Many years ago I had an iPad app called “Ommwriter”. It was nifty. The software provided a calming background, with fonts encouraging focus. The really cool thing I enjoyed about the software was that you could listen to music that encouraged focus. The music was punctuated by sound effects alluding to the keystrokes on an old IBM Selectric typewriter. It gave the whole experience a hipster twist without hauling a typewriter to Starbucks.

I liked it.

Ommwriter went by the way of the dodo back in the days of iOS 11 and the application is no longer around on the App Store. I checked to see if there’s a Mac version, and there is, but the website makes it seem like it hasn’t been updated in a long while, so I decided to figure out my own thing instead.

For years I’ve been using an app called “Pzizz”. While I don’t listen to the app every night before sleep, I do use it from time to time when I’m having a hard time sleeping. The application also has a “nap” function that I used to use when I’d sleep in the Jeep during my lunch hour in the shopping center parking lot when we lived in Upstate New York. [[]]

So I’ve cobbled together a workflow that resembles my Ommwriter experience, especially when I’m using my iPad Pro to write blog entries. I’m a plain text kind of guy, so I’m using an application called “iA Writer” to capture my text and using the “focus” mode session on Pzizz to generate music that encourages, well, focus in a way much like Ommwriter did back in the day.

I’m writing this blog entry in my office waiting for a software update activity to start at work. The music is calming, the words are flowing fairly well. I’m feeling that “in the zone” feeling that I don’t find enough these days in our frenetic world. I think I may have found what I need to bring some calm to the chaos I’ve been experiencing lately.

As I get older I find my ability to focus waning just a little bit. I blame this on age but I also attribute this to the changing world around us; everything demands our attention all the time. Social media, collaboration tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams, a never ending litany of Zoom-like calls, news alerts, flashes of lightning, and the constant barrage of email all demand our attention. Being able to a few moments and look at an application that does one thing while listening to calming music is a godsend.

Sometimes we need to carve out a few moments in our own little paradise.