Thursday, May 26, 2011

Q10 Text Editor--When You Just Need ABSOLUTE Focus

Have you ever been in the middle of a project and you just couldn't focus? There's no one in the house, your phone is off, the shades are drawn and there is absolutely nothing that could interfere with you sitting down, opening your laptop and just typing your little heart out. You hum softly to yourself, already cherishing the moments to come as you settle yourself down and flip open your laptop. This is going to be amazing, you think as your hand cups your mouse and moves automatically as if powered by some unseen force, hovering momentarily over your word processor icon, but instead of clicking that open, your hand quickly zooms to your internet client and an hour later you realize that you just wasted prime writing time checking email and getting lost in a Wikipedia labyrinth. Insert major expletive here! 
     How could this have happened?! It's days like these where I'm extremely envious of the "old days" when a writer had just a desk and a typewriter to contend with. I'm sure there are people out there who think "How hard is it to not check your email or stay off the net?". To those people I say "Don't judge me (*sigh*)!" Trust me when I say I don't intend to get lost for hours on the net, but it's so easy! During my BIAM month this happened to me more than once and in desperation (ironically) I turned to to the internet and learned about full screen text editors. 
     A full screen text editor, is an editor that takes up the entire screen of your computer. Once you pull it up it doesn't even display your task bar.  A few people in forums swore that the editors were a part of their arsenal against distraction. I downloaded a few of them, not really believing that a full screen could make such a huge difference and was pleasantly surprised. The editors don't just have a full screen to keep you from clicking around your desktop, but most of them have some pretty handy features that I would have never thought would be helpful. The editor that impressed me the most was the Q10 Text Editor. This editor is free and open source, so it was free to download and super easy to install. The Q10 also has a lot of features but unlike a word-processor these features aren't broadcasted in tool bars and clunky menus.  Remember the whole purpose is to have as few distractions as possible. If you want to access Q10's features you use a quick command that allows you to pull up the full menu and adjust settings. 
     One of my favorite features of the Q10 editor is it's typewriter sounds feature. I know it's a little cheesy put I just love typing away and hearing the clack-clack-clack of a typewriter. It helps me drown out everything and just groove :). Of course for those who need absolute silence the feature can be turned off. Q10 also has a great word and page count ticker that you can choose to display at the bottom of your screen. You can also set word and page count goals and Q10 will let you know where you are in reaching those goals. 
    Although the Q10 editor is my favorite from the bunch that I tested, I'm sure there are some that may be even better, but for now I am content in having one more weapon in my arsenal against distraction.

Talk to you soon,

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