The battle against distractions is real.
It can be tough to stay focused during the day, especially when you’re working on a computer.
Between meetings, phone calls, and emails, it’s hard to find time to focus on the task at hand. You might be distracted by notifications, social media, or other tools that are designed to keep you occupied.
In this article, we’ll discuss 23 different tools and apps that can improve your concentration.
The following list includes a variety of different options, from desktop applications to smartphone apps.
Brain.fm is a freemium app that helps improve concentration through scientifically designed sounds.
It comes with different categories to choose from. Some of them are Focus, Memory, and Sleep.
You may also use custom tracks if you want the best results while listening to your favorite music to stay focused on work or study tasks for longer periods than normally possible without these tools.
Tools like this can be very useful when working as an online writer (for example) since it’s important not only to have good writing skills, but also great productivity habits which enable us to produce high-quality content regularly.
Key Features of Brain.fm
- Battle-tested soundtracks for focus
- Patented technology
- A variety of genres and moods to choose from
Brain.fm offers a 3-day free trial. The monthly premium plan costs $6.99.
Headspace is a meditation app that helps you stay calm and focused throughout the day.
It functions as an audio guide to mindfulness, with tools designed for everyone from beginners to experts in this area.
This tool can be one of the most useful tools available for individuals wanting to improve their focus at work or during study sessions.
And besides staying focused, it also allows you to reduce stress and sleep better with their guided meditation techniques and calming sounds.
Key Features of Headspace
- Provides audio guides for mindfulness and focus
- Suitable for beginners to experts
- Designed to help you stay calm and focused throughout the day
Headspace offers a free trial for 7–14 days depending on the plan to choose. The annual subscription costs around $69.99.
RescueTime tracks the time that you spend on your computer.
This information can help individuals understand how they’re spending their day, and tools such as this could be a great way to stay focused while working.
RescueTime is a simple yet effective productivity tool that helps you track your daily activities.
It allows you to work more efficiently by knowing how much time each task takes and having an overview of what apps/websites are taking away most of your productive hours during the day.
Key Features of RescueTime
- Keeps track of time spent on applications and websites
- Tracks the daily activity of specific apps
- Provide tools to improve productivity
RescueTime offers a 2-week free trial. The premium version costs $6.50/month.
SelfControl is an app for Mac OS that allows users to block certain websites for a set amount of time.
This can be helpful for individuals who are struggling to stay focused due to distractions from the Internet.
SelfControl lets you block distracting websites and keep them blocked for as long as you want.
It’s perfect for people who need a little help staying away from social media, shopping, or anything else that takes away focus from work or studying.
You simply add the website addresses you want to block into the program, set how long you want them to be inaccessible, and hit start. Once the timer runs out, they’ll automatically open again.
Key Features of SelfControl App
- Blocking websites for a specified amount of time
- Add exceptions to some sites
- The reset timer features whenever you break the rule
SelfControl is open-source and free software for all MacOS users.
5. Cold Turkey
Cold Turkey is a perfect substitute for SelfControl, however, it’s available on Mac, Linux, and Windows, and lets you block the Internet.
It blocks all access to distracting websites (or any other tools) so you can stay focused on your work, study or whatever needs attention at the time.
It even allows users to set a timer for how long they want their computer blocked as well as create custom blocks.
Cold Turkey lets you focus on one task without any distractions for a set amount of time.
Key Features of Cold Turkey
- Blocks the whole computer and Internet when needed
- Create custom blocks with different websites or tools
- Schedule your blocks in advance
- Statistics and numbers for every app used
The app is free for 7 days, then the price of a lifetime premium version is a one-time fee of around $22.72.
Nudgemail is a simple app that sends you an email every hour.
The content of the email can be anything, but it forces users to write at least one sentence per session. This helps individuals focus on their work and stay productive throughout the day.
It is an easy way to keep yourself focused by writing emails that go out once each hour while working (or studying).
You have no excuse not to write something when nudged with “I sent this in response”. It’s like having someone ask you questions or comment on what you are doing every 60 minutes!
Key Features of Nudgemail
- Self email automation
- Can be used for work or studying
- Your best accountability partner
- Also works as a reminder app
Nudgemail is free to use.
Spaces app helps break up your screen into different sections to help with multitasking in a more healthy manner.
It’s perfect for when you need to have multiple windows open at once or want to keep certain tasks separated.
You can also use it as a distraction-free writing environment by turning off all of the bells and whistles.
Its interface is easy on the eyes and helps you jot down your ideas with utmost focus. With over 15 templates to choose from, you can ease your eyes by choosing the colors that soothe you.
Some of its other cool features like smart toolbar smartly suggest tabs based on the time you spent on attending them.
Key Features of Spaces
- Stay focused while writing
- Archive, pin and even mark as read
- Flexible export options
The app is free to download and use for all Apple users.
Eidetic is a memory app for iOS that helps you improve mental recall and concentration by practicing different exercises that test your retention of information at various levels – from simple shapes to complex images in scenes with multiple objects.
