It happens every day. Seconds, minutes, and eventually hours are wasted tending to various online tasks that have nothing to do with work. Email beckons from behind your Word page. Twitter streams dare you not to stare. Checking Facebook can become an addiction – the list goes on and on. These distractions can cause you to waste an entire day. This is a bad way to gain your boss’s attention if you are an office worker.
If you’re a freelance writer or coder, allowing distractions to take away from work time is detrimental to your business. Yet, it’s difficult to ignore the allure of certain things. PenZen is a program that can help you put pen to paper and get things done – well, fingers to keyboard anyway.
What PenZen Offers
PenZen is simple. Some may say it’s even, well, Zen. Working with PenZen means maximizing your browser, getting rid of toolbars, and tuning out everything around you. You’ll only be left with you and your writing, coding, or other task. PenZen offers a completely white screen with straightforward black type.
You won’t be distracted by a messenger program, Twitter, email or anything else. Once you have finished your work, you can then save it to a PDF or a Pen.io file. Both files will work with other programs, and both file types are easily compatible. PenZen isn’t full of customization options or color options, but that’s just the way that it was meant to be.
Some Possible Drawbacks
PenZen works with Firefox and Google Chrome. This means that you can open up additional tabs while you are working. Some would say that the ability to open extra tabs is distracting in itself. Really, how difficult is it to open up your email program while you are using PenZen? Not difficult at all.
It would be more beneficial if PenZen could prevent you from opening up additional tabs. Or, if this program would allow you to get rid of your toolbar for a set period of time. Perhaps in the future, PenZen will include a sort of time that prevents you from looking at anything other than a white page for an hour or so. This would truly be the best way to get things done. Then again, there are other distractions to consider.
PenZen joins a large number of other distraction-free programs. Unlike some of these programs, PenZen doesn’t include colors or fonts. The point of PenZen is really to get you to connect with nothing other than your thoughts. This does require some discipline, but it’s something that is absolutely necessary for a freelancer of any kind.
Do you need PenZen? Well, that depends on whether or not you find yourself obsessively checking your email or sending out tweets every ten minutes. Unless you get paid to do this stuff, it’s best to ignore all distractions and concentrate on your work. PenZen isn’t perfect, and it won’t stop you from checking your email, but it does promote a clean workspace that’s free of distractions.