I’ve found a couple apps recently that help you focus by removing your desktop clutter using various techniques. I’ve used Backdrop forever (and also for my screenshots) but there are some newcomers.
WriteRoom offers “distraction free writing” and comes pretty close — closing off all other distractions and situating you in a black room where you can write Matrix letters to yourself. The autosave and autosession-restore really do make this one feel well thought out and don’t forget to participate in their user-powered software development methodology.
In the neat category is Italian-born Afloat — similar to Doodim in a sense, but in reverse. Rather than dimming everything else, Afloat lets you dim the current foremost window or set it to always be on top. Looks like the developer is looking for localization help, so if you’re game, drop him a note.
Finally, if you’re looking to take a power nap when your fingers are tired and your head ist kaput, check out the pricey (but worth it) Pzizz. They’ve added iPod integration lately, but the idea is simple: create an audio track to accompany you on your naps. Sounds fluffy but it’s not. I downloaded the demo, tried their 20 minute power-nap and literally was out for 20 solid minutes — resuscitated when the announcer dude mystically awoke me from me sleep. It was actually a little freaky. But it worked.
Oh, and the image for this post really has nothing to do with concentrating, but it was a great distraction earlier this week. Using the application Todos, I took a screenshot of my apps, uploaded it and something like 6 hours later there were already 200+ notes on the thing. How’s that for community collaboration? Anyway, I created a group for folks to do the same thing and to share the apps they use.