Scrivener and Procrastinantion

Scrivener is a wonderful tool for people who want to write. But many people who want to write tend to procrastinate, by looking at their mail, using internet or other distracting software. Would it be an idea to help all these poor people with insufficient willpower by including a ‘focus button’: you press this button, indicate a number of hours and during this period scrivener blocks all other applications on your computer. The only thing you can do on your computer for the next hours is write.

Thanks for your great software!

Kind regards, Guido

There are some Scrivener users who set up a separate user account on their computer for just this purpose: an account with no internet access, email setup, etc. that contains solely the programs they use for writing.

This seems like the best way to handle something like this, for those that need these sort of measures.

I think an application that locks out all other applications is probably a bad idea and violates most user expectations – what happens when you want to look up your research in DevonThink, or use the Thesaurus, etc etc. You end up wanting to block out a subset of programs, not every other program - something the other user account does very well.

I would also be mildly surprised if Apple even makes it possible for an application to block other applications from running.


Not scrivener, but you could try Freedom. It disables your internet etc for a time of your specification. There’s no way (that I know of) to reenable these before the time expires, short of rebooting.

Maybe that’ll do most of what you are looking for?


This guy came up with an idea for an app that would block out all distractions in this manner:

The trouble is that it would be very much against Apple HIG - locking a user out of any program but your own, even if the user chose to do that, is very much a no no…

All the best,

Another alternative is Isolator,

which blacks out (or blues or reds or grays out) everything but the app you’re working in, with an option to block the dock as well. Useful if you simply want to eliminate distractions and minimize the temptations.


Another alternative is yanking the cable out of the wall. I find, if I pull it out with enough vitriol, it damages the little pin and threads; and for a bonus, sometimes the wall socket! Then I have to actually go buy another cable, which further extends the usefulness of this tip, as buying a new cable is more work than writing.

Thanks all for your feedback!

Kind regards Guido