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10 Online Apps for Better Focus

10 Online Apps for Better Focus

One area that many people currently struggle with is staying focused while working. There are so many distractions available that it can be difficult to keep your attention on the task at hand. Social media and other online pursuits can make it even harder to finish your tasks and do a great job. There are free apps that can help you have better focus. Here are 10 online apps that will help you to improve your mental focus.

1. StayFocused

stayfocused

    Official: StayFocused

    This online app is available for Chrome users. You will install it as an extension of Chrome. When you do you will select the websites that are your biggest time wasters and set the amount of time you are allowed on these sites during the day. Once you use up your time allotment, those sites will be blocked so you can concentrate on working.

    2. LazyMeter

    LazyMeter

      Official: LazyMeter

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      This is an online to-do list that allows you to track your progress and cross off items. It has a graphic interface that makes it easier to see how you are doing on reaching your daily goals. Since it is online, you can access from your mobile device or your computer, which means you do not need to worry about transferring your to-do list between devices.

      3. Wunderlist

      Wonderlist

        Official: Wonderlist

        This is another online to-do list that allows you to create and track your to-do list. It allows you to schedule tasks in advance and to divide the tasks between areas of your life. If you embrace this to-do list, you will never again be frantically wondering if you have forgotten to do something, which will increase your ability to focus on the tasks at hand.

        4. LeechBlock

        leechblock

          Official: LeechBlock

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          This is an add-on for Firefox that is similar to stay focused. It allows you to choose which sites you need to block as well as when and how long you need to block them to stay focused on your job. This can be really helpful especially if you easily fall prey to Reddit or a similar site where you can spend hours sifting through the posts.

          5. Lumosity

          Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 4.34.47 PM

            Official: Lumosity

            If you feel like your attention span is shrinking and that you do not have the memory that you used to, you should consider signing up for online brain games that are designed to help you improve your mental focus. Lumosity is one game that is designed to help you improve your brain function as you play every day. This game is a like a personal trainer for your brain.

            6. Fit Brains

            fit brains 2

              Official: Fit Brains

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              Fit Brains is another brain training site that will help you identify the areas that you can work to improve. This site will help you with your mental focus and your attention span. It will also identify the areas that you need to work on the most and will help with memory, logic, and concentration as well as other areas.

              7. Self Control

              self control

                Official: Self Control

                This free app is a great way to really focus on the task at hand. It blocks service to incoming and outgoing servers for the amount of time you set. This is great if you have a tight deadline or you need to block the Internet while you work on your projects during the day.

                8. Focus Booster

                focus booser

                  Official: Focus Booster

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                  This is another free app that works to help you improve your focus while you are working. It uses the Pomodoro technique to help you maintain the focus. This technique has you work in twenty-five minute increments with a five-minute break between each. After four sessions, you should take a longer break. This app consists of a timer that you can use to help you time and schedule your breaks.

                  9. Anti- Social

                  anti social

                    Official: Anti- Social

                    This app is designed to block all of the social networking sites from your computer. You can customize your list so that you it fits your needs. Additionally, you can set the timer for how long you want the sites blocked. This is a great tool if you have a hard time saying no to Facebook, or you feel like you need to check your Twitter account constantly.

                    10. Concentrate

                    eliminate distraction

                      Official: Concentrate

                      This is a task-centered app that allows you to block certain websites and applications based on the tasks that you are doing. This means that if you need to work on social media, you can have certain sites available while blocking the sites that are distracting you. This is very customizable and will work well if you have a number of different types of tasks that you do for your job.

                       

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                      Published on September 20, 2018

                      11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                      11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                      In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                      Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                      In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                      Minimizing Tabs

                      Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                      Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                      Incognito Mode

                      Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                      1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                      2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                      3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                      This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                      Save Webpages as PDF Files

                      Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                      Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                      Open Recently-closed Tabs

                      Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                      One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                      The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                      Solve Mathematical Problems

                      Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                      For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                      Play Media Files

                      Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                      In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                      Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                      With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                      Stay Focus(e)d

                      Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                      Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                      With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                      This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                      Grammarly for Editing

                      Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                      You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                      Loom

                      There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                      There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                      With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                      Chrome Calendar Extension

                      No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                      Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                      Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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