Recently at the Clearleft studio there has been somewhat of a push to readjust the balance between bustling working space and distraction-free productivity.
Whilst we are all about the benefits of an open studio with close collaboration, lively meetings and energetic post-it sessions can sometimes be to the detriment of those who just need to get their heads down and get on.
The studio now has a bank of very nice Bose noise-cancelling headphones, available for all to use with a 'whilst being worn, don't tap me on the shoulder' policy. I can certainly recommend not only the high spec cans (the sound is excellent, and they really are very comfortable) but also having an explicit approach to when (or not) people are available to be disturbed - everyone works in different ways, and being accommodating of that is certainly only a good thing.
But what to listen to when you just have to get on with getting on? Well, for a while I've been using Noisli, a background noise generator to help improve your focus and productivity. There are plenty of similar products out there, but Noisli combines beautiful minimal design and an intuitive interface with a great acoustic experience - fine grain controls and user-enabled sound mixing allows you to define multiple audio profiles for different uses, and the addition of a timer allows you to timebox your session. It even has a distraction-free text editor with markdown and export, a Chrome extension and a beautiful partner app - what more could you need?
Previously when I was in a 'notifications off, headphones on' writing mood, I'd struggle to keep focus for very long, but the fact that I'm currently plugged in to Noisli (Ben's breezy forest mix, for the record) and writing this post in one session in the editor is testament that Noisli works for at least one easily distracted designer with the internet rabbit hole just one quick tab away.
Good work Noisli - looks great, sounds great.
This was originally posted on my own site.