Removing the distracting Twitter feed (while keeping the ability to tweet)


Joshua Mitchell / August 29, 2020

3 min read

I present: my workflow for

  • allowing myself to tweet anytime I want (via my MacBook), BUT
  • limiting my consumption (i.e. browsing the feed) to a certain time of day.

I, like many people, have a love/hate relationship with Twitter. I'll spare you the monologue about how it has changed my life and allowed me to meet so many cool people. Instead, I'll talk about the problem and how I'm solving it.

Twitter Page With Only Tweet Composition


Twitter's feed algorithm is, at least for me, really good. The moment I open it, I get sucked in.

This is true even if I didn't mean to start browsing. I've often

  • had an idea for a tweet,
  • opened up Twitter,
  • started scrolling, and THEN
  • forgot what I was going to say!


Idea Sketch#

  • uBlock Origin blocks access to the Twitter feed on the browser (Chrome), but allows access to composing a new tweet at anytime
  • Focus blocks access to the Twitter macOS App outside of the designated "Feed Time" (i.e. I'll use the macOS app for general purpose Twitter usage)
  • Optional: Alfred allows frictionless access to creating a tweet via macOS (otherwise you can just bookmark the compose tweet page)

General Setup#

First, assuming you use Chrome on a mac, download and install these apps

  • Optional: Alfred on macOS Catalina (warning: not free - totally worth it, though)
  • uBlock Origin (a Google Chrome extension)
  • Twitter macOS App (yep, not the web app on the browser, and not the app on your phone)
  • Focus macOS App (also not free, but also worth it)

Ublock Origin Config#

Once you've installed the uBlock Origin extension, you're going to want to add a particular filter to block the feed:

First, click the uBlock Origin logo in the top right corner of Chrome: uBlock Origin Logo

Then, click the dashboard:

uBlock Origin Menu.png

Finally, add the following filter:

Like so:

uBlock Origin Dashboard

Focus Config#

Then, to configure Focus, just create a schedule:

Focus Scheduling Configuration

And then add the Twitter app to the blocked app list:

Focus App Blocking Configuration

Optional: Alfred Config#

Install the Twitter Toolkit addon for Alfred:

Download and unzip this file and double-click twitter-toolkit.alfredworkflow.

This will allow you to press Option + Spacebar to bring up Alfred menu,

Alfred Menu

directly open a tweet composition page by typing "tweet",

Tweeting Using Alfred

and pressing Enter

Creating A New Tweet

without being distracted by the feed!

Twitter Page With Only Tweet Composition

Thanks for reading!

A small caveat: you might notice that 1) messages aren't blocked on the browser and 2) you can still see the number of notifications in the browser tab via the title of the page. You probably could enhance the filters on uBlock Origin to delete those as well, but I just haven't because I'm lazy. If you do, let me know!

Thank you to the Compound Writing member who reviewed this post: Tom White and Benjamin Issenmann.

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