Sound control? Distraction control? ADD therapy?


First, let me say that Scrivener is (nearly) everything I was looking for in a writing program, and I have searched for years, and tried many, many apps. Great work!

In the spirit of writing with limited distractions, I’ve found that my current computer usage is itself hugely distracting. Scrivener could be the first writing app to include an option to cut system sounds and alerts, say, when in full screen, or when Scrivener is in the foreground. If I forget to log off iChat, I get no message of incoming IMs; if I forget to shut of my email application, I get no warnings or sounds that new mail has arrived, or notifications that my aunt’s birthday is in a week… This would do me, and surely other writers, a big service.

Further, I would love it if an app like Scrivener could take over my computer screen for a set time (or until a set word target is reached). I have too many distractions on my computer, and even the slightest jump to google to check a fact can cost me thirty minutes of productive composition. Surely, others suffer from the same issues?

Anyhow, just some ideas to consider… Thanks for reading.

Very best,

P.S. From reading around the forum, I noticed ptram’s comment that Scrivener is “[…] sort of the “small room under the roof” that Kafka was looking for to write far from any distraction.” I completely agree, and this suggestion is in keeping with that philosophy.

Double-posted, read below.

To get around the sorts of distractions you’re talking about I actually created a separate account on my MacBook. This account is a managed account from which I can only access Scrivener, and a couple of others. Works well for me.

When I want to write I go into my writing account (which has the same user name as the book I am working on), for general stuff I’ll go back to my main account. I have Quicksilver set-up to switch between them quickly and easily.

I feel this is a little out of Scrivener’s scope, I am afraid… Thanks for your feedback, though, much appreciated.

If your computer making noise distracts you, you can always just hit the mute button.

Thanks for the response, and for those who made suggestions (which, btw, are what I do).

Looking for a similar app I found this very interesting idea (at least part of it). I think it might make an interesting read to some of us here. … writer.php

Blockwriter was actually one of Keith’s inspirations for the full-screen mode of Scrivener during the early beta phase (between Scrivener Gold and Scrivener RC1). You can read more about Keith’s take on it here and download it either from there or from …


I should have done a greater search first.

Thanks for pointing out these discussions. Very interesting indeed.


Sounds like a good job for an Applescript script (which /maybe/ could be done with Automator). It would be a simple matter with applescript to, for example, have one script that muted sound and specified “offline” status in iChat, and another to restore these to your favored “on”.


Have you guys tried Think?

Run Think, pick an app, and everything else just fades away. Very handy! ( =