As students, we more often than not find ourselves drawn away to apps and websites that offer no academic value while we should be studying. If left unchecked, this habit can lead to poor academic performance and great levels of procrastination.
And, let’s be honest, procrastination is easy enough without a bunch of notifications popping up constantly. Luckily, there are some apps and software out there that have been developed to help curb this problem. If you are looking for the best app blocker for studying, below are the best options for any student.
Consider it a rough best to worst list. App blockers all do pretty much the same sort of thing so there’s not a whole lot of variation to it. If it’s on the list – it does the job just make sure you get the right one for your browser.
And (if you haven’t already) make sure you grab a free download of Unlimited Memory. An audiobook from a grandmaster of chess which is going to turn your studying on its head. There’s a reason we think it gets twice the results in half the time.
1. StayFocusd. (Google Chrome addon)
This extension for the Chrome browser has been built for the easily distracted student. The app restricts the time that is spent on the websites that the student wastes time on. You set the time to spend on a particular website and when the time is up, the app will block access to that site for the rest of the day.
This extension is great for a student who simply wants to limit the time they spend on particular websites instead of fully blocking the site. It will also help you know how much time you are spending on these websites.
2. SelfControl. (Mac app)
SelfControl takes app blocking to the next level. Using this app, you can block either specific websites or the entire internet for up to 24 hours. Once you have blocked a website or the internet, it is impossible to revert back the decision even if you reboot your computer or delete the app.
The main limitation is that it is only available on Mac devices. This no-nonsense app will definitely get you studying.
3. Freedom. (Windows, Mac and IOS Devices)
The Freedom literally gives you the freedom to complete your project without any drawbacks. The app blocks the internet for up to eight hours giving you the time to study without any leisurely pursuits. You can disable the app if you want to access the internet before the set time is complete.
Freedom is best for a student when they are studying offline or working on a project that does not require internet access. The app can be accessed on Mac, Windows and Android platforms.
Do you frequently find yourself spending hours on social media sites when you should be studying? The Anti-Social app from the makers of the Freedom app is just right for you.
Anti-Social blocks access to social media sites while at the same time allowing access to other websites. This allows you to study without having to check your Facebook notifications. You can also add other websites to the blocked list so as to stay focused on study.
The app can be turned on for between 15 minutes to 8 hours. One great added feature is the fact that this app only counts the time spent online as the active time which keeps you off social media for even longer. One potential hindrance is that this is a paid app that costs 15 dollars.
This app ensures that you keep off selected websites for the set time without the possibility of cheating by accessing a different browser on your computer. ColdTurkey can block as many websites as you would like it to.
In addition to blocking websites, it also blocks specific apps meaning that you will not play that game you like when working or studying. The app can be scheduled to block certain apps and websites at set times and even moments when you can access your device and the internet freely.
There is a free version but better and more enhanced features are found on the premium version that costs 14.99 dollars.
This is another app that is limited to the Mac platform. It can block messages and social networks for a set amount of time. Since it is not limited to a specific browser, it blocks all the listed websites on all the browsers that are on your Mac giving you no room to sneak around.
The app can also be used to block other apps such as Skype that may be consuming your study time. If you are ready to put your discipline to the ultimate test, there is an option to lock the apps and have no way to access them until the timer reaches zero. There is no way to beat the system even if you reboot your computer.
For the student who is serious about avoiding distractions, this is a great choice.
If you are working on a book or a long project, you should give this app a try. This app blocks out everything from your screen except what you are working on. Even the spellcheck and formatting menus are slightly hidden to allow to focus on what you are working on alone.
The app can also be set to notify you once you reach some specific milestones such as a set number of pages or a particular word count. FocusWriter is available on Mac, Windows, and Linux.
As with StayFocusd, this is an add-on albeit for the Firefox browser. The app limits access to certain sites for a set duration. You can create different schedules according to your timetable to give you limited access to some websites rather than blocking them altogether.
If you use Firefox as your primary browser, this is a must-have, especially when using the internet for academic research.
What if your biggest distraction is not the internet but the apps on your phone? If you have an Android phone, then FocusOn is your perfect study companion.
With this app, you can block out apps, websites, and notifications for a set amount of time. If you have a recurring schedule, you can set FocusOn to block out any distractions at a specific time of the day.
With FocusOn, your mobile phone will no longer be the reason for that late submission of your class assignment.
Paying Attention (Even With an App Blocker)
App blockers can help cut down on time wasting but they’re only as honest as you are with it. Some of them already know that sites like Facebook should probably be blocked while you study but you need to be the one policing yourself.
These apps are just tools to make it a little easier. We have plenty of studying videos on motivation which is the same thing – just tools. It’s down to you to develop the strong habit to use them.