Be it remembering certain notes for your upcoming exams or recalling a special phone number; Eidetic helps you do what they call spaced repetition.
With Eidetic, you can increase your retention level and boost your focus by saving time on remembering important stuff.
Key Features of Eidetic
- Remember crucial information for a longer time
- Improve your brain and memory power
- Save time with the sober interface
Eidetic has a free and premium version on the App store. The premium plan is available for around $6.
StayFocusd is a handy extension for Google Chrome that lets you control the amount of time you spend on distracting websites like Facebook, Reddit, and YouTube.
It helps keep your life productive by limiting your use of certain sites during working hours or whenever needed.
You can set how long a person should be blocked from visiting any website as well as add custom websites to block too.
With StayFocusd, you can do things like track time spent on each website. See stats and reports of how much you’ve been hindered by distracting websites.
Key Features of StayFocusd
- Spend less time on unproductive tools
- Set up different times in which to block specific tools
- Add exceptions when necessary (like if there’s something important)
- Get statistics about how many times you were distracted
The extension is free to use and install.
Cognifit is a brain training app for iOS and Android that helps improve your focus, concentration, and memory.
It comes with different tools depending on what you’re looking to achieve:
- Focus – train your attention span.
- Concentration – get better at multitasking while doing certain tasks (for example, reading a book).
- Memory – develop the ability to remember things in general.
These tools help you grow as an individual by helping promote positive habits like regular exercise, eating healthy food, or even meditation.
You can also take quizzes to test yourself after using each tool individually so you know where exactly you stand before moving on to another one.
Key Features of Cognifit
- Improve cognitive abilities through scientific workouts
- Track your progress
- Personalized tools for each cognitive ability
- Quiz yourself to see how you’ve improved over time.
The app is available for free on the App Store and Google Play. You can also upgrade to a basic premium subscription for $19.99/month.
Noisli is a great app to use when you’re concentrating on a task and want some background noise to keep yourself from external distractions.
You can mix sounds together for the ultimate white noise experience or just choose from its library of nature tools (e.g., rain, wind, forest stream, etc.)
It also comes with tools like custom generators which let you create your own ambient sound.
Another functionality is a timer that helps you set up breaks in between so that there’s no burnout.
Similarly, there are many features that mesmerize the process of your work.
Key Features of Noisli
- Get background noise for concentration
- Customizable soundtracks
- Timer to set breaks between work
- Mix different sounds together
Noisli has a free and premium version. The Pro version for individual users is available for $10/month and the Business version for teams starts from $24/month (when billed annually).
Besides using it to break bad habits, Forest is a great app to use if you’re finding it difficult to concentrate on one thing at a time.
It works by restricting access to distracting tools for the duration that you set up and increasing your focus time instead of activities like reading or exercising.
The app plants a virtual tree every time you resist the temptation to use your phone and stay on track.
If you leave the app or quit the assigned task, your tree will die.
This is an interesting way of motivating people as it creates a sense of responsibility (you’re not just harming yourself, but also that little virtual tree).
Key Features of Forest
- Stay focused by planting trees
- Motivational elements
- Earn rewards for staying on track
Forest is free to download on the App Store and Google Play.
Calm is a mindfulness and meditation app that aims to help you live a more productive, stress-free life.
One way it does this is by teaching you how to meditate through its library of tools and exercises.
It also has a section on sleep which helps improve the quality of your slumber.
The app comes with different features like guided meditations, breathing exercises, unguided meditations, bedtime stories (for kids and adults), and soundscapes.
You can customize your experience by selecting sessions based on duration (short, medium, or long), topic or mood.
Key Features of Calm
- Learn how to meditate with tools and exercises
- Get better sleep with its section on sleep
- Separate music playlists for focus and concentration
- Customize your experience
Calm is available as a freemium app on Google Play as well as App Store. You can also upgrade to a premium subscription which starts from $14.99/month. The lifetime membership costs $399.99.
AdBlock is a popular ad blocker that allows you to surf the Web without any interruptions from ads.
It’s a Google Chrome extension that’s easy to install and use.
Once it’s activated, it’ll remove all the ads from the websites you visit.
This can be really helpful if you’re trying to focus on a task and don’t want any distractions, as it also creates a seamless browsing experience for you.
Key Features of AdBlock
- Remove ads from Web pages
- Easy installation and use
- Filter by country or language
- Whitelist sites so they can show you ads (optional)
AdBlock is available for free on the Chrome Web Store.
Freedom is an app that helps you break free from distractions so you can focus on your work.
It blocks websites and apps for a set period, which can be helpful if you’re struggling to concentrate or need some time away from social media.
You can also use it to block certain times of the day when you don’t want any distractions (e.g., nighttime).
Once Freedom is activated, it’ll stop all Internet traffic on your device until the timer runs out.
Key Features of Freedom
- Block websites and apps for a set amount of time
- Set timers for different periods of the day
- Create profiles with different settings
Freedom has a monthly plan of $8.99 and is available on the App Store and Google Play.
Momentum is an app that helps you stay focused and motivated throughout the day.
