April 14, 2019

I need help finding an advanced distraction blocker app

Harry Whelchel @harrywhelchel

Hey y'all,

I'm looking for an app like https://heyfocus.com/ that has a bit more advanced capabilities.

Basically I'd like to be able to block a class of websites (reddit.com) all the time and then block another class of websites (netflix.com) from 7 am to 7 pm.

So I need the ability to have multiple blacklists of websites on different schedules. Does anyone know of a good app to accomplish this?

  1. 1

    There's a great browser extension that's doing just that. Search LeechBlock

  2. 1

    I use 2 different blockers for different purposes.

    Freedom (https://freedom.to) supports multiple schedules, so you can create different block lists that run at different times. Will probably suit your needs but it is not free. They do run promotions often, so I bought their lifetime license for 50% off.

    Also, you can use OpenDNS (https://www.opendns.com) to block websites which is free. The benefit of OpenDNS is that you can set the blocking on your Wifi router settings, so you can for example block reddit on your entire network - all computers, phones, mobile devices and tablets. Also, OpenDNS has category blocking (e.g. block all news sites, or social media sites, or all porn sites). OpenDNS does not have schedules though.

    So I use the two together - I use OpenDNS for things I want to ban across the WiFi network (for example, I ban all porn sites so my young kids don't accidentally come across any). And I use Freedom for scheduled blocking during work hours.

    K9 Web Protection (http://www1.k9webprotection.com) is also free and has good blocking categories and lists. But it does not have scheduling. Also, K9 worked well for me on Windows 10, but somehow doesn't work for me on Mac even though it's supposed to, so I stopped using it.

    Hope this helps.

    1. 1

      Thanks @stevenkkim very helpful. I'm going to take a look at freedom. I'm trying out cold turkey right now too.

  3. 1

    Cold Turkey looks pretty good.

    Anyone know of any that have multiple schedules and are just installed on MacOS? No need to add browser extensions to block websites?

  4. 1

    You know what. Someone the other day posted a YouTube video of brain focus music (plays at a certain frequency) to get your brain in a flow. First time I tried it this weekend and it honestly yielded about a days typical work in 90 straight mins. I just blacked out and went into total focus. Better than any website blocker I ever tried

    1. 1

      some of my colleagues us https://brain.fm/ for this and swear by it

      1. 1

        Awesome, will check it out. Thank you

    2. 1

      I bet that was binaural beats. I appreciate that suggestion. Looking for an app in this situation.

  5. 1

    Take a look at https://getcoldturkey.com/. I tried heyfocus before, really liked it. Switched to ColdTurkey as it is better than that.

    1. 1

      Thanks I'll look into it. Does it support multiple schedules?

      1. 1

        Yes, it supports multiple schedules.
        I tried almost all Mac website blockers. I'm a developer so I try to bypass them. ColdTurkey is so far the best in terms of features and resistance to bypass (it is still possible to bypass it).