Focus Bear for Desktop

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The iOS app is still in beta (but it works pretty well). It's a two-step process to download the app:

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2

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Focus Bear vs. Freedom: What’s the Best Way to Block Distractions When You Want to do Deep Work?

Comparison
Sep 21, 2022
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Table of Contents

Studies show that productivity apps don’t only stop distractions and increase productivity; they can improve the overall quality of your work, and time management while tracking progress to reflect on.

Productivity tools like Freedom and Focus Bear are known for having useful features to block distractions in your life. But which app excels when we are doing deep work?

Let’s go through this detailed analysis of Focus bear and Freedom apps to decide the winner in the distraction blocker and productivity category.

Focus Bear

Available across MacOS, Windows, Android and iOS, Focus Bear boosts productivity in everyday life and prevents distractions. Some features that might be useful to block distractions during a deep work session are:

Distraction Blocker

Focus Bear offers you the choice of blocking individual distractions or blocking the entire internet except the sites you added as exceptions. This “allow list” approach is more effective and less tedious than blocking only distractible sites.

Productive Habits and Routines

You can set a customized morning, evening, and night routine after installing the app. Focus Bear will prompt you to set your goals for the entire day, including computer use hours.

The app will then notify you in the morning to start your routine by covering your entire phone and computer screen.

This approach to habit stacking will minimize willpower and make your life easier and more productive.

Tracking Process and Other Metrics

While you are using your computer to do your work, Focus Bear will automatically track your progress for the day, including the tasks you completed and the distractions you encountered.

You can further use the app to log your activities. For instance, you can log how many pushups you did after setting a 30 seconds timer for that activity.

It will also track your progress over time.

Automated Breaks

Focus Bear’s built-in automated break timer will notify you at regular (20 minutes is recommended) intervals to do stretches, deep breathing, pull-ups, or other exercises to prevent burn-out and increase productivity.

You can choose to postpone a break any time if necessary and switch to “office mode” to avoid prompts to do pull-ups in your workplace.

Freedom

Freedom is a subscription-based service that blocks websites and apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Chrome. Let’s review how this tool works:

Blocking the Internet

With Freedom, you can choose to block all websites or block the internet to prevent distractions. You can take a step further and block apps, games, and news as well.

Sync Across Devices

Freedom automatically syncs across all devices you are using to block distractions, so you don’t have to add and delete a session when switching devices. You can also customize and tag websites and apps to collectively block a certain group of distractions.

Scheduling

Schedule and manage your day with Freedom’s scheduled sessions. After blocking sites and apps that will hinder your work, the app’s scheduling features make sure you can manage time and utilize it properly.

Which App is Better for Deep Work?

Freedom and Focus Bear have different philosophies to blocking apps. Freedom has a block-list approach where you either need to block the whole internet or specify which websites you want to block. This can work for many people but for highly distractible people, block lists don’t really work because there are infinite distractions on the internet. Focus Bear’s allow list approach may be a better fit for people who struggle with distractions. Although Freedom has a “website exceptions” feature where you can set up a semi-allow list, it is relatively hard to use and doesn’t support multiple different work profiles.

Furthermore, Focus Bear comes with habit formation and healthy break features. Given that Freedom costs more than Focus Bear ($6.99/month vs $5/month) and has fewer features, Focus Bear may be a more compelling option.

At the end of the day, you’ll need to try out the apps to make a decision yourself. Here are the links to try them out: focusbear.io and freedom.to

Comparison
Sep 21, 2022

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