I'm tempted to quite the whole thing in full: Merlin Mann's epic rant against the false promises of distraction-reducing systems:
[S]elling people a prettier way to kinda almost but not really write is not, in the canonical sense, "nice"—but, far worse, b) leaving your starry-eyed customers with the nauseatingly misguided impression that their "distraction" originates from anyplace but their own busted-ass brain is really not "helping."
Not on any level. It is, literally, harmful. "Helping" a junkie become more efficient at keeping his syringe loaded is hardly "nice."... Removing interruptions and external distractions that harm your work or life? Great. Counting on your distraction-removal tool to supplement your non-existent motivation to do work that will never get done anyway? Pathetic.
There is a serious point here, though, which is that some things are just hard; distraction-free is something you earn by being good enough to get into the flow of your task, or driven enough to not care about anything else. But don't let the tools either get in your way by being incomprehensible, or get in your way by being an excuse or a crutch:
These hypocrisies, paradoxes, and ambiguities that people get so wound up about—that many of us are constantly (impotently) trying to resolve—cannot be resolved.... [A]ll of these harrowingly unsolvable problems are immune to new notebooks and less-distracting applications and shinier systems and "nicer" self-"help" and pretty much anything.... Doing that annoying hard stuff is how you grow, get better, and learn what real help looks like. Even if that’s not the answer you wanted to hear. You get better by getting your ass out of your RSS reader and fucking making things until they suck less. Not by buying apps.
You don’t whine about distractions, or derail yourself over needing a nicer pencil sharpener, or aggravate your chronic creative diabetes by starting another desperate waddle to the self-help buffet. No. You work.... Achieving expertise and doing creative work is all horribly complicated and difficult and paradoxical and frustrating and recursive and James Joyce-y—and any guide, blog, binary, guru, or “nice guy” that tries to suggest otherwise is probably giving you a complimentary colonoscopy. Do the math....
Learn your real math, and any slide rule will suffice. Try, make, and do until you quit noticing the tools, and if you still think you need new tools, go try, make, and do more.