Free writing apps to help you relax

Writing on a computer can be terribly distracting. Word is full of buttons and toolbars, WordPress is incredibly busy, and your system tray is likely to flash up notifications just often enough to put you off your words.

There are a number of writing applications designed especially to improve the atmosphere of your desktop, so you can concentrate on just writing.

WriteMonkey is my favorite free writing app for Windows, that clears your  screen of anything that might ruin your stream of consciousness. All you see is a blank page and the words you write on it. It’s fully customizable in terms of fonts and colors, so you can set it up to be perfectly comfortable for your eyes. Use it with headphones, and you can even turn on typewriter sound effects!

There are other free options, like Dark Room, JDarkRoom and Q10, but they are a bit harder to use, and are a little less flexible than WriteMonkey.

JDarkRoom also runs on Mac OS X, which already has the paid apps WriteRoom and Scrivener. However, a design agency in Barcelona has just released a great free beta of something they call OmmWriter:

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This is a really slick application, and while you don’t have total freedom with font or color choices, OmmWriter makes up for this with its great backgrounds, selection of ambient sounds and really pleasant keyboard effects. It’s really easy to use too – everything comes naturally, making it even more relaxing.

I found I could write much more efficiently using these apps, and I actually found OmmWriter incredibly pleasant to use too. How do you block out all the distractions that working on a computer brings?

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