Nobody I know has more utilities and applications for their Mac than me. I have over 100 only a finger tip away. Guess what?
I found I can only use one at a time so I’m ready to debunk the myth of multitasking with my Mac. I use Isolator to focus and get more done.
Here’s the problem. I rely on my Mac to handle more daily tasks than ever. My Mac has a single screen and, generally speaking, I can handle one application or utility at a time. Focus is an important key to productivity.
Who can focus with all that’s going on with Mac users these days? There’s email, web browsing, RSS feeds to read, reports to write, spreadsheets to, uh, well, spread. That’s for starters.
There’s music and movies and TV shows and live television and home movies and stock reports and weather reports and daily comics and Stickies and Dashboard Widgets and iChat and Skype. You get the picture, right?
There’s too much going on on screen. Enter Isolator.
This nifty little Mac utility sits in the menu bar and in one click it will get rid of all the open applications and utilities on your Mac and let you focus on the single task at hand. Trust me, that’s more difficult than it sounds, and it works better than you think.
Your Mac’s Apple menu has a similar function but doesn’t go quite far enough. For example, if you’re reading this in Safari or Firefox, click the Safari or Firefox menu selection in the Menu Bar. It’ll say ‘Safari’ or ‘Firefox.’
Midway through the menu selection you’ll see Hide Safari (Firefox), Hide Others, and Show All should be grayed out. Click on Hide Others and other open windows on your Mac disappear, including the Finder.
See? Suddenly many of your visible screen distractions just disappeared so now you can focus on just reading Mac360, right? Isolator does a couple of things better than Tiger or Leopard.
It’s all about being distraction free. Turn on Isolator and and your desktop, all the icons on the desktop, and any open applications and utilities disappear. Leopard users can also hide the Dock.
With the Dock and everything else out of the way you’re free to focus on whatever you really need to get done without a bunch of visual interruptions going on in, around or near whatever you’re doing at the time. This is a good thing.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about using a Mac through the years is that I can always find something else for my Mac to do. That’s a good thing. Trying to do a bunch of things all at the same time or in some kind of pseudo-multitasking Frankenactivity is fruitless. It doesn’t work.
Focus, focus, focus. It works. Try Isolator for a couple of hours while you’re on your Mac and then tell me how much better you feel because you’re able to focus on something to completion without being distracted.
Did I mention that Isolator is free? Free as in free beer, donationware.
Any caveats? Yes. First, Isolator is yet another utility to help us become more productive on our Macs.
Second, Isolator takes up space in the Menu Bar. This is yet another reason to have a widescreen Mac.
I now have 17 different functions on the right side of my Mac’s Menu Bar. I’m pretty sure I forgot what two or three of them actually do for me.
It took me a couple of hours to really see the beauty of what Isolator accomplishes. It helps me become a little more disciplined about working on my Mac and hides those little interruptions that distract me visually.
Are you asking more of your Mac these days? What do you do to keep yourself focused on the Mac task at hand? Share your experience in the Comments section below.