It’s a Chrome extension that replaces your new tab page with a personalized dashboard of tools and resources.
This can be really helpful if you’re trying to break bad habits or need some inspiration to get started on your work.
Some of the features include a daily focus, to-do list, weather report, recent notifications, bookmarks, and most visited pages.
You can also add widgets for things like your calendar, achievements, goals, and streaks.
Key Features of Momentum
- Daily focus
- Minimal to-do list
- Weather report
- Easy access to bookmarks
Momentum is a free app on the Chrome Web Store. You can also upgrade to a Plus plan which starts from $3.33/month.
17. Just Read
Just Read is a Google Chrome extension that helps you focus on your reading.
It removes all distractions from the Web pages you’re reading, such as comments, social media buttons, and related articles.
This can be really helpful if you want to read an article in peace without any interruptions.
Just Read also has a feature called “Reader Mode” which formats the webpage for easy reading.
Key Features of Just Read
- Remove distractions from Web pages
- Reader Mode formatting Web pages for easy reading
- Theme alteration
- Read articles quickly
Just Read is available as a freemium app on the Chrome Web Store. You can also upgrade to a premium subscription which costs $1/month.
OneTab is a Google Chrome extension that helps you declutter your tabs.
It converts all of your opened tabs into a list of links, which can be really helpful if you’re struggling to keep track of them.
This can also free up memory on your device and help improve performance.
You can easily restore any tab by clicking on it from the OneTab list.
With OneTab helping you keep your tabs clean and organized, it becomes easy for your eyes to focus and double down on a few essential elements.
Key Features of OneTab
- Converts all open tabs into a list of links
- Saves memory and improves performance
- Easily restore tabs
OneTab is free as well as ad-free.
Coffitivity is a great app for people who want to focus on their work, but find it difficult to concentrate in silence.
It is an app that recreates the ambient sounds of a coffee shop.
The app has three different sound settings: “Morning Murmur,” “University Undertones,” and “Lunchtime Lounge.”
You can also choose to listen to one of these sounds or create your own mix.
The sounds embedded in the app are thoroughly experimented with to give better results regarding increments in focus and concentration.
Key Features of Coffitivity
- Ambient sounds of a coffee shop
- Three different sound settings
- Create your own mix
Coffitivity is available for free on the App Store and Google Play. However, there are in-app purchases for additional sound packs.
20. Mind Node
Mind Node is a mind mapping app that can be really helpful for people who want to brainstorm and take notes.
With MindNode you can create a map of your thoughts and ideas. You can also add images, links, and tasks to your nodes.
MindNode can help you focus by allowing you to brainstorm and take notes.
The app has a built-in task manager so you can keep track of what you need to do. You can also share your maps with other people or export them as PDFs or images.
Key Features of MindNode
- Create mind maps of your thoughts and ideas
- Add images, links, and tasks to nodes
- Share maps with others
- Export as PDFs or images
MindNode has a free version and a 14-day free trial for the Plus plan. It’s available for $19.99/year on the App Store and Google Play.
LeechBlock is a browser add-on that helps you focus on your work by blocking time-wasting websites.
LeechBlock can be used to focus on a variety of different tasks.
You can create custom blocklists for websites or use one of LeechBlock’s pre-made lists.
The app also has a “Focus Mode” which blocks all distractions and only allows you to access blocked websites.
LeechBlock is perfect for people who want to focus on their work, but find it difficult to resist website distractions.
Key Features of LeechBlock
- Create custom blocklists for websites
- Use premade lists or create your own
- Focus Mode blocks all distractions
Leechblock is free to use.
Clockwise is an app that helps you stay productive by tracking the time you spend on different tasks.
With Clockwise you can track your time usage for a variety of activities, such as work, studying, or socializing.
It can help you focus by tracking the time you spend on different tasks. The app also has a “Daily Report” which shows you how much time you’ve spent on each activity over the past day, week, or month.
This can help you identify which activities are taking up the most time and allow you to focus accordingly.
Key Features of Clockwise
- Focus mode
- Track time usage for different activities
- Daily Report
Clockwise is free to use with limited features. The full version costs $5/month.
Things is a task management app that can help you stay organized and focused.
With Things, you can create to-do lists, schedule tasks, and set reminders. You can also track your progress on different tasks and share them with other people.
Things app is perfect for people who want to focus on their work by staying organized and keeping track of their progress.
Its design is easy for the eyes and helps you get things done with utmost focus. There’s flexibility regarding widgets to dabble with and benefit from all its features.
Key Features of Things
- Create to-do lists
- Schedule tasks
- Set reminders
- Track progress on tasks
Things offer a free trial. The premium app is available for $9.99 on the App Store.
If you are desperately looking for tools to help improve your concentration, these 23 apps and tools are a great place to start.
Try out some of the apps that sound most interesting to you and see how they can help you stay focused during your working hours.
With a little practice, you may find that using these tools helps you be more productive and achieve better results.
Each tool or app has its own unique set of features, so be sure to find one that fits your needs. And, most importantly, don’t forget to use it!