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[Mac OS X] Reduce your digital distractions with Obtract, a part productivity, part game app
Posted By Tucker On April 7, 2013 @ 12:56 AM In Mac OS X | No Comments
There are all kinds of apps the aim to reduce distraction. Lots of writers gravitate towards these apps, where a word processor will take up the entirety of your screen to keep you focused. But what do you do if you do most of your work in a browser window, or in some sort of software or program? The only option for staying focused under those circumstances is simple: tracking your time at your computer with as much vigilance as possible. One Mac app that will help reduce digital distractions and track how you spend your time at your computer is Obtract, developed by Signifier Studio.
Obtract is a Mac app that reduces your digital distractions. In addition to keeping you focused, the app offers a detailed breakdown of which programs, applications, and websites are dominating your time at your computer.
Obtract is a simple little app that runs in the background while you work. The app tracks what sites, programs, and apps you have in the foreground in active use. The app itself is very simple to use and navigate, and you can see plenty of helpful visualizations that make you accountable for how you spend your time.
It is up to the user to mark a site or application as “productive” or “distracting.” If you haven’t specified this ruling for a site, one of those tricky green mazes will pop up: the app has a tendency to assume that most sites are distracting until you tell it otherwise.
I like the idea of the maze: solve the maze, and you earn 5 minutes of time on a “distracting” site as a reward. However, it is arguably too easy for users to get around these mazes: you can mark a site as “productive” when it’s not, or dismiss the maze window by opening another active window or app. I also encountered a few mazes that couldn’t be solved, simply because the maze controls weren’t functional.
Despite a few minor annoyances, Obtract really is a useful app if you want to become more self-aware about your computer habits. This app helped to curb my own “procrasti-surfing” tendencies, and it is a helpful way to track how much of your work day you spending actually working.
Version reviewed: 1.0.1
Requires OS X 10.6 or later
Download size: 0.6 MB
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URL to article: http://dottech.org/103398/mac-os-x-review-obtract/
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 Obtract on Mac App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/om/app/obtract/id487103499?mt=12
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