Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Distraction-Free Blogging

Do you love to blog but often have difficulty thinking of what to write about? Then you're like me. Often when an idea comes along, I'm not in front of a computer. Or maybe you're the spur-of-the-moment type (also like me) that even if you manage to jot down or type a draft of your post, once you get in from of a computer, you get 2nd thoughts about posting it.

It's nice to see that programmers know about these roadblocks and have made software that motivates focusing on getting ideas onto blogs. I've come across 2 such programs. Both are for Mac OSX but I'm sure there are some for Windows and Linux as well.

The first one I've tried is WriteRoom. It's premise is simple. It give you a complete blank black screen and a blinking rectangular cursor like those of the extinct DOS operating system. Text is colored green (customizable) and there's nothing else on the screen to distract you.

VERDICT: WriteRoom was a bit effective. Somehow starting a blank black screen and a blinking cursor made the obsessive-compulsive part of me want to fill it up with something.

The second one I got to try was Ommwriter. I think the developers got the idea from a spa - mixing relaxing visuals with soothing music. This time the default screen is a snowscape one with added ambient music in the background. There are also sounds for each typed character - something like waterdrops producing a meditational effect for writing.

VERDICT: I found OmmWriter a lot better than WriteRoom. Using earphones, noise from the outside and even from my head seem to lessened and I can focus only on my post. I'd like more choices of background since I prefer the dark background of WriteRoom. But overall, OmmWriter makes it easier for me to focus on what I'm writing.
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