Plan Wizard - Blocking Websites
In this tutorial we are going to be using the Focus Plan Wizard to explore the Websites Section.
On initial review you will notice two options: Block Selected Sites OR Block All Websites, as well as an Add Site option. As you can see, we currently have no sites on our blacklist or whitelist tables.
We are going to populate this with relevant information. In our example situation, we have a bad habit of shopping online while we should be concentrating on the task at hand. We find ourselves spending over an hour a day browsing Amazon and eBay and we want to apply restrictions to those websites. To get some practice using both available options, we are going to first apply a URL restriction to Amazon.com and then second apply a Title restriction to eBay.com. Finally, we will review how to disable all website access altogether but whitelist our Gmail account. So, let’s get started!
With the Block Selecting Sites radio button toggled on, click the “Add Site” button. You will be greeted with a History page featuring your most recent web browsing history. You can use this to quickly target recently viewed websites. For this tutorial however, click on the Custom tab as we want to practice writing a custom entry. To start, click on the drop down in the upper right and ensure URL is selected instead of Title. Now click on the line in the text box, with placeholder text Enter Website Here (one per line). You should see a blinking text cursor to confirm you did it correctly. Now type out amazon.com. Remember this entry is not case sensitive, but we’ll go with lowercase. Now let’s create a Title entry for ebay.com. Again, click Add Site, then click the Custom tab. This time in the upper right corner click the Select Type box and choose the Title option. Now click on the line in the text box, with placeholder text Enter Website Here and note each website should be listed on its own line. This time enter eBay, but omit the .com from the entry. The reason you want to omit this is because most websites do not include the .com or other domain suffix in the title, so it’s best to use just eBay in our example.
If you know the exact website that you would like to block, it is recommended to use the URL select type. It allows targeted control over entire domain name regardless of title keywords. The title setting is very useful to block a whole string of keywords, especially using the RegEx method. We will be covering that method in a future video tutorial.
And finally, we’re going to discuss the Block All Websites feature. When the block all websites radio button is selected, it will prevent access to all websites on the Internet. This feature is especially useful if you want to concentrate on only one website, for example, your Gmail email service. To start, go ahead and make sure the block all websites radio button is selected, now click on the Add Site button in the upper right. After reviewing the URL for Gmail, you will find that the URL is mail.google.com. Make sure the URL is chosen in the select type box in the upper right. Now as before, click on the line in the text box, with placeholder text Enter Website Here (one per line). Now you may either type in the URL manually or simply copy and paste from your browser bar. You don’t need to include the https:// and www. because FocusMe will ignore them anyway. Now click the Done button in the bottom right. You have successfully created an entry that will allow you to concentrate solely on your email without the distractions of any other websites on the Internet. Remember though, this means from within Gmail you may not access your calendar, contacts, or even YouTube. You will need to create a separate entry for each URL that you would like to whitelist. Whitelisted entries will be exempt from rules forced by the “Block All Websites” feature. So, for each website you would like exempted you will need to enter the required URL in the Whitelist add section.
Thank you for joining us on this video and we look forward to seeing you in the next video entitled “Plans - Blocking Applications”.