based Seekrtech, you would love the concept of Forest if you love Environment (and who doesn’t?). Forest app encourages you to stay committed to your goal without distractions through the concept of planting a virtual tree. Until the time you continue working (as per the pre-set time & goal), the tree continues to grow.
If you get distracted and open a blocked website [you can mention the list of websites you get distracted with], and Ahem! Your tree dies. Well, this is motivating to not get distracted in your writing time.
If this wasn’t enough, they have partnered with a tree-plantation organization called Trees for the Future. The amount of virtual coins that the users spend on the app for planting trees, is donated to Trees for the Future.
They plant the real-trees. Forest has been a reason to plant more than 1 Mn trees, and the number is only growing.


Tools That Help Writers Eliminate Distractions to Focus Better

FocusWriter, as the name suggests, is a simple tool to enable you to cut out on the distractions and focus on your writing. It is available for Windows and Linux OS. It creates a distraction-free environment with a simple and clean word processor interface.
The interface helps you focus better on the writing at hand and helps ditch the distractions. There are no toolbars of windows when you go to the full-screen mode on FocusWriter. It contains minimalistic features like Find & Replace, Themes, Fonts, and so on.
The ribbon that appears by rolling over the mouse at the bottom of the window helps you with the basic information like title, word count, percentage of daily goal, and time.


Tools That Help Writers Eliminate Distractions to Focus Better

Similar to Cold Turkey, Freedom helps you block all types of distractions like websites, desktop apps, or the entire internet. But what’s more? Freedom is the only website, app, internet blocker that syncs the blocks across all your devices. Why? Because after blocking all the distractions from the desktop/laptop, the availability of mobiles and tabs still leaves a door open for the distractions.
A Facebook or Instagram notification on your mobile or the tab can distract you completely from your writing. Hence, it is pivotal to block all the distractions across all the devices with Freedom.
Do you feel that the functionality is contradictory to the name? Well, not! Blocking off the distractions helps with more freedom to write.

Tools That Help Writers Eliminate Distractions to Focus Better Squibler- The Most Dangerous Writing App:

Well, true to its tagline, Squibler is certainly ‘The Most Dangerous Writing App’. But what is dangerous about it?
It is a writing tool that deletes everything you have written until that time if you stopped writing for five seconds (or any other pre-determined time).
It's tagline says it all “Don’t stop writing, or all progress will be lost.”

So, if you are ready to challenge yourself or you want to break your Writer’s block, this web application is certainly for you.


Tools That Help Writers Eliminate Distractions to Focus Better

While the other platforms help you block the distracting websites, StayFocusd goes the other way around. With StayFocusd, you can set a time limit for browsing distracting websites.
While setting up an allowable time-limit, you could be very liberal with yourself blowing up the whole writing time in browsing the distracting websites.
If you are keen on achieving your writing goals, it is advisable to be strict with yourself and set up a lower time limit. Once the time limit is reached, you will be blocked from browsing those distracting sites and be able to stay focused on your writing goals.
StayFocusd is a chrome extension offered by Transfusion Media.


Tools That Help Writers Eliminate Distractions to Focus Better

Developed and launched by Freedom Labs, Pause is a Chrome extension that helps you stay focused on your goal. Pause comes with a list of 50 top distracting websites pre-seeded into the platform. You can edit the list or add more websites as per your requirement.
The uniqueness of ‘Pause’ over other platforms is that it creates a gentle interruption by displaying a green screen for 5 seconds when you open a distracting website while you are writing. It then gives you the option to either continue browsing the distracting site, retain the green screen, or close the tab.
It helps you stay more mindful of your browsing habits and help you control distraction while writing.


As a Writer, these tools would help you stay focused in the world full of distractions we live in. In this list, while some of the tools are chrome extensions, the others are desktop apps so that you can choose according to your requirement. Each of them are designed uniquely to enable you to stay committed to your writing goals. As a result, you would be able to accomplish more each day. Complete the manuscripts in the allocated time, which would then help in your book coming out sooner.

We hope that you find this list of tools for writers useful. If you happen to use/have already used any of them, we would love to know your experience in the comments below.

Image Credits:

Image 1: Image by Roco Julie on Flickr 

Image 2: Cold Turkey

Image 3: Forest

Image 4: FocusWriter

Image 5: Freedom

Image 6: Squibler
Image 7: StayFocusd
Image 8: Pause

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 6th December 2022.

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