MiniBlocker is my new app for blocking websites. It looks like this:
It's super simple, based around these three features:
- Add a list of websites - they will be blocked 24/7
- You can disable blocking - but it will automatically revert in 5, 15 or 30 minutes
- You can enter focus mode (disabling will be disabled) - for 25m, 1 or 2 hours
1 minute video of it in action:
I think I had this idea way back in 2014. I discovered tool called SelfControl , and thought how cool would it be, if it worked in an inverted way: Instead of setting a timer to block websites, they should always be blocked, and you would set a timer to unblock them.
I actually started working on these tools in early 2020. When the lockdowns began, I found myself spending a lot of time online.
With the perfect timing a came across a book called The Shallows. I absolutely loved that book, and read it multiple times since.
My first product came few months later. FocusLite was there for people who were ready to enter hard-mode.
It allows you to add blocked websites, it blocks them 24/7, and there are some pretty complicated rules around taking a break: You can either define a daily budget (10m for social networks), or exact timing (only allowed 5pm-8pm.)
This was great for me when I was really at it: For the few months, I only went on Twitter for those few evening hours.
However, my motivation started waning and the tool wasn't ideal anymore. I would keep disabling and re-enabling it, because I needed Twitter in the middle of the day.
And I thought that's how most people will want to use it. Block websites 24/7, but just disable the blocking once in a while. So with MiniBlocker, you can always disable - but there's always a time limit with that.
I added another cool feature: Focus mode. If you're feeling quite anxious, enter the focus mode, and you won't be able to disable the blocking. I use this when I feel like I might have a distracted afternoon - set focus mode to 2 hours, and get coding.
MiniBlocker is pretty much the same code as FocusLite, I just made a few changes in a couple of hours. I also added a very cheap subscription - there's no free version. (But it comes with a 2 week trial.)
Give it a try and let me know what you think by tweeting at @_vojto.