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When I first heard about body doubling from a TikTok trend, I was both intrigued and skeptical. Could simply having a virtual coworker really impact performance? It seemed like an unusual concept, but being a productivity buff, I was excited to explore it.
Surprisingly, I was able to find quite a few helpful body doubling apps designed to support focus and provide accountability, especially for people with ADHD. Since I haven’t seen a single good collection of these websites online, I decided to create one.
Since the pandemic has shifted the majority of our work and daily routines to the confines of our homes, it’s been my mission to find the most efficient tools and techniques that make it easier to be productive.
For some, this transition has been smooth, but for others, especially those with ADHD, it’s been a productivity rollercoaster.
The lack of traditional office structure and the common distractions of home life have a tendency to turn every task into a monumental challenge, leading to procrastination and burnout. And that’s where body doubling apps come to the rescue, providing you with virtual coworking spaces so you don’t have to work alone.
What is body doubling?
Body doubling is a concept that leverages the power of social influence to boost productivity. The idea is that the presence of another person, even virtually, provides a sense of companionship and accountability, making tasks seem less intimidating and more doable.
It doesn’t require any direct interaction; it’s just about sharing the same workspace to help each other stay productive. In a way, it’s similar to having a study buddy or a workout partner: even though they may be doing their own thing, their silent presence alone can help you focus and stay on track longer.
So what exactly are body doubling apps for?
Body doubling apps provide a virtual space for simultaneous work, mimicking the experience of working at the office or at the offline coworking space. They either organize group focus sessions or connect you with a random person one to one to become accountability partners.
Some apps feature video, audio, or chat capabilities, allowing you to see, hear, or message your body double(s) if you choose to. Others also offer timers, task management features, or focus-promoting ambient noise.
Based on my findings, the most common duration for a guided body doubling session is one hour. Some apps offer 2-hour sessions with a break in the middle, and a few services prefer working in traditional 25-minute Pomodoro sessions.
In addition, some virtual coworking platforms have quiet online “rooms” that you can join whenever you experience trouble focusing and feel like you can benefit from having a body double.
What are the best apps and websites for body doubling?
After spending a considerable number of hours researching body doubling, I’ve curated a list of top body doubling apps and websites to help you find the perfect platform for your needs.
Here are the 7 best body doubling websites in 2023:
Best body doubling app for deep focus
Flown is not just a body doubling app but a full-blown digital environment designed to create optimal conditions for deep focused work.
By being a member of Flown community, you can participate in unlimited group focus sessions and work alongside other people. With more than 50 guided sessions happening every week, you can likely find at least several that fit into your schedule.
Other than dedicated 1-hour and 2-hour focus sessions, they also offer a virtual silent drop-in room which you can enter whenever you are ready to work.
And if you are late to a session or can’t join live for some reason, they have so-called portholes with pre-recorded videos of creative people immersed in focus work. Each of these activities ensures you have a body double available anytime to make concentrating easier.
Best Features of Flown
Flown membership costs $25 per month or $19 per month if you pay yearly.
There is also a pay-once lifetime option for $675.
Flown offers a 30-day free trial so you can explore different focus sessions and see if this body doubling experience works well for you.
What’s unique about Flown app is that even if you don’t choose to pay after the free trial, you’ll still be able to use it on Fridays and join any sessions for free.
If the idea of body doubling intrigues you, Flown is the best place to give it a try! They have regular focus sessions and other activities to help you concentrate on work and a supportive community where you can meet lots of other motivated people.
Best productivity assistant with body doubling
RescueTime is a focus-oriented app that allows you to set daily productivity goals, get notified when you get too distracted, and see detailed reports about how you spend your time.
I always recommend RescueTime as one of the best productivity tools out there. It is designed to help you understand how you spend your time on devices, offering insights and tools to make the most of your workday.
While the app itself is aimed at solo work and personal productivity, they offer guided focus sessions several times a week to take advantage of body doubling.
For example, here is how their session schedule looks at the time of writing this:
There is also a virtual coworking space called The RescueTime Neighborhood where you can work alongside other focused folks and listen to optional background music.
Best Features of RescueTime
RescueTime costs $12 per month or just $6.50 per month if you pay yearly. They offer a 2-week free trial period to explore the tool’s capabilities.
