When I hear about apps that might help me be more productive, I'm always eager to try them out. And while I may be a bit of an app junkie, it means that I come across some really good apps that I can pass along to others.
Saent is actually two things: a device and an app. The device and app began as a Kickstarter project. The concept for the device is actually quite brilliant – activating it blocks distracting websites on any devices, be it tablet, smartphone, or computer. I have not (yet!) tried the device, but I have been using the app and really like it.
The app which you can download here is similar to the device, but is confined to your computer. Saent combines website and app blocking with a pomodoro timer, and combines that with gamification so that you earn points depending on how well you do. I had previously done these types of things with a combination of AntiSocial, Breaktime, and Toggl. But AntiSocial is no longer developed, and has morphed into Freedom, which is somewhat similar to Saent, but in app-form only.
With Saent, you start a work session, choosing how long you want the session to be (30 minutes should be the least amount of time you choose!). You tell Saent what you are working on, and then you hit start. At that point you start working, and Saent will keep an eye on what apps and websites you are using. If you go on something like Facebook, it will warn you that you shouldn't be on there, telling you that you only have 2 minutes left. If you go beyond, it will attempt to push you off or give you a big jarring red screen, telling you to stop. Saent will also encourage you to take breaks, which is important for productivity. After a session, you can refine the list of "blocked" apps and websites, so that in the future Saent can keep you accountable based on what you see as distractions.
So far, Saent has been great. It is still in its early stages of development, but so far I'm very impressed. I encourage you to check it, or Freedom, out.