OmmWriter: The Weirdest Writing Experience I've Had on a Computer

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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