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Summary:

Eliminating distraction is a constant concern for the at-home worker. My PS3 is around three feet from my workstation, and the TV is just another foot beyond that. When I want to sit down and do some writing, I’ll try anything to make sure my attention […]

Eliminating distraction is a constant concern for the at-home worker. My PS3 is around three feet from my workstation, and the TV is just another foot beyond that. When I want to sit down and do some writing, I’ll try anything to make sure my attention stays focused where it should.

That includes OmmWriter, a new writing application for the Mac. It promises a very unique experience, one that aims to reduce distraction and enable you to maintain your focus. Part of that strategy is full-screen text editing, which has been done before, but that’s only the beginning of OmmWriter’s story.

The other part of the story? A snow-covered field, white-out conditions, and a couple of lonely looking trees. And a soundtrack of calming, ambient instrumental music. I was watching “Glee” when I tried the app out for the first time, so I initially thought a musical number was starting up, but then I realized that the sounds were coming from my computer speakers. I can honestly say it’s the first time a word processor has played me music.

When you first boot up OmmWriter, it displays a splash screen that lets you know that it’s best to experience the program using headphones for a more immersive effect. I dutifully followed the instructions using my Apple in-ear headphones, and sure enough, I felt more like I was lost in a world of composition.

If you’re not keen on the default backdrop and music, you can change both. Two other backdrops are available, including a fabric pattern, and a completely white one. Both are preferable to the field image in my opinion, since they have no real focal point to distract the eye. There are also seven different background soundtracks to choose from. OmmWriter remembers your choice, too, so you won’t have to reconfigure your work space with every boot.

I know what you’re thinking. OmmWriter sounds weird. And it is, but it’s also different. Unique, in fact. It’s rare to come across a word processor at this stage that can make the same claim. I really recommend giving it a shot, even if you’re skeptical after reading this. You may just find it’s exactly what you need to stay on track and write something great.

OmmWriter is currently available as a free beta, though you’ll have to sign up at the site with your email address to get the download link.

Has OmmWriter helped improve your focus?

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  1. Julius Solaris Friday, November 27, 2009

    I just used it today for the first time and yeah it does help to focus. Provided you turn down Growl notifications.

  2. Shevonne Polastre Friday, November 27, 2009

    I am going to have to check this out cause I am easily distracted.

  3. Jared Goralnick Friday, November 27, 2009

    This looks pretty awesome! I love the idea of creating a more immersive experience for any purpose, but this is a very creative reason to do it. If only it were on Windows 7 (yeah, I’m sure you don’t hear that very often)…

  4. Thanks nice post, however a professional writer doesn’t describe something as “very unique” it is unique or it isn’t !!!

    1. …and yet there are levels of infinity, which makes me think that levels of uniqueness might not be too much of a stretch.

      Just a thought.

  5. Sabrina Raileanu Friday, November 27, 2009

    I just loooooooove it. I forget everything about everything that surrounds me when I use it. It’s like yoga for writing. And the music is so convincing that it takes me away into the ambiance. Pages and Word will gather dust in the next months, I bet.

  6. What can Ommwriter do for you today? « Ommwriter Tuesday, December 1, 2009

    [...] Ommwriter, the weirdest writing experience I’ve had on a computer (read post here) by Darrell Etherington of Web Worker Daily. [...]

  7. Awesome experience! Been starting it up just for the calm feeling! Highly approve.

  8. You can try a Windows clon at http://www.creawriter.com

    CreaWriter is a full screen distraction free text editor. You can change background image and ambient sound to adapt it.

    Just feel free to download it and give a try!

  9. TeuxDeux: A Simple and Elegant To-do Service Thursday, January 14, 2010

    [...] So it was with great excitement I found Digitizd’s recent post, “9 Tools for Simple Productivity,” which highlights Fictive Kin’s TeuxDeux, a bare-bones, elegantly designed and eminently usable list -based task manager, which also incorporates a “someday list.” (The post also discusses Ommwriter, a tool that was recently covered here at WWD). [...]

  10. I’ve been using it for a little while, and it really has helped getting back to writing.

    Additionally, the program now pauses your growl notifications, so you don’t have to worry about that.

    Furthermore, and perhaps the finishing touch for me, is the keyboard sound options. (Particularly the old fashioned typewriter one).

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