Trends come and go but basics to not change overnight. It wasn’t that long ago when distraction free writing apps became all the rage. Distraction free, at least to me, was a euphemism for ‘not too many features.’
Regardless, there’s something worthwhile to the distraction free trend because today’s Mac screens are swimming with a veritable digital ocean of apps, alarms, alerts, notifications, bouncing icons, numeric badges, and more open app windows than ever. What can you do to avoid the distractions and get some work done?
Control The Focus
A couple of years ago I came across HazeOver, a simple, elegant Mac utility, priced right, which does basically one thing, and one thing only. It puts a light haze over everything else on the Mac’s screen except what you’re working on at the moment. Whatever the active and frontmost window is, that’s clear as a bell, ready to use.
Think about the possibilities here. Because everything else is in the background, and shaded in a haze of translucent grayscale, the app window you’re working on jumps out at you with remarkable clarity and focus.
Instead of your eyes straying from what you’re working on at the moment, all those background app windows sort of fade away, out of the way visually, until you click to bring them to the front, then the haze disappears.
Here’s how it looks while checking out a preference control. The foremost app window is crystal clear, everything else is dimmed.
HazeOver is positively absolutely exactly the kind of feature option you’d like to see in OS X, but have to use a third party utility to get. The app comes with a few configurations to customize the appearance with haze intensity (or lack of), and how much and how fast the haze fades background windows into, well, the background. Go soft and mild dim, or go positively translucent charcoal.
Whatever setting you choose, HazeOver makes it easier to focus on the task and apps at hand, and not be distracted– visually– by all the open app windows running in the background.
Nicely done. Inexpensive. Easy to setup and use, but it takes a bit of getting used to even though the hazing works perfectly when switching from one foreground app to another.