Ever tried concentrating but there are either too many distracting noises…. or worse, deafening silence all around you? You are not alone. In fact studies have shown a certain level of noise (around 70 decibels) can actually help stimulate your creativity. Take a look at this simple Italian-made website and app which might even boost your productivity. Noisli offers you a selection of ambient background noises for you to listen to while you work, read or sleep. Choose from the relaxing sound of travelling on a train, the cracking of a fireplace, rain pattering on the roof, crickets chirping during the still of the night, or the hustle and bustle of a cafe. There is even pink, white or brown noise – who knew noise came in colours? You can control the volume and even mix several of the sounds together like a DJ – my current favourite combo is the cafe plus a crackling fireplace. The iOS app (US$1.99) lets you save various combinations for future use, set a countdown timer and use a fade out feature which is handy if you are listening to it as you snuggle into bed. I’ve even heard of mothers using this to help calm unsettled babies at naptime. The sounds are all available offline so you can listen to them whenever you need to without chewing through your mobile data. noisli collage Writers will also love the text editing feature with plain text and Markdown support that accompanies the Noisli web version. Distraction-free writing while listening to your favourite ambient noise is certainly worth a try. I’ve been using this myself for a couple of weeks and it is by far my preferred writing companion. Noisli also changes the colour of your browser background while you write – it’s chromotherapy in action! Overall, it is a great little tool for people who are frequently using a computer for creative tasks such as writing articles, working on proposals, compiling a slide deck or just banging through emails to get to that elusive Inbox Zero. Try Noisli out for yourself here and let me know what you think.

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