Focusmate

Distraction-free productivity via virtual coworking

#1 Product of the DayJanuary 11, 2019

Focusmate virtual coworking provides accountability exactly when and how you need it to get things done—live, "in person" from another human being.

Users to work side-by-side, remotely over video, in structured 50 minute sessions.

Let a Focusmate hold your feet to the fire, just like your coworkers might in a real office.

Reviews
  • Pros: 

    Forget every other accountability habit / hack / app, this one straight up works.

    Cons: 

    I'd love to be able to do Pomodoro sprints within Focusmate and set daily / weekly goals for myself.

    Similar to working out with a trainer, the hardest part is showing up – once you're there, you don't waste time and you always work harder than you would have if you were on your own.

    Collin Walter has used this product for one year.
  • Jake Baker
    Jake BakerClean Energy Investor
    Pros: 

    Works like magic. Bizarrely effective if you use it.

    Cons: 

    You have to use it for it to work.

    I was one of the earliest users of Focusmate and have been passionately sharing it with friends and colleagues since. It helps you get immediately into the zone of productivity via the incredibly simple solution of having a partner, live and present, working alongside you. Try it once. If you don’t like it, fine. If it helps you, even better. Why not try something that potentially offers (free) massively improved productivity? Kudos to Taylor and team for building this.

    Jake Baker has used this product for one year.
Discussion
Hi PH, Taylor from Focusmate here. Working solo can be liberating, but it is also hard. I’ve been working from home for 7 years, and let’s just say it’s been a long and winding journey 🙃 The big change for me happened when I started working with an accountability partner, remotely over video, to ensure I showed up, chose the right thing to work on, and stayed on task. It may sound weird or extreme, but it worked insanely well. The problem was, we needed more people! So, we built Focusmate—a community of solo workers who have committed to holding one another accountable for finishing their most important work. With Focusmate, you can find an accountability buddy to work with at any time, anywhere, on demand. We’d love for you to give it a try and share your feedback. Also: 😱 How can we reduce the initial fear or hurdle of trying Focusmate? ❤ Are there specific people/groups you’d like to work with on Focusmate? Thanks so much!!
@taylor_jacobson Amazing product Taylor -- to your question -- is there any way for colleagues of a start-up to work together? Can you choose who you match with?
@bakerjake that's our next step!
@taylor_jacobson I did not know that this was exactly what I was looking for? I've been working alone a lot and the distractions are ENDLESS - I can see why this would work. Signing up now and think of investing at Republic too 😉 One thing I do want to say - don't put logos of publications on your website to then not link to their respective articles/content (if there are any), now they link to your homepage which is a bit silly.
@bramk Thanks so much!! Yeah, sorry about that, it's a known issue. The latest press is over at https://blog.focusmate.com/press (a few linked above too). I'm delighted to have you in the fold as a user, and am honored you're considering investing!
Hunter
I like to describe Focusmate as, "Chatroulette for work (without all the nasty bits)." I've used the product for quite a while and found it to be a great way to fight distraction by holding myself accountable to another person. I love the product and team and I'm honored they let me invest in the company.
@nireyal Super cool to see you as an investor and founder on this project, Nir. Looking forward to using this for the first time tonight!
Hunter
@_derek_mei Oh, I'm not a founder. Just a user and investor.
@nireyal Ah, my bad. I actually meant advisor as that's what I saw on the Republic crowdfunding page, but glad to see you're using this product too 😄
@_derek_mei thanks for your comment. we're excited to have @nireyal on board too 😄
Focusmate is such a weird product, in a good way. I've tried it before and know a lot of others use it to build social accountability. Curious how you see the product evolving over the next few years, @taylor_jacobson.
@taylor_jacobson @rrhoover I love this comment. The people who use it regularly (and there are a ton) love it. It works for some, may not work for others. Give it a try - why not?
@rrhoover thanks! Our plan is to create an increasingly personalized and supportive Focusmate experience, e.g. - Customize your tribe: favorite some users, block others - Match w/ people based on how you like to work, shared interests, what you're working on - Join groups for specific affinity groups like your company, the PH community, or a writing class you're taking, and work with others in those groups - Set preferences for session style, e.g. text-only/voice-only/video, longer/shorter - Join events like "office hours" or facilitated "classes" with a coach to help you plan your day, plan your week, do goal-setting, and many more activities
I procrastinate so much and this seems like a good solution to force me to get started and not get distracted BUT it's kinda weird. I wanna do it but at the same time I'm like "video call with a stranger where we're mostly silent? Yeah..... Riiiight...." 😅
@anna_0x It's so much more natural and easy than you would think. Everyone there has a shared focus, goal, mission -- work productively. I've seen people voluntarily doing things like sharing their screen (sometimes with a filter, sometimes without) to further enhance accountability -- that's how comfortable they are working together. Try it once -- or ask Taylor the founder to do a session. There's a great Facebook community to ask more people that use it regularly. What's the harm in trying?
@anna_0x what he said! @bakerjake It feels scary right up until you start, and then it's like, "oh, why was I scared?" This is exactly how I felt too, and now I love the experience of working with enthusiastic, caring, supportive (and focused) people around the world.
@bakerjake @taylor_jacobson just finished my first session 😁 was nice but I felt pretty awkward (talking to strangers face to face is pretty much out of my comfort zone)
@bakerjake @anna_0x major kudos 👏 excited to hear more feedback as you use it!
I stumbled onto Focusmate when I was working on a book project last year and my writing partner went out of town. It's been a huge help! I wouldn't have the manuscript finished if not for Focusmate!
@taylorpearsonme thrilled to hear we've been able to help!