Distraction-Blocking Apps

When I was first researching bootcamps, I remember reading an article that gave tips and tricks for being successful. One of the suggestions was to get an app that blocks distractions while coding. I do have a tendency to check Reddit, Facebook, the news, etc. while I’m working. I intend to just spend a minute or two, but that can quickly turn into 30 minutes or more. I figured if I want to be successful at bootcamp, it couldn’t hurt to try these apps and see how useful they are.

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I checked out two of the more popular distraction-blocking apps: Cold Turkey and Freedom. Both are great and did exactly what I needed — they blocked certain web sites and applications for certain periods of time, removing the temptation of distraction. I liked Freedom better because it had an iOS app. At the moment, it appears that Cold Turkey supports Android but not iOS, whereas Freedom supports iOS but not Android. Based on which type of mobile device you have, either of these applications should be sufficient. (Note: At the moment, the Freedom iOS app does not block the Facebook app, but there is a note in the app saying that they are working on it.)

While both offer some limited functionality for free, they both require you to pay to get the full functionality. Cold Turkey offers a “Free” plan that you can use forever, but it only includes basic web site-blocking functionality. Freedom works more like a trial, where you get the full functionality but only a limited number of “sessions” (around 10 or so).

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Freedom gave me a coupon for 40% off, so I took advantage of that — for $17 and change, I bought a full year’s worth of Freedom. I am already finding this to be a good investment, as I’ve caught myself a few times going to pull up Reddit out of habit and seeing the green screen above with the butterfly gently reminding me to stay focused.

Freedom: https://freedom.to

Cold Turkey: https://getcoldturkey.com

Danny Poit is a web developer with experience in Ruby on Rails and Node.js and a background in film scoring. Grad of Firehose Project, Colt Steele, and Berklee.

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