Freebie BringFocus Might Help You Concentrate
At a Glance
Like most people, I have many tasks to get done when I sit down at my computer. I need to check and respond to email, pay bills, write reviews, research articles, and more. That's why I often find myself jumping from task to task, unable to focus on any of them. The result: I can sit in front of the computer for hours and still not get very much done. Enter BringFocus.
This free utility is designed to keep you focused on a set task for a certain period of time. It offers a clock, which you can set to one of several pre-determined intervals, that counts down the time. You're supposed to assign yourself a task to accomplish during that time. BringFocus is designed to help you get more done in shorter periods of time by helping you stay focused, for short periods of time, at least.
So, does it work? Sort of. BringFocus is easy to use, but it's also pretty limited. It lets you select between a handful of pre-set time intervals, starting at three minutes and going up to 15 minutes. I'd prefer more time options, or at least the ability to set my own time, but BringFocus doesn't offer that functionality.
Once you select a time, you tell BringFocus how you're going to spend it, and then click start. A small countdown clock appears in the lower right hand corner of your screen, ticking away the seconds, and reminding you of how you promised to spend the time. When your time is up, a pop-up window asks if you'd like to extend the time period, or you can choose to exit. The notification is visual only, and there is no option to add any sort of audible alarm, so, unfortunately, you can't use BringFocus for timing activities that take place away from the computer. Rival Egg Timer Plus, a $5 app, adds this capability, as well as the ability to set and save your own timer intervals.
If you want to start your day with 15 minutes spent on email or would like to limit your Facebook time to the occasional ten minutes throughout the day, BringFocus will help you out. But if you're trying to get work done, you may find the countdown clock a bit distracting. I know I did. For example, right now it's telling me that I have just 54 seconds left to complete this review. Now I'm finding myself thinking about how little time I have left, rather than thinking about my work. Instead of helping me focus, I'm finding BringFocus to be a bit of a distraction.
Note: The Download button takes you to the developer's site, where you can download the latest version of the software.