Allie Theiss: Seven Apps That Help Deal with Distractions

by Allie Theiss

You’re a writer – right? You must be if you’ve come here to TVWriter™’s little online slice of TV heaven.

However, you’re reading this post instead of writing. Does that often happen to you? You get distracted and wind up doing everything but actual writing?

I know I have a serious distraction problem.

With Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, the distractions are never ending. Plus, I have 21 cats, two dogs, and a teenager. My life is a distraction.

I’ve tried the setting the kitchen timer trick. I became too lazy to go into the kitchen and get the timer after week one.

I’ve tried taking Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix off my phone. I watch them instead on my tablet.

I’ve listened to music to keep the distractions down. However, this only allowed me to daydream enough to create other stories before I finished the one that sat in front of me.

I’m not even going to bother telling you how long it’s taken me to write this article. It’s too embarrassing.

What I will tell you about are the apps I finally found that give me a distraction-free zone. Here’s a short list of those that work for me:

Favorite Sound-Based Apps

1) Noisli 2.0: Drowns out distractions with ambient sounds, allowing you to concentrate and focus on your project. It also has a productivity timer and distraction free text editor.

Available: online, play store, app store, Chrome

Cost: free online/Chrome, paid apps

2) Brain.FM: This AI-generated music is fantastic for concentration and focus. Brain.FM claims that it only takes minutes to feel the difference.

Available: online, app store

Cost: free & paid

Favorite Block Distraction Apps

1) StayFocused: Manage distractions by adding the sites to a block list. StayFocused is the app to allow yourself a set amount of time to be distracted.

Available: Chrome

Cost: free

2) Freedom: Same company as StayFocused. You can block sites on a timer or do so manually. If need be, you can block out the Internet altogether. Select your devices. Schedule time. Distractions blocked.

Available: iPhone and iPad, plus all browsers on Windows and Mac.

Cost: paid

Favorite To-Do Apps

1) Wunderlist: An excellent planning and to-do app that allows you to make lists, get reminders, and work with collaborators. Access to-do lists through a variety of devices. (Rumor has it that TVWriter™’s very own LB uses this.)

Available: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, Windows, Kindle Fire and the Web.
Cost: free + paid (unless you want to collaborate, free will do everything you need.)

2) Todoist: Todoist is another to-do app that allows you to make lists, schedule reminders, and play nice with others. This app also prides itself on having a distraction-free environment when in use.

Available: web, Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and email.

Cost: free

Favorite Pomodoro Timer App

1) Focus Booster: If setting a timer is the best way to have focus, this is your app. Focus Booster gives you instant focus, keeps track of your time with timesheets, and trains you to have better work habits.

Available: web, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android

Cost: free for 30 days, then starts at $2.99/month

Sometimes it takes a whole village of apps to make us distraction-free. This is mine. Please let me know what you’ve picked when you find yours.


A big TVWriter™ welcome to Allie Theiss, a new TVWriter™ contributor and one of Larry Brody’s “Recommended Writers.” Check out her daily Story Prompts, Book Marketing ideas, and Script Magic on Instagram