How to simulate the creative vibe of a coffee shop with ‘Coffitivity’

by | Jun 26, 2013 | Technology

Takeaway: The ambient hum of a coffee shop has been proven to boost your productivity and creativity. Coffitivity is a great web app that simulates that same vibe on your computer.

Estimated Reading Time: 1 minute, 39s.

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I’m currently living in total reclusion for 10 days as part of a productivity experiment, and even I’m just two days in, I’ve craved having people around. I can say first hand that this app has boosted my productivity, but I won’t be using it for too long, because in a way it feels like I’m cheating at my experiment.

Working in a coffee shop makes you more productive

There’s a lot of research that supports the fact that people are more productive when they work in coffee shops.

One (very dry) 88-page academic paper said the following:

If we are in a public place and it looks like that we have no business there, it may not seem socially appropriate. In coffee-shops it is okay to be there to drink coffee but loitering is definitely not allowed by coffee-shop owners, so coffee-shops patrons deploy different methods to look “busy”. Being disengaged is our big social fear, especially in public spaces, and people try to cover their “being there” with an acceptable visible activity.1

(Emphasis mine.)

There’s also research that shows people are more creative in coffee shops. “Results from five experiments demonstrate that a moderate (70 dB) versus low (50 dB) level of ambient noise enhances performance on creative tasks”, but “[a] high level of noise (85 dB) [..] hurts creativity”.2

Coffitivity

Coffitivity

Enter coffitivity. Coffitivity is a web app (coming soon to iOS and Mac) that simulates working in a coffee shop by running an ambient noise loop on your computer. If you work in a noisy, distracting environment, coffitivity might be just the app you need.

According to coffitivity’s website, “the mix of calm and commotion in an environment like a coffee house is proven to be just what you need to get those creative juices flowing”. You can take it from me, the app works. It’s also completely free, and there’s you don’t need to register to try it out.

If you want to simulate that creative, productive coffee shop vibe on your computer, check out coffitivity.


  1. Source: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.95.3101&rep=rep1&type=pdf Warning – link is to a PDF. 

  2. Source: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/665048 

Written by Chris Bailey

Chris Bailey has written hundreds of articles on the subject of productivity and is the author of two books: Hyperfocus and The Productivity Project. His books have been published in 27 languages. Chris writes about productivity on this site and speaks to organizations around the globe on how they can become more productive without hating the process.

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