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Do you have any applications that help you to be more productive? I've just discovered two, developed by the same person:

Freedom (contrary to the URL, this is for both Mac or Windows)http://macfreedom.com/

Freedom is a simple productivity application that locks you away from the internet on Mac or Windows computers for up to eight hours at a time. Freedom frees you from distractions, allowing you time to write, analyze, code, or create. At the end of your offline period, Freedom allows you back on the internet. You can download Freedom immediately for 10 dollars, and a free trial is available.

Freedom enforces freedom; you'll need to reboot if you want to get back online while Freedom's running. The hassle of rebooting means you're less likely to cheat, and you'll enjoy enhanced productivity. If you need to be productive, Freedom might be the best 10 dollars you'll ever spend.

Anti-Social (this one's Mac-only)


When work needs to get done, our friends are often our biggest distraction. The endless stream of Facebook posts and Tweets compete for our attention, robbing us of productivity. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to turn off your friends when you’re trying to get work done?

This is the inspiration behind Anti-Social, a neat little productivity application for Macs that turns off the social parts of the internet. Simply tell Anti-Social how long you’d like to be antisocial (up to 8 hours), and the software will lock you away from top social sites, as well as sites you specify, so you can get work done.

I've downloaded Anti-Social so that I can try the free trial this week (it's finals week for us; we're on the quarter system). It seems especially useful for writing papers, as it only blocks the distracting parts of the Internet; one can still do research online.

EDIT: I've also heard tale told of an application that tracks how much time you spend on different tasks on your computer (or maybe it was on different sites on the Internet). Sound familiar to anyone? The cultivation of shame might be useful for me as well. :P

Edited by runonsentence
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I just downloaded Self-Control (http://visitsteve.com/made/selfcontrol/) for macs. It is free and open-source. There is a black list function where you list all the websites you won't have access to, and a white list function where you only have access to the websites you list. This can function as your anti-social in the black list feature or as freedom works by having a blank whitelist. It also doesn't work to restart your computer - you say 2 hours, those websites are blocked for 2 hours!

I only just downloaded it but I like free!

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Just to clarify: restarting is only necessary when using Freedom or Antisocial if you want to have access to the Internet/social web before the timer runs out. So if I set my Anti-social timer for two hours but decide I want to cheat, I'd have to restart in order to turn off the program.

But it's great to know there's an open-source version out there as well.

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I have a bunch of apps for Mac that I use for academic work, which I detailed in another thread. Generally, my workflow consists of Papers, OmniOutliner, Scrivener, and Word to which I'd add Evernote.

However, I want a note-organizing app in which I can include reviews and summaries of all my readings. I figure that by the time I get through reading for my orals, I'll have a nice database going. I initially tried DevonThink Pro, but stopped using it. Does anyone have any experience with Tinderbox or Twig?

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This thread ( ) has some pretty useful apps for the IPad listed. It could probably use a bump though.

Ah. Actually, I was thinking more specifically of apps that minimize distractions in some way. (Should have been clearer about that!)

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