Feeling stuck? Read inspirational quotes from great thinkers, then get back to the task at hand. Forismatic is a free Mac app designed to help people like you pause just long enough to get inspired – and then get back to it.
Writer’s block is rough, but it’s hardly unique to writers: people of every profession from time to time feel inertia. When that happens it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole of novelty that is the world wide web, a path few can pull themselves out of quickly. Heck, that might be the reason you’re reading this article right now instead of doing your job – and while that’s a good thing for our revenues at MakeUseOf, for your sake you should probably get back to the task at hand.
Forismatic is designed to be inspiring without being a time sink. Its core functionality – showing you a single inspirational quote without completely covering up your work – is simple. But the app implements this functionality in three different ways: as a transparent overlay of your work, as a menubar popup or as a timed overlay encouraging you to reflect as long as possible.
Will this app magically get you back to work? No. But if reading inspiring quotes and taking some time to reflect is something you find helpful I highly recommend you check it out.
Quick Quote Popups
Install Forismatic and you’ll notice a new icon in your Mac’s menubar. Click it to bring up the menu:
You have no idea what any of this means, but don’t worry: it’s not complex. Click “Inspire Me” and a full screen overlay will show you a quote. Your work remains in the background, letting you reflect on the meaning on the inspirational quote in the context of your work:
Click anywhere on the screen to bring up a new inspirational quote, but don’t rush through them: the idea is to take the time to reflect. Let your mind focus on a single quotation for a while instead of jumping from task to task.
There are social media sharing buttons, in case you want to share a given quote with your friends, and a “copy to clipboard” function if you want to save the quote for later somewhere. There’s even a Wikipedia button if you want to read more about the persona behind a particular inspirational quote.
Don’t want to cover your entire screen? That’s fine. The “Spark of an idea” gives you a small popup instead:
It’s the same functionality packed into a tiny popup.
The final option, “Relaxation Mode”, offers a full screen interface that rotates quotes automatically. It also keeps track of how long you’ve been relaxing, potentially useful for workaholics who rarely take the chance to reflect.
You’ll also find the Preferences on this menu. Forismatic isn’t complicated by any means, so there’s not much here to edit.
I recommend changing what happens when you left-click the icon – that way you can see inspirational quotes quickly. You can also set the software to automatically show you a “Spark” every five, thirty or sixty minutes. If you fear you’ll forget to give yourself time this is probably a good idea.
Ready to install? Download Forismatic from the Mac App Store, then. You won’t regret it.
Forismatic for Other Platforms
I’m reviewing the Mac app here, but it’s not the only version of the app. If you’re a Windows 8 user you can check out the Forismatic app for the Metro interface. It basically operates as the full-screen mode does above, albeit without the overlay. A live tile allows you to see an inspirational quote every time you look at your start screen, which is nice.
Other Sources for Inspirational Quotes
Like the idea of using inspirational quotes to get to work, but don’t want an app specifically for the job? That makes sense, so check out these 8 RSS feeds for motivational quotes, or explore quoteables to find great quotations online.
How do you like Forismatic? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to also point out any other resources for inspiration. I look forward to learning from you.