How to Get Started with FocusMe for NaNoWriMo

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re one of the many writers who signed up for FocusMe’s NaNoWriMo offer. You’ve downloaded and installed it, so now what?

This guide will show you different ways on how to best make use of FocusMe in order to finish your novel this November.

Creating the Plan

The first thing you do is either create a new plan or edit an existing one. To create a new plan, hit the “add plan” button on the upper right. To edit an existing plan, you can either right-click on the plan and select “Edit Plan” or hit the respective ellipsis on the right.

Type the name of the Focus plan (for editing existing plans, the name shows up here) then hit “Next”.

The Websites page (2/6) is where you select which websites to block or allow, depending on your preferences.

You would probably be wanting to remove as much distractions coming from the internet, so it is recommended you block all websites and just allow some that you absolutely need (maybe for research or referencing purposes). Once done, click “Next” to go to the next page.

You can do the same in the Applications page (3/6) – block any and all programs that might cause distractions and allow only those you would need to write your novel. You can refer to the guide How to Block a Game or Any Application with FocusMe for help in blocking programs. Click “Next” when you’re done.

The next page lets you select the Focus Type. Here you can choose “Just Block” since we don’t want any distractions, right? Otherwise, feel free to set either a time limit or launch limit. Click “Next” when you’re done.

You can set the Scheduling page (5/6) a number of ways, depending on your needs.

Below are some suggestions on how you can schedule your plan.

One-time Sessions

The easiest way to get started is to choose choose “Quick” as the Focus type.

Here you can set the duration of the plan. How long do you think you can work on your novel non-stop, without any distractions? Maybe start around 3 or 4 hours and just change it later if you prefer.

You can set the duration of a quick session to a maximum of 24 hours.

Scheduled Sessions

If you’re someone who’s into following a strict schedule, then this might be for you.

You can refer to the guide How to Use the FocusMe Scheduler for setting up a schedule for your plan.

Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that is known for improving your focus and productivity as well as promoting work/life balance. You work in certain set intervals (or “pomodoros”) and take short breaks in between them.

For help in setting up a Pomodoro session, refer to the guide How to Use The Pomodoro Technique with FocusMe.

Finishing the Focus Plan

Once you’re done setting up a schedule for your Focus plan, Click “Next” to go to the last page.

The Protection page (6/6) is where you control how you protect your plan. You can refer to the guide How to Protect a Focus Plan from Yourself if you’re unsure what to do. When finished, click “Done” to close the wizard and save your plan.

And you’re all set! Enable the plan and see how much you can get done by removing all distractions coming from your computer.