If you are a RescueTime user, I believe you can join as many guided focus sessions as you want.
I’ve been using RescueTime for a while as my main time tracking app and learned a lot about my distraction patterns. (You can read my full review of the app here.)
I usually start focus sessions whenever I need to get some work done without interruptions. I didn’t have a chance to join one of their group focus sessions yet, but I’m looking forward to it!
3. Flow Club
Best body doubling app for procrastinators
Flow Club is another popular platform for body doubling that is more like a community for ADHD warriors and neurodivergent people.
With over 300+ hosts in the community, Flow Club offers guided focus sessions pretty much 24/7, connecting you with like-minded professionals to share the body doubling experience. It’s like joining a virtual coworking space where everyone is dedicated to getting things done.
Flow Club operates on the science-backed idea that you are more productive when you are pre-committed, so you need to book a session upfront.
You can schedule a focus session at a convenient time for you and commit to getting things done by sharing your session goal with others at the beginning. For shy people, they have chat-only sessions where you don’t have to talk at all.
With Flow Club, you get to work in a circle of people who share similar work ethics and goals. This body doubling app creates a motivating environment as you work alongside other goal-oriented people who understand your challenges.
Best Features of Flow Club
Flow Club offers a 7-day free trial that allows you to join several sessions and see if body doubling is your cup of tea.
After that, the membership costs $40 per month, and you get two months free if you pay yearly.
After joining at least 10 focus sessions as a member of the Flow Club, you can apply to become a host yourself. Hosts get a discount of up to 50% off the usual price, depending on the number of sessions they are able to host every month.
I would say Flow Club is the best body doubling app for extroverts or people who feel lonely working alone from home. Personally, I prefer Flown as it’s more affordable and has the same group of hosts as opposed to interacting with random people every time. Still, it’s a cool accountability app I recommend anyone to try if you struggle with focus.
Best one-to-one body doubling app
The idea is to have a real person on the other side of the screen, working quietly beside you. This “virtual presence” helps you feel more accountable and reduces the temptation to procrastinate.
As opposed to being in a room full of people, this body doubling app only offers one-to-one focus sessions so you can find yourself a perfect accountability partner. It also allows you to “favorite” the partner you clicked with and continue supporting each other’s goals through more focused sessions together.
Focusmate’s simplicity and effectiveness make it a go-to body doubling platform for many remote workers, students, and anyone who needs a productivity boost.
Best Features of Focusmate
Focusmate stands out among other body doubling websites because it offers a free forever plan with access to 3 focus sessions per week.
If you want unlimited sessions, the Plus plan costs $9.99 per month or $6.99 per month if you pay yearly.
Best free body doubling app
Groove is a closed virtual coworking community for creative people. You can apply to join by filling out a short questionnaire about yourself and explaining your reasons for joining. If you have a friend who is a member and can get you an invite link, the sign-up process becomes much faster.
Groove is designed for people looking for motivation and accountability to stay focused on goals through difficult times. It provides a shared virtual workspace where people can work together while maintaining individual focus.
Groove is a mobile-only body doubling app and doesn’t have a desktop version.
A typical daily focus session in Groove is a 1-hour experience you share with 1-3 other people. First, you each share a list of things you aim to get done during this hour, then you focus quietly on your work for 50 minutes, during which you can cheer each other in the written chat, and there are a couple of minutes at the end to share and celebrate the results.
By joining Groove, you not only leverage another body doubling app but get to be a part of an awesome community of “ambitious doers from all over the world.” You can meet amazing people with similar goals and build valuable connections for life.
Best Features of Groove
Groove is a completely free app at the time of writing this article in 2023. If anything changes, I’ll be sure to update this page. Be sure to join Groove while it’s still free!
Best body doubling app for productivity ninjas
Cofocus is a fun body doubling app similar to Focusmate in the sense that it’s for 1-to-1 coworking sessions and not group ones.
Since it was launched in 2020, Cofocus has been offering a platform where you can connect with others to work in parallel, simulating the experience of being in a shared physical space.
With Cofocus, you schedule a 50-minute session whenever it’s convenient for you, and the system matches you in a virtual room with another person seeking focused work time at the same timeframe.
Cofocus appears to be created by hardworking people who know not to take themselves too seriously. It’s a fun place to meet new goal-getters and cheer each other up while accomplishing things you planned.
Cofocus is a free coworking platform.
Best body doubling app for students
LifeAt is a unique body doubling website that offers virtual spaces for group work or study sessions. It has a wide variety of themed communities created by users to improve their focus and productivity, which you can join whenever you want.
The idea behind this platform is to create a calm motivating online coworking environment that imitates a real-life place, such as a cafe or a library. This includes a picture or video footage of a place and background music for inspiration.
For example, you can join the Late Night Crew community and work alongside other night owls, or join the Study Squad with monthly focus challenges.
Besides the body doubling functionality, LifeAt has many other instruments for productive work, from Pomodoro timers (that you can sync with everyone in the room) to to-do lists, notes, and breathing breaks.
You can also customize a personal environment for focus or host a public space that others can join. I found many interesting spaces with different vibes, from cute Lofi rooms and cozy cafes to cityscapes, work-from-home coding vibes, or nature settings.
LifeAt is a free resource for body doubling and accountability, but you need to create an account to have access to most of the features.
I noticed that this app mostly attracts a younger audience, and a lot of people come to study, so I would definitely recommend it to students first. Of course, you can join a session and do some project work or chores even if it says “study session,” no one will kick you off unless you behave badly. Choose the room that matches your vibe, list your goals in the chat, and let’s get to work!
Who can benefit from body doubling apps?
Body doubling apps can benefit anyone who seeks to improve focus, reduce procrastination, and enhance productivity. This includes professionals, students, remote workers, and particularly individuals who struggle with ADHD, as the shared virtual presence in body doubling apps can promote a sense of accountability and motivation.
These apps can be especially valuable for those working or studying alone, where maintaining self-discipline might be challenging. By recreating the experience of having a coworker or study partner, body doubling apps make solitary tasks feel more achievable. This shared experience can lead to an increase in work output and a more enjoyable work process.
In addition to boosting personal productivity for anyone from entrepreneurs to freelancers, body doubling platforms are great tools for remote teams. They allow coworkers to come together and work alongside each other in a virtual office, encouraging teamwork, collaboration, and unity.
By offering various additional features like video connectivity, task management, and personalized sessions, these tools can meet the diverse needs of different users, making them a versatile asset in our digital age.
How to choose the best body doubling app for you?
Sometimes having too many options is not a good thing: it triggers what’s called “analysis paralysis,” and you end up not choosing anything at all.
To make it easier for you to choose a body doubling app, here is my short guide:
- To give the concept of body doubling a try, sign up for a Flown free trial;
- If you want both alone focus sessions and group ones, try RescueTime;
- To participate in group guided focus sessions, choose Flown or Flow Club;
- For 1-to-1 focus sessions, go to Focusmate or Cofocus;
- Looking for an aesthetic focus environment? Check out LifeAt.
Frequently asked questions
A virtual body double is a person who “sits” with you virtually, often through platforms like Zoom, during work or study sessions. By simply being present on the screen, they create a sense of companionship and accountability, helping you improve focus and productivity and making remote work more manageable.
Body doubling is particularly effective for individuals with ADHD as it provides a structured and supportive environment that helps maintain focus. The presence of a virtual body double can create a subtle social pressure that encourages task engagement and reduces distractions, offering a sense of accountability.
Body doubling can be a helpful tool for many, including students, professionals, and remote workers. While it has been especially popular among individuals with ADHD, its ability to keep you focused makes it valuable for anyone struggling with procrastination or seeking to enhance productivity. However, individual preferences and work styles may vary, so it might not suit everyone.
Final thoughts on body doubling in 2023
After diving into the world of body doubling apps, I’ve come to appreciate the subtle yet powerful impact they can have on focus and productivity. From assisting those with ADHD to providing support for remote workers, these platforms offer a unique approach to accomplishing more while working “together.”
Whether you’re skeptical like I once was or eager to explore this innovative productivity strategy, there’s likely a body doubling service out there that might positively surprise you! I hope this collection inspires you to explore these apps and discover the positive impact they can have on your work and life.