Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tune Out Distractions with This Site

Benjamin is on the computer playing a flash game,  Ethan is talking to himself while coloring, and the TV displays "Futurama" on Netflix, the dogs decided that now is a good time to wrestle, and the other adults in the room are having a meaningful conversation of nothing that I can contribute to. As a matter of fact, it really isn't my business.

Enter Noisli.

 If you don't sign in, you can just put your headphones on and enjoy the mix and match ambient sounds to help drown out the noise and distractions near you while you work on your computer projects or even read a book. 

You can pick a random, productivity, or relaxing selection, or pick and choose your own. If you are a cheapskate like I am, you can make your own version of a "Double Mocha expresso Vente blended latte with foam (can you tell I don't go to those places?)" and click on the little coffee cup symbol.

If you really want to get into it, add rain and thunder and you'll have a complete "Thank God I'm in here instead of that rainstorm." Then you can imagine people running across the road to a bus station where they would have to wait for the bus, holding their newspapers or briefcases against the rain in vain.

You can sit back in your imaginary world feeling smug that you don't have to go out like those suckers.

Then the dogs' wresting match moves to your bare feet and one of their claws dig into your big toe.

All joking aside, it does do a good job at keeping external noise out. If you sign up, you also can save your favorite combos so that the next time you go on, you can just click on a preset and continue with your work.

If you want to put a time limit on how long you do something (relax, write, browse websites, etc), you can use the built in timer. This really handy for "free writing". I've set the timer for 15 minutes to let me know how long I've been typing in my blog. I usually end up going to restart it, but it does help me keep track of time. The background noise stops when the timer is up.

It does have a built in text editor, which I found to be a bit redundant. You can use it, or you can just load your favorite word processor and type. Want a "distraction free" editor? Use notepad, which is already included with windows or you can use SciTE. I use SciTE for text files and when I want to do some hand-coding.

Finally, the background does change color. If you hadn't noticed, my screen shots are different colors for that reason. It may be distracting on the distraction free text editor, so you can just stop by clicking on the gear (settings). Wait until it changes to a color you like, then hit "Stop Bkg".

Altogether, it's not a bad tool. It does work best with headphones and it seems to be just as effective even if there aren't any other distractions.