May 10, 2012, 7:50 AM — With tons of desktop real estate and the processing power to run practically as many apps as you can open, it can be challenging to stay focused on a single task while using your PC. Luckily, in recent years a number of new tools have been developed to help you create a distraction-free workspace at home or in the office. These apps and tools hide unused windows and menus to help you focus on what's important and be more productive.
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Without the distraction of extraneous apps, windows and annoying notifications you'll be able to work more productively and with less interruption than you could otherwise. Whether you're weak-willed or just a consummate multi-tasker in need of a little productivity boost, we've rounded up some great tools that'll let you write, work, and even browse the Web while keeping distractions to a minimum.
Distraction-Free Word Processors
The distraction-free tool movement started with word processors, and it's not hard to see why: writing is a focused task that takes a lot of mental energy, and it's easy to let your attention drift to the other windows and apps open on your PC. Demand for a distraction-free writing tool is high, which means you've got a number of tools to choose from. I've taken the liberty of compiling a few of my favorites below, but you might also want to take a deep dive into the settings of your favorite word processor to see if it offers an option to shut out extraneous notifications and toolbars. Many modern writing apps include a distraction-free full-screen mode as an optional feature, a simple setting that saves you time and ensures you can keep using your editor of choice.
If that's not an option, Windows users should take a look at Writemonkey for a clean, simple writing tool that's also free. Writemonkey is great for getting work done, but I also use Q10 when working on a Windows PC. It's mostly a matter of personal preference; both apps have their strengths, but I find Q10's timer feature invaluable when trying to write on a strict deadline or when using the Pomodoro method.