I just recently discovered an app called Coffitivity. While you’re sitting at your desk at home, writing away, you can call up the sounds of a busy cafe on your computer: the babble of voices, the clinking of silverware and glasses, the whir of the coffee grinder, chairs scraping across the floor.
It sounds pretty silly, but I actually get it. I often write in cafes, restaurants, Dunkin Donuts-anywhere with a table and chair and a hot beverage. There’s something conducive to productivity-in my case, writing-in the myriad sounds and activity of a coffee shop. Far from being distracting, the bustle becomes white noise in the background; and though I’m an island of solitude within the busyness, I don’t feel so alone and isolated in my creative endeavors. I’m in the land of the living, which is what I’m writing about.
However, I and my computer have picked up too many bugs in these places of human congregation lately. After suffering two bouts of strep throat in a month, and spending several hours cleaning up my computer, I decided to cut back on the cafe writing.
But I know I’ll miss the sounds of these writing sessions, and the feeling of being out in the world. There’s actual scientific evidence supporting the idea that such noise boosts productivity, and I believe it. My mind has become accustomed to associating this noise with writing, and so I decided to give Coffitivity a try.
The free version provides you with a basic cafe experience, but if you pay a few bucks you can get specialized cafe sounds: Paris Paradise, Brazil Bistro, Texas Teahouse. I’m not sure what the difference would be-people talking are people talking-but the basic is enough (even the basic has choices: Morning Murmur, Lunchtime Lounge, and University Undertones) to make me feel at home.
The only thing missing is the opportunity to people-watch, but I’ll still make the occasional foray into an actual coffee shop-can’t go too long without that Dunkin Donuts coffee!