Beat Distractions with these Remote-Working Apps

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Distraction is the number one enemy of the typical remote worker. From your warm, inviting bed to the unlimited service of Netflix, so many items at home can threaten to ruin your productivity.   Thankfully, many apps today can help us resist these enticing temptations. Try out some of these time waste-busters when you just can’t seem to win over the battle against too much lax time.

Time your surfing with Bato.Life

Bato.Life lets you set a time limit for yourself when browsing specific websites. When time is up, it automatically closes your browser to remind you to start working. The beauty of this program is that it can be used across any device and on various web browsers.  As an option, you can create a “Secret ID” to help you keep track of your personal records securely. Ever forgiving, there is also a “cheat sheet” guide that gives keyboard shortcuts and allows you to turn off the timer. Simple and straightforward, it’s best for the remote worker who needs a few quick breaks during work. Oh and best of all, it’s free.

Earn more free time with

This program is based on a time management technique developed by an Italian student in the 1980’s. Literally translating to “tomato,” originally relied on tomato-shaped kitchen timers to maximize one’s productivity. The concept basically breaks down work into 25-minute intervals with 5-minute breaks in between. After finishing through 4 pomodoros, the user earns a longer break of 15 minutes.


The online application remains faithful to the concept, even featuring the classic alarm sound of a kitchen timer. It engages the user to time work and breaks with manual clicks. It even has a button that allows you to recognize and keep track of distractions. Though it heavily relies on the user’s honesty, the application is easy and free to use. By recognizing your frequent need for breaks, it helps you maximize productivity and finish tasks quicker.

Enforce self-discipline with Freedom


To describe this app with a few words, Freedom blocks distractions. It turns off access to select websites or even the whole internet to keep you focused on your tasks at work. Considering its name, it might sound ironic at first. The idea of this app, however, is to free you from digital distractions to actually allow you to live your life after work. From Facebook to Twitter, the app is powerful enough to keep all notifications and beeps to the background. It can even protect you from stressful emails during non-work hours.

Available on Mac, Windows, iOS and Android, the premium version comes with a small fee. You can try the app out for free, however. Freedom often comes with a price, but in this case, it just might be worth it.

Stay focused and save the earth with Forest

Need some engaging visuals to keep yourself focused? The mobile app Forest lets you virtually plant a tree on your mobile screen while you work. If you switch windows and access other programs, your tree gets killed instantly. If you succeed in keeping the app running without distractions, however, you get to keep your tree. In time, your collection of successful trees will turn into a forest and earn virtual coins. These virtual earnings will allow you to make real-time donations to tree-planting causes. In short, you get to help the environment just by keeping focused on your work. For the environmentally-conscious, it offers the perfect incentive. Not only do you get to finish your job, but you also get to go to bed knowing you helped Mother Earth.

Overcome procrastination with Finish


Exclusive for iOS users, Finish helps you prioritize tasks and actually accomplish them before deadlines. Conceived by former high school students studying for their finals, the app aims to combat procrastination. Useful for both freelancers and students, this app is dummy-proof and is quite intuitive. The app allows you to set short-term, mid-term and long-term goals on scheduled dates. Similar to a calendar, it presents the tasks you need to do when you need to do it.

Filled with unique features such as a “Bother me” button that sends continuous reminders, Finish helps you keep track of deadlines and avoid anxiety. It’s a great way to accomplish tasks without cramming, and in the words of one critic from Forbes, “you can retire your post-it notes!”

Control your time with Rescuetime

Do you sometimes wonder where all your time went while working on a project? With Rescuetime, you’ll be able to know where exactly it went. Available for both desktop and mobile platforms, this program tracks the applications and websites you use during a day’s work. It gives you a visual report on your productivity and tells you how much time you spent on various activities.

The program is offered in multiple versions: Lite, Premium and For Orgs. The first one simply gives you a picture of how you spend your time every day. The second one grants you control by tracking time offline, blocking websites and receiving alerts. Lastly, “Rescuetime For Orgs” allows your whole work force to keep focused at work. Overall, the app teaches you to work efficiently by identifying your personal distractions. It’s a great tool for time management

Manage yourself with Solo


Among all the apps mentioned, this one can probably be called the freelancer’s best friend. A comprehensive open-licensed app, Solo is sleek and self-hosted. It helps you track time, manage tasks, compile files and use notes in just one app. 

Solo is useful in particular due to its “agenda” section. Fitting all your tasks, deadlines and boards in one screen, you have a ready summary of your to-do list shown side by side with your schedule. It also has a files section where you can upload the documents associated with a particular project to keep your files organized. With its clean interface and easy features, it encourages you to be organized so as not to waste time. It’s a digital organizer, cloud storage, and calendar all rolled into one neat little app for your computer.

Have you tried any of these apps and found them helpful in your daily work or do you rely on any apps that aren’t on the list? Share your experience with us in the comments section and share the article if you found it helpful